DOT Trains Vendors in Virgin Island After Alleged Overpricing of Food

Image Credit: Leo Udtohan/Inquirer

MANILA, Philippines – After a tourist’s post regarding an alleged overpricing of food while visiting the Virgin Island in Panglao, Bohol went viral, the Department of Tourism (DOT) intervened by conducting a training program for vendors and other service providers on the island.

The program, titled “Filipino Brand of Service Excellence,” (FBSE) was conducted on August 10, and was attended by 34 participants comprised of food stall owners and their staff, and representatives of the Panglao Island Protected Seascape Protected Area Management Board.

The short course focused on the foundations of Filipino values, or the “7Ms”: Makamay-likha, Makatao, Makakalikasan, Makabansa, Masayahin, May Bayanihan, and May Pag-asa.

Alice Queblatin, President of the Cebu Alliance of Tour Operations Specialists and certified FBSE trainer, conducted the seminar that tackled these 7Ms, along with service excellence, and understanding guest needs and service recovery.

“These are basic values that we, Filipinos, live in our daily lives. By bringing it into our encounters with clients, we help enable respect for the Creator, environment-awareness, cordiality, helpfulness and politeness, love of country, and hopefulness,” Tourism Secretary Christina Frasco said.

“Grounded on the principle of making tourism activities sustainable in the long haul, we wish to equip our graduates with a deliberate inclination to service that is centered on ensuring due care for our tourists,” Frasco explained.

DOT’s FBSE training for Virgin Island food vendors and staff | Image Credit: DOT/Out of Town Blog

Panglao’s local government, upon receiving knowledge of the viral post, has suspended operations of the food establishments in the island while investigation regarding the overpricing of food is being conducted. The matter involved a group of 13 tourists getting charged with a P26,100 bill for the seafood, drinks, and some dessert they ordered from one of the island’s vendors. Among the ordered items were oysters, sea urchin and scallops.

The participants ended their training by by reciting a pledge signifying their commitment to uphold the Filipino Brand of Service Excellence to improve their service delivery.

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