Three (3) staff from the Biodiversity, Coastal, Wetlands, and Ecotourism Research Center (BCWERC) participated in the training, ‘Open Water SCUBA Diving Course’ held at the SCUBA Diving Institute-Subiza Resort, Olongapo City, Zambales last February 15-21, 2016.

The training which was organized by the Ecosystems Research and Development Bureau (ERDB), primarily aims to capacitate technical personnel for the underwater survey of marine ecosystems in line with the Coastal Zone and Freshwater Ecosystems Research Division’s (CZFERD) implementation of the Climate Change Vulnerability Assessment of Coastal and Marine Areas Study.

Mr. Jose Isidro Michael T. Padin, of the Marine Research and Development Section of CZFERD headed the team comprising of BCWERC staff, Jon Alfonso P. Hordivalla, Gerardo J. Saludo, II and Celeste V. Rallos together with three (3) CZFERD personnel, Mariche B. Bandibas, Annieraj G. Antong, and John Benrich M. Zuñiga. Said participants had the opportunity to learn the fundamentals of scuba diving, including dive equipment and techniques, essential elements, application/in-water practice, the rules of safe diving, and the concepts behind those rules.

Participants successfully passed the Open Water Diver Course and acquired a license from the SCUBA Diving International (SDI).They suggested, however, that further training and regular dive activities must be conducted for the advancement of their underwater depth limit. According to them, regular diving is essential to acquire scientific data and allowing efficiency of observation, which in many cases is not available by any other means. Ann F. Jumawan, BCWERC