The Sannguniang Panlalawigan (SP) on Thursday will convene as a committee of the whole to tackle the impending entry of an IloIlo-based tourist transport company into the province which has united local industry players in blocking the out-of-province firm.
Decision to convene the body came after the newly formed Bohol Alliance of Tourist Transport Operators (BATTO) called for local officials to bar industry giant Southwest Travel and Tours from conducting business in the province pushing for a “Bohol-first policy.”
The session is set to be conducted at 2 p.m. at the SP Conference Room and will be presided over by acting Vice Governor Venzencio Arcamo and attended by various stakeholders in the tourism sector and representatives from Southwest Tours and Travel.
BATTO’s coordinator, tourist transport operator and former Panglao mayor Dolereich Dumaluan, had earlier expressed concern over Southwest’s entry noting that it would significantly affect smaller local transportation businesses.
According to Dumaluan, Bohol has enough vehicles to cater to visitors and there is still no need for more tourist transportation units.
There are around 700 vans, coasters, buses and other types of vehicles in Bohol which can provide service to tourists, said Dumaluan.
The figure however includes colorum or unregistered tourist transport vehicles.
Previously, BATTO also appealed for backing from the Sangguniang Panlungsod (SP) of Tagbilaran City as part of its bid to block the entry of Southwest. (rt)