A CHEAPER, better Suroy Suroy tour package in southern Cebu awaits tourists and balikbayan visitors of southern Cebu on Jan. 22 to 24.
“We will make sure that our expenditures will be lower this time so the rates will be cheaper,” Vice Gov. Agnes Magpale said last Friday.
Magpale, who heads the province’s tourism and international affairs committee, said the tour package costs went up because the expenses were divided only among a handful of paying guests.
There were also items like wine that were charged to the tourists but these were never served to them, the vice governor said. Government auditors noted discrepancies in the Suroy Suroy 2012.
They said the tour’s expenses amounted to P11. 45 million but the revenue collection was P3.79 million.
The audit observation memorandum issued by the Commission on Audit (COA) also questioned the disparity between the number of paying and non-paying participants.
It also noted the Capitol’s P67.5 million payable for the tour’s 26 brand-new tourist buses.
The Cebu Provincial Board (PB) approved a P5 million allocation for the Suroy Suroy Sugbo this year, bigger than last year’s P3 million.
Of the amount, P2 million will cover traveling expenses while P10,000 will subsidize the participating local government units (LGU). About P600,000 will go to advertising and rent expenses.
Other expenses include office equipment and supplies, training, fuel, water and vehicle maintenance.
More than 200 participants are expected to join this month’s countryside tour that will feature southern Cebu’s churches and heritage sites./CORRESPONDENT PETER L. ROMANILLOS