No more tourism activities in Virgin Island, only sightseeing – Panglao mayor
CEBU CITY, Philippines – The local government unit (LGU) of Panglao town, Bohol has prohibited food vendors and other tourism activities, except for sightseeing, on the famous Virgin Island.
Panglao Mayor Edgardo “Boy” Arcay, on his official Facebook page, announced that their local government approved the recommendations raised during an emergency meeting last Tuesday, August 2, 2022, with the local Department of Interior and Local Government and Municipal Tourism Council, to discuss reports on alleged overpricing of food being sold to visitors of Virgin Island.
Arcay approved the proposal that Virgin Island, which is a strip of white sand beach near the Panglao Reef Flat, should no longer host food vendors and other tourism activities starting Wednesday, August 3. The mayor said only sightseeing activities will be allowed.
“Adunay immediate closure sa maong isla sa food vendors og uban tourism activities effective August 3, 2022. Magpadayon gihapon ang island-hopping operations limitado lang sa sightseeing,” Arcay’s post stated.
The Panglao mayor also agreed with the suggestions from the Municipal Tourism Council on holding a ‘food street or night market’ at their town plaza for the vendors affected by the recent decision. He added that authorities in Panglao will also be coming up with measures to regulate food prices offered to tourists.
“Adunay plano nga maghimo og ‘street food or night market’ para paningkamotan nga mahatagan og alternative area of business ang displaced vendors nga di sila ma wad-an og panginabuhi. Sa samang higayon, i-regulate og monitor na sa LGU ang presyo sa baligya sa vendors,” added Arcay.
Virgin Island in Bohol has been the talk of the town after a netizen took to social media to complain about spending as much as P26,000 on food for a group of 19 people who visited the famous tourist spot. The post went viral and reached the attention of local and national officials.
Virgin Island is a strip of white sand beach located near the Panglao Reef Flat. It belongs to the territorial jurisdiction of Panglao.
This is not the first time Virgin Island in Panglao became a subject of government intervention due to tourism-related activities. In 2019, local government officials of Bohol tore down illegally erected structures such as cottages on the white sand bar.
Based on reports from Bohol’s local media, vendors and other small-scale tourism operators in Panglao denied they have been overcharging tourists for food and other services.
The Department of Tourism (DOT) has also intervened to shed light on the matter.
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