THE Philippine Coast Guard in Dumaguete City has assured that it will not order the “closing down” of the dolphin and whale watching tours in Bais City and nearby towns like Manjuyod in Negros Oriental.
Lieutenant Junior Grade Donna Liza Ramacho gave the assurance as the Coast Guard Dumaguete Station, which she heads, conducted a dialogue Thursday, March 23, with tour boat operators in Bais City.
The dialogue, also attended by the Maritime Industry Authority (Marina) officials, aims to discuss concerns with the boat operators the salient laws that require them to have their seacraft duly registered.
Ramacho said a lot of unregistered boats are operating despite continued warnings from authorities.
These boats are to be registered with the Marina, the proper agency that has the authority as regard different sea vessels.
According to Ramacho, they just want to make sure that the tour operators are properly documented to ensure the safety of passengers and crew members.
She lamented that there are boat operators though who are “stubborn” and refuse to go through the registration process.
One of the concerns raised by a dolphin-watching tour operator is that Marina has only two personnel based in Dumaguete City and the agency does not even have an office in the Negros Island Region.
The Marina in Dumaguete City reports to the regional office in Central Visayas that is based in Cebu City. (PNA)