PH 1st scuba diving courses launched in Negros Oriental

Dive site in Moalboal, Cebu.
Dive site in Moalboal, Cebu. File photo/Christina Frasco FB page

THE Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (Tesda) has chosen Negros Oriental as its launch pad for its first-ever scuba diving courses in the Philippines.

Tesda-Negros Oriental provincial director Fletcher Gumahad told the Philippine News Agency on Thursday that this comes following the recent signing of a memorandum of agreement between the agency and the Negros Oriental Divers Association (Norda).

“We are now in the process of making the curriculum under our Competency Standards Development and it will eventually become a training regulation that can be adopted by training providers throughout the Philippines,” Gumahad said in mixed English and Cebuano.

Tesda is given at least seven months to formulate these standards before the actual training program, he said.

He added that other parties are involved in this program, including the academe, scuba divers, and operators.

Gumahad said the Competency Standards Development will bring together experts from the academe and divers' associations with an existing curriculum from Norda that can also serve as a guide.

He said there is no definite timeline yet for the actual training pending the completion of certain requirements, including a letter from Governor Manuel Sagarbarria to Tesda Secretary Teng Mangudadatu, on the diving courses to be launched in the province.

Tesda has to submit a funding proposal to its central office for the scholarship training.

Those who complete the course may earn national curriculum levels two to four.

Tesda Undersecretary and Deputy Director General for Partnerships and Special Concerns Vidal Villanueva III signed the agreement on Feb. 19 with NORDA, represented by its president Glenn Carballo.

In a statement, Provincial Tourism Board Executive Director Woodrow Maquiling Jr. was hopeful that the diving courses would not only boost the tourism industry by bringing in more tourists but also provide locals with job opportunities as scuba dive guides.

The province of Negros Oriental hosts several dive destinations, such as the world-renowned Apo Island in Dauin town. (PNA)


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