Frasco Tourism Secretary Christina Garcia Frasco


May 1, 2023 Cristina Lee-Pisco 367 views

THE Department of Tourism (DOT) remains in close coordination with a number of national agencies in monitoring the search and rescue operations in Palawan after four persons went missing following the sinking of dive yacht M/Y Dream Keeper off the waters of Tubbataha on Sunday.

Tourism Secretary Christina Garcia Frasco has met with Department of National Defense Acting Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr. and Armed Forces of the Philippines Chief General Andres Centino to discuss the search and rescue efforts.

Frasco immediately instructed the DOT Dive Committee, including the Philippine Commission on Sports Scuba Diving (PCSSD), the Department’s attached agency in charge of regulating scuba sports and technical diving in the country, to extend all assistance possible to the survivors of the capsized liveaboard M/Y Dream Keeper, which was reported to be ferrying a team of fifteen crew, and 17 passengers, five of whom are dive masters.

The Department remains in constant coordination with the Philippine Navy, Philippine Coast Guard (PCG), and the private entities involved in the incident.

Located in Palawan, Philippines, the Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park is home to a great diversity of marine life. The reef ecosystems support over 360 species of coral and almost 700 species of fish.

According to UNESCO’s World Heritage Centre, the reef lies “in a unique position in the center of the Sulu Sea, and actually includes the Tubbataha and Jessie Beazley Reefs. It covers an area of almost 100,000 hectares of high-quality marine habitats containing three atolls and a large area of deep sea.”

The PCG said 28 other passengers were rescued, adding it has dispatched one of its biggest ships, the BRP Melchora Aquino (MRRV-9702), to conduct search and rescue for the four missing persons.

The PCG command center received information from its District in Palawan that the dive yacht MY Dream Keeper sank past 6 a.m. on Sunday.