Batangas dive sites reopen
This February 2018 file photo shows a peek 50 feet below Anilao, a part the country’s rich biodiversity as the so-called “center of the center of marine biodiversity in the universe.”
Philstar.com/Efigenio Toledo IV, file

Batangas dive sites reopen

Ralph Edwin Villanueva (The Philippine Star) - October 16, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Diving spots in Batangas are now open.

Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat, concurrent chairperson of the Philippine Commission on Sports Scuba Diving (PCSSD), on Wednesday said she signed an administrative order on the guidelines in the operation of dive establishments.

Puyat cited a resolution of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases or IATF allowing the Department of Tourism (DOT) to determine the destinations in areas where recreational diving may be allowed.

She reminded tourists that they should present a swab test result showing that they are negative for coronavirus disease 2019 or COVID-19.

Puyat said only dive sites with DOT and PCSSD accreditation would be allowed to operate,

As of last week, 222 of 241 accredited dive establishments and 10 liveaboards secured certificates of authority to operate.

Ilocos Norte’s 1st visitors

In Ilocos Norte, which reopened to tourists from Luzon starting yesterday, a couple from Metro Manila are the first visitors.

The provincial tourism office said the couple, who arrived at the Badoc provincial border, presented their SafePass QR code and underwent rapid test for COVID-19.

Gov. Matthew Marcos Manotoc issued an executive order establishing the guidelines for the reopening of tourism in Ilocos Norte under the second phase of the Ridge and Reef expanded travel corridor.

Under the expanded guidelines, only 50 tourists will be accepted per day.

Accommodations shall be made only with establishments and operators accredited by the DOT. Visitors are required to present a negative swab test taken within 72 hours prior to their arrival.

Manotoc said those who plan to stay longer than three days must undertake rapid tests on the fourth, ninth and 14th day of their stay. – Catherine Talavera, Raymund Catindig, Artemio Dumlao

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