OWNERS of dive shops yesterday said they already follow a set of guidelines in preserving marine sanctuaries and a plan to set up a commission in Lapu-Lapu City was no longer needed.
The Lapu-Lapu City Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Management Council has proposed the creation of an Aqua Sports Commission to regulate dive shops and come up with rules on scuba diving and jet ski sports to protect the city’s six marine sanctuaries.
However, Joselito Espinosa of Blue Marlin Dive Shop said, “we already have procedures and house rules that our divers need to follow when they are underwater, especially in marine protected areas.”
The Professional Association of Diving Instructors (Padi) regulates dive shops through certified Padi instructors working for them.
“Padi regulates the dive shops. What the government can do is put up more marine protected areas rather than setting up a commission that is not beneficial for us,” said a person involved in the diving industry but who asked not to be named.
Jay Aldeguer of Islands Banca Cruises, on the other hand, said he is supportive of the plan to build a commission to ensure protection of dive and snorkeling sites.
“With the proliferation of dive shops, it’s good that there are moves to look into it.
We just need to study the coverage and mandate of the body,” he said.
Islands Banca Cruises, under the Islands Group, offers customers special packages that include activities like snorkeling, scuba diving, fish feeding, sea kayaking and dolphin watching.