The Department of Tourism (DOT) in Eastern Visayas has urged surfing instructors in the region to apply for accreditation that would give them more opportunities as the water sport continues to gain local and foreign attractions.
“To be a DOT-accredited surf instructor is equivalent to having a seal of professionalism. It indicates that one has undergone and passed the required training that makes him or her a qualified surf instructor,” DOT Eastern Visayas regional director Karina Rosa Tiopes said Thursday.
The accreditation is part of the agency’s recognition of the high potential of surfing among sports tourism activities being pushed by the national government.
Popular surfing destinations in the country are Siargao, Baler, San Juan in La Union, Real in Quezon, Zambales, Daet in Camarines Norte, Baras in Catanduanes, Calicoan and Borongan in Eastern Samar, and Lanuza in Surigao del Sur.
Aside from Eastern Samar, other surf spots in Eastern Visayas are in Northern Samar province, Dulag in Leyte, and Silago in Southern Leyte.
The DOT regional office urged surf instructors, particularly those trained and certified by the Academy of Surf Instructors (ASI), to apply for accreditation, as this would give them opportunities to attend seminars and training that would further boost their skills.
In 2021, at least 34 surfers from Leyte, Eastern Samar, and Southern Leyte provinces were certified by ASI after they participated in the training of surf instructors. The capacity building is part of promoting the region as one of the top surfing destinations in the country.
“Being DOT-accredited also gives one the opportunity to attend free skills enhancement or upgrading training and conferences organized or sponsored by DOT,” Tiopes added.
The accreditation is not only exclusive to surf instructors, but also includes resorts, surf camps, and other facilities that provide surfing lessons and related services to clients.
At the 2nd National Surf Summit in Borongan City last December 2–3, two surf instructors trained in 2021 were awarded with ASI-accredited Level 2 Surfing Instructor Certificates.
These two surf instructors are Jerick Alconaba of Borongan City and Jamaica Salceda of Tanauan, Leyte.
Alconaba is one of the hired lifeguards by the Borongan City government, while Salceda is also one of the popular female skimboarders in Leyte province.
The region also has three International Surfing Association (ISA) Level 1 surf judges who are all from Borongan City.
Although the region already has ASI-certified surf instructors and ISA-certified surf judges, none of them are yet accredited by the tourism department. (PNA)