Food vendors at the Virgin Island in Panglao denied selling seafood to tourists at exorbitant prices as alleged by a netizen who claimed they were charged over P26,000 for lunch at the popular tourist destination.
Fidel Clenista, a member of the Doljo Fisherman and Vendors Association, said the amount covered multiple dishes which were served to 13 people who were transported to the island by two motorized bancas.
“Dili na tinuod. Ang among baligya diri igo-igo ra gyud ang presyo na makapalit mi og bugas, makatubo mi gamay,” Clenista.
“Kadtong lato, gi by plate to. P200 ang usa, kay butangan pa og lamas. Upat ka order nila mao ni abot og P800,” he added.
According to Clenista, it should be considered that they have to charge more than usual as they have to buy their ingredients from the mainland and transport these back to the island.
He said that after eight years of selling food in the island, it was the first time that they received a complaint regarding their food prices.
“Dili maayo na ang iyang gibuhat nam, mawad-an mi og panginabuhi, daghan baya mi diri madamay. Sa kadaghang guest diri, siya pay nakaako namo ana,” he said.
On Monday, netizen Vilma Uy posted photos of the food and their unofficial bill which was handwritten on paper.
She said the photos and the complaint were sent to her by a friend, a tourist who was on vacation in Bohol.
“Ingon ani na diay kamahal ang pagkaon sa virgin island, bohol??? Just airing the sentiments of my friend who recently enjoying their vacation in bohol.. pero na shock cla sa ila bill.. mahal pa sa buffet sa HENNAN resort….. pls note : 13 pax cla lahat..” she said in the post which has been shared over 17,000 times as of Wednesday morning.
Following the viral post, many tourists were still seen at the Virgin Island.
Mylene Daluta, 41, an Imus, Cavite resident who was on vacation, said the food at the island was not that expensive.
“Medyo expensive pero masarap naman. Hindi big deal sa’min yung presyo. Hindi naman ganun kamahalan,” she said.
Meanwhile, Panglao Mayor Edgardo “Boy” Arcay, who inspected the island after the post went viral, admitted that the food were indeed expensive.
“Nakita gyud nato na ang mga presyo duna gyuy kamahalan,” said Arcay.
Arcay, who claimed that prices at the island were already known to be high even before he sat as mayor in July, said vendors at the island have vowed not to overcharge their guest.
The mayor also directed the seafood vendors to place price tags beside their food to avoid a similar incident.
The Panglao local government unit is also scheduled to conduct consultations with the vendors to explain their expenses and other concerns.
“Ang atong next move is dunay consultative agenda para mahibaw-an ang ilang side and atong side. Mangita ta og win-win solution,” Arcay said. (R. Tutas)