GUIDELINES SET FOR WATCHING WHALES HARKSBy Albe Victoria Alimurung,
06. March 2012
A comprehensive set of guidelines will be embedded in the existing ordinance of the municipality of Oslob to have a more thorough system of whale shark watching for tourists.
The set of guidelines was submitted by the technical working group who was tasked by Cebu Governor Gwendolyn Garcia to ensure a sustainable eco-tourism in the area.
“We are happy that the proposed guidelines as directed by the governor are finished,” said Oslob Mayor Ronald Guaren. The guidelines include the defined responsibilities of the implementors, regulations of whaleshark watchers from land-based, seaborne to snorkelers and scuba divers. It also includes the necessary information that is part of the briefing and orientation for the watchers.
Guaren also said that they will do their best to strictly enforce the said rules.
As for sanctions for violators, the ordinance has also defined the appropriate fines and penalties. Monitoring is also augmented by a group of scuba divers that will give free training to the monitoring team and to some bantay dagat members.
Also, a research arm will also be put up to help provide valuable information to keep the sustainability of the ecosystem of the site.
Provincial Board Member Peter John Calderon, co-chair of the Technical Working Group, said that in the ordinance made by the LGU, research groups are welcome to the site.
Regional Line Agencies like the Department of Tourism and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources have also expressed support in this endeavor and are willing to share information and trainings to sustain the whale shark activity in Oslob.
Source: Cebu Provincial Government