CAPITOL is willing to support proposals from local government units (LGUs) to develop tourism infrastructure and eco-tourism sites in their areas.

Vice Gov. Agnes Magpale gave this assurance yesterday as she dismissed calls to abolish the Capitol’s Suroy-Suroy and give the funding for the project to the LGUs instead.

Magpale said local chief executives should submit their tourism infrastructure development proposals so Capitol would know how they could help, especially that Capitol’s thrust to promote eco-tourism jibes with that of the East Asian Inter-Regional Tourism Forum.

Developing tourism sites, she added, is already being practiced, like what is being done to the Aguinid Falls in Samboan town.

“We will help you (mayors) but submit your proposals (first) and we will ask the engineering department for help,” said Magpale, adding that local officials are the ones who know best what could attract tourists to their areas.

The Municipality of Oslob already submitted its proposal while the town of Ginatilan is already preparing one.

Meanwhile, Magpale said scrapping the Suroy-Suroy, a three-day tour package for local and foreign tourists who wish to see Cebu’s tourism sites, is not possible.

This was her reaction to a suggestion raised during the Provincial Development Full Council Meeting last June 9, where Bogo City Mayor Celestino Martinez Jr. said that funding for the Suroy-Suroy be given instead to the LGUs so they can develop their tourism sites.

Besides, Magpale said, the Suroy-Suroy is already institutionalized in the form of an ordinance.

Magpale also defended the Suroy-Suroy, especially after the Commission on Audit earlier called Capitol’s attention after learning that the expenses for the tour is far bigger than the benefits Capitol can get from it.

Magpale said they have already instituted cost-cutting measures, like reducing the number of non-paying guests.