Davaos Great Potentials for Diving

Apr. 04, 2006

DAVAO CITY — Diving is a niche market in the Davao region and the area has major potentials.

Department of Tourism assistant regional director Roger Layson in an interview after the Kapehan sa Dabaw at SM City Davao said they have identified diving sites in the region, athis includes the Ligid and Malipano at the Island Garden City of Samal, one in Sta. Maria, Davao del Sur and another in Mabini, Compostela Valley Province.

Although Layson said that there are several other sites and many potential dive areas all around the Davao Gulf.

He, however, said that the area could not technically be considered a diving destination because it lacks a decompression chamber facility, a life-saving device where divers suffering from a diving affliction called Bends could be revived with the use of the equipment.

He said the government in coordination with the divers association is working out with a US company for a donation of such equipment costing millions of pesos. Two of the equipment can be found in Batangas and Cebu.

But what is interesting to note is that a Davao-based doctor is part of the team that handles in the operation of the equipment in Cebu.

The lack of the life-saving equipment was raised during last years congress and Layson said they hope to acquire the unit within this year.

Layson said they had been promoting diving as part of the eco-tourism packages and they need to aggressively promote it to other parts of the country.

We are also extending the events to other Asian countries but the marketing and promotion program will be based on areas approved by DENR as fit and safe sites for diving.

Meanwhile, Crisanto Estabillo, officer-in-charge of the Coastal Marine Management of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources said that a coastal management plan has to be designed for the identified dive sites.

Except for the ones located in Samal, the management plan for other sites has yet to be developed and this will be part of the activities during the Dive The Gulf Festival 2006 from April 22-30 with the theme Vibrant Marine Images, Verdant Marine Resources.

The festival is a weeklong festivity where celebration is focused on the Davao Gulf as a tourist destination as it envisioned bringing in tourists to the region to participate in the celebration of the gulf.

There are about 50 divers coming from all over the country while Davao-based divers consists of about 50 persons and those involved in scuba divers association also number about 50.

He said topping the list of the objectives of the 2006 Dive Festival is an advocacy on how to protect and preserve the Davao Gulf.

There has to have a broad alliance with various sectors for the protection and preservation of the gulf through the creation of the policy making body on tourism which they call the Dive Plus.

It was also learned that part of the festival is teaching divers how to save marine life.

Other events include; the underwater photo contest, bar safari at the Gulf and Save My Gulf Concert on board the Ro-Ro, Scubasurero, Dive Congress, Dive Plus Options, Battle of the Bars, Underwater Photo Lecture and Actual Dive Photography, Coastal Clean Up, Photography, Island Cuisine and Caracoloes Festival at Waterfront, and Artificial Reef Placement. (PIA/pdbanzon)

comments powered by Disqus