THE Cebu Provincial Board wants to regulate scuba diving activities in the province in response to reports of accidents involving tourists.
“The sport continues to remain popular despite the fact there have been many reported unfortunate incidents related to diving activities in the Province of Cebu,” Provincial Board Member Arleigh Jay Sitoy said.
In his proposed ordinance that was passed on first reading last Monday, no diver may be allowed to join any open water diving activity without completing 10 hours of combined classroom and pool water training activities.
The trainings to be done by a certified diving instructor and dive master should also include proper use, preventive maintenance and care of diving equipment and demonstration of first aid, mouth-to-mouth and CPR capabilities.
Divers must also be told about diving hazards related to the marine animals present and terrain of the area.
Penalties for violation of the ordinance is pegged at P5,000 or imprisonment of at least one year upon the discretion of the court.
“If the divers are professionals and they are diving not related to scuba school diving activities but for leisure, pleasure, entertainment, research they should also comply with the 10 hour requirement.
They should also be accompanied by a diving master. No one is also allowed to dive alone as the ordinance also requires a diving buddy.
Those operating scuba diving schools must also present a valid license from a government agency.
The ordinance will only take effect in component cities and towns of the province which excludes Lapu-Lapu City where most scuba diving activities are prevalent. Reporter Dale G. Israel