THE Department of Tourism (DOT) on Thursday convened the Philippine Commission on Sports Scuba Diving (PCSSD) in an effort to boost the recovery of the country’s dive tourism industry.
Tourism Secretary Christina Garcia Frasco, along with Undersecretary Shahlimar Tamano convened the PCSSD, an attached agency of the Department, to discuss its programs and concerns for the advancement of its mandate.
Frasco together with Undersecretary Ferdinand Jumapao, also met with the local leaders of Cotabato in a bid to improve and strengthen the gateway access and ease of travel in the said province.
The Philippines has more than 300 dive sites that are recognized globally.
Included in the famous dive sites in the Philippines are the UNESCO’s World Heritage Site Tubbataha Reef Natural Park in Palawan, Apo Reef Natural Park in Occidental Mindoro, Malapascua Island in Cebu, Anilao dive sites in Batangas, the Verde Island Passage in Puerto Galera, Moalboal, Cebu; Dauin, Dumaguete City; and Coron Bay, Palawan.
As an archipelago, and at the center of coral triangle, more than 500 species of coral and 2,000 species of fish live in the waters of the Philippines.
This made the country as one of the top destinations for marine sports and diving activities.
In December last year, the Philippines won The World’s Leading Dive Destination award beating other dive destinations in Maldives, Great Barrier Reef in Australia, Azores Islands, Bora Bora in French Polynesia, Cayman Islands, Fiji, Galapagos Islands and Mexico in the 28th edition of the World Travel Awards.
Deputy Speaker Raymond Democrito C. Mendoza, Cotabato 3rd District Representative Ma. Alana Samantha Taliño Santos, Cotabato Governor Emmylou “Lala” Taliño-Mendoza, and representatives from the regional Area Development Project Office and Provincial Planning and Development Office were also in attendance during the meeting.
Frasco also met with Rizal 4th District Representative Juan Fidel Felipe Nograles. They were joined by DOT CALABARZON Officer-in-Charge Maritess Castro.
The Secretary later met with the esteemed Filipino commercial and film director and producer Paul Soriano.