The Department of Tourism (DOT) is now working on developing surfing as a new attraction in the Philippines.
In a statement, the DOT said it is working on two programs to develop the surfing sector. One is the push for classification and accreditation of resorts, surf camps and other facilities that provide surfing lessons to clients, and the other is the upgrade in certification of local surfing coaches.
For the accreditation of surfing resorts and camps, the DOT said it is now completing “a National Criteria for the certification and classification of surf training facilities” which is now subject to public consultation and further fine-tuning.
The criteria would require facilities to employ certified surfing instructors, to stock on essential surf teaching gear and equipment, and to adopt emergency rescue and crisis response capabilities such as first aid kits and communications equipment for handling urgent conditions.
For the upgrade of local coaches’ certification, the DOT said a scuba instructor must undergo an intensive Surfing Instructors Certification Course that will make them at par international scuba instructors.
The DOT has partnered with Australia’s Academy of Surfing Instructors (ASI) and its local chapter Academy of Surfing Instructors Philippines (ASIP) which would conduct the certification courses for local surf coaches.
So far, a total of 50 surfing instructors have received their ASI Level 1 certification and 15 more from Mati, Davao Oriental will soon join their ranks.
At least two more runs are scheduled for this year—one in Baler, Aurora and another in Zambales, which are both expected to produce 50 more ASI Level 1 Certified instructors.
“This program also aims to professionalize the local surf industry and provide more job opportunities to the coastal and surfing communities,” the DOT said.