Diving at Malapascua reserves now costs P150 - Gregg M. Rubio/JMO

06/29/2010 - CEBU, Philippines - The local government of Daanbantayan has increased the fee for those who want to dive at the reserve areas in Malapascua Island.

The fee was raised to P150 after the municipal council of Daanbantayan approved the proposal of Councilor Mamerto Rodrigo to amend the fees for divers.

Rodrigo pushed for the raise after dive sites in the island were classified as level three sites, as stated in the joint Memorandum Circular No. 01-2009 of the Department of Interior and Local Government, Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Department of Tourism and the Philippine Commission on Sports Scuba Diving.

Under this classification, the allowed recreational scuba diver’s fee is P150 per day, per diver or an individual annual fee of P2,500.

In 2002, the local government of Daanbantayan declared the areas of Monad Shoal, Gato Islet and Lapus-lapus Islet as marine reserves and imposed a fee of P100 each for those who want to dive there.

These marine reserves are favorite dive sites of those visiting the island, especially the foreigners.

Monad Shoal is said to be a unique dive site due to the presence of Thresher Sharks, a unique species of sharks known for their long dorsal tail and docility.

Gato Islet is also a haven of a wide array of sea snakes. Manta ray can also be spotted in this area usually after a rainy night.

Lapus-lapus islet is an area near Malapascua Island dominated by soft corals.

Many dive sites have been identified in Daanbantayan alone, but only three, so far, have been declared marine reserves where fees are levied. (FREEMAN NEWS)

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