Batangas is now open to Divers
M.Anila, Philippines – The Department of Tourism (DOT) urges divers to wipe their masks, fins, snorkels, regulators, and other equipment as popular Batangas dive sites prepare to welcome tourists.
The Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat, as chairwoman of the Philippine Commission for Scuba Diving (PCSSD), signed the PCSSD Administrative Ordinance No. 2020-001 or the guidelines for the operation of diving companies within the framework of a community quarantine.
Anilao Shootout by Marc Stephen De Leon
“Diving facilities in Batangas Province, if the area is still in General Community Quarantine (GCQ), are hereby determined to accept guests for recreational diving, taking into account the general readiness of the area and its impact on the tourism industry,” noted the tourism director .
This after the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) had passed Resolution No. 78, which provides for the DOT to set the targets in GCQ areas where recreational diving can be allowed. The same resolution provides that in certain areas under GCQ and MGCQ diving facilities and resorts may accept guests from GCQ or MGCQ areas for recreational diving purposes. It should be noted that prior to this IATF-EID resolution, travel between areas under GCQ and MGCQ for recreational diving purposes was not permitted.
Open. A goby, photographed by DOT Photographer of the Year, directed by Casia, 1st place, Compact Class Fish Portrait
“We support the diving community in Batangas, one of the best diving destinations in the country. We remain optimistic yet cautious about the reopening for recreational diving. We remind everyone to test before traveling and reiterate that only those with a valid DOT and / or PCSSD accreditation are allowed to work. While guests of all ages from GCQ and MGCQ areas are welcome, the activity is prohibited for those with comorbidities and those currently pregnant, ”announced Puyat.
Through its regional office for CALABARZON (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal and Quezon), the DOT also made a digital contact tracing application available to the local government unit Mabini, Batangas (LGU) for more efficient tracking.
In Region IV-A there are already 6 PCSSD-accredited diving facilities and 2 diving safaris. 241 diving facilities and 10 diving safaris are accredited for the whole country. By October 8, 222 companies had received the Certificate of Authority to Operate (CAO) from the DOT.
Diving Philippines – Diving journalist Saori Arita dives into the depths off Anilao, Batangas, which is now a prime diving destination. (Courtesy photo by Saori Arita)
“DOT accreditation confirms that the diving facilities meet minimum health and safety guidelines and are ready to accept guests again. We encourage dive resorts and stakeholders to use the free and online DOT accreditation platform at https://accreditation.tourism.gov.ph, ”added Puyat.
Just south of Manila and easily accessible by land and water, Batangas has some of Luzon’s best dive sites including Balayan Bay, Cathedral Rock, Beatrice Rock, Twin Rocks, and Mainit Muck.
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