On 28 November 2018, the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) Marine Environmental Protection Unit conducted a dialogue with local scuba dive operators in a meeting organized by the Tubbataha Management Office (TMO) to discuss the implementation of Memorandum Circular (MC 10-14), Prevention of Pollution from Sewage. PCG representatives stressed that the purpose of the circular is to provide implementing rules and regulations to prevent pollution by sewage from ships operating within the Philippine maritime jurisdiction.

Figure 1.  Dive operators and TMO meet with representatives of the Marine Environment Protection Unit of the Philippine Coast Guard to discuss the provisions of Memorandum Circular 10-14.

During the meeting, clarifications were raised by the dive operators as to how the MC will impact 2019 scuba diving operations in Tubbataha.  Subsequently, the group decided to come up with a position paper that will include their concerns and recommendations, seek the support of the TPAMB, and submit the same to the PCG for consideration.  Attendees were representatives from Philippine Coast Guard- Marine Environmental Protection Unit (MEPU-Palawan), owners and captains of the vessels; M/B Dschubba, M/Y Narayana, M/Y Sakura and M/Y Zamerdius, and WWF- Philippines.

Figure 2.  From left, back:  Dino Pangione (MY Sakura), Let Angeles (MY Sakura), Rey Bonoan (MY Zamerdius), Mark Bratschi (MB Dschubba), Nazario Gabinete (MY Zamerdius), Kevin Rebner (MY Narayana), Lydia Kessner (MY Narayana), Emmalyn Tura (TMO) and Ruby Diana Bonbon (MY Narayana) From left, front:  Ronald De Roa (WWF) Angelique Songco (TMO), Marivel Dygico (WWF)