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Rules for scuba diving industry set for release

(The Philippine Star) - January 30, 2015 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - The Department of Tourism, through the Philippine Commission on Sports Scuba Diving (PCSSD), recently concluded consultations for the industry’s  implementing rules and regulations (IRR) through a three-day focus group discussion participated in by veterans from the scuba industry and representatives of certifying agencies. The IRR will be finalized by the first quarter of 2015.

Many rules for the safety and competitiveness of the Philippines as a dive destination cropped up in the discussions.

Following a series of public consultations conducted in Batangas, Palawan, Cebu and Davao, this effort was initiated to effectively regulate and streamline the Philippine scuba diving industry and safeguard its progress and development as a key Philippine tourism product.

Prior to the consultation meetings, PCSSD prepared a Regulatory Impact Statement (RIS) on scuba diving operations in the country.

The development of RIS is one of the outputs identified in the “Philippines Improving Competitiveness in Tourism” program, a $7.1-million assistance given to the DOT, funded by the government of Canada and administered by the Asian Development Bank.

New regulations presented in the RIS include a number of new requirements to address health and safety issues, information gaps and environmental concerns.

During the public consultations, the stakeholders also highlighted the importance of PCSSD accreditation in operating scuba diving in the Philippines for the safety of the diving public and marine conservation of marine tourism areas. Participants also requested improvement in the skills of dive professionals in the Philippines, the implementation of efforts to bridge the lack of skilled manpower in the industry for it to be globally competitive, and the streamlining of intergovernmental coordination in terms of the prevailing dive fees.

It is also crucial to ensure that the scuba diving industry is managed in a sustainable manner, including reducing the impacts of scuba diving on the marine environment.

For more information, visit www.divephilippines.com.ph.

ASIAN DEVELOPMENT BANK CEBU AND DAVAO DEPARTMENT OF TOURISM DIVING LEFT PHILIPPINE COMMISSION PHILIPPINES IMPROVING COMPETITIVENESS REGULATORY IMPACT STATEMENT SCUBA
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