In 1984, the Philippines through Aqua Tropical Sports Resort was confirmed a member of the CMAS Headquarters in Europe. Ms. Zuniga, together with Mr. Philip Rodriguez and other Diving Instructors formed the Philippine CMAS Federation.
The system of CMAS International Diver Certificates exists to allow divers who have been trained in accordance with the standards of CMAS who have the qualification recognized in countries throughout the world.
BRIEF HISTORY OF CMAS IN THE PHILIPPINES
It was MR. JACQUES DUMAS, CMAS President who convinced MS. THELMA M. ZUNIGA, owner of ATS Resort to sign an agreement with CMAS under the latter’s OCC system. OCC stands for Organizations in Covenant with CMAS.As a CMAS OCC, ATS Resort trained and certified divers as Open Water, Advanced and Divemaster, as the case maybe, which is equivalent to 1-Star Diver, 2-Star Diver and 3-Star Diver under the training programs of CMAS.
In 1989, CMAS held its General Assembly in Nagoya, Japan. ATS Resort sent 3 of its officers as delegates to the assembly. One of them was Mr. Gilbert Fournier, a CMAS Instructor and an Archaeologist. In that event, the delegates metMR. PIERRE PERRAUD, the new President of CMAS. The delegates invited Mr. Perraud to visit our country which the latter gladly accepted. He came to the Philippines in early ‘90’s, visited ATS Resort and had a tour of the historical places of the City of Manila. He was happy with what ATS Resort had accomplished in promoting scuba diving lessons and certifications under CMAS training program. But he wanted ATS Resort to certify more divers and not only divers but scuba instructors as well, which a mere CMAS OCC cannot do.Thus, he suggested to Ms. Thelma M. Zuniga to form an association with the aim of uniting, coordinating and developing dive activities all over the country.Like the OCC, the Association will be affiliated to CMAS but this time, with membership in its 3 Committees (Technical, Sports and Scientific) with Voting Rights in all these committees.
Sometime in 1997, Ms. Thelma M. Zuniga and her husband, Philip R. Rodriguez along with their friends in the diving industry formed the PHILIPPINE CMAS INSTRUCTORS ASSOCIATION, INC. (PCIA for short). The association was registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on November 4, 1997 as a non-stock and non-profit corporation with Mr. Philip R. Rodriguezas its President. As what was advised by Mr. Perraud, PCIA was affiliated to CMAS with membership and voting rights in the Technical, Sports and Technical Committees.
When MR. PIERRE DERNIER, the new Secretary General of CMAS visited our country in 2005, he had a meeting with Mr. Philip R. Rodriguez and Mrs. Thelma Z. Rodriguez. Although he was happy with the accomplishments of PCIA in promoting CMAS instructions and certifications nationwide, the same was not impressive to him.He advised the couple to change the name of the association to erase in the minds of divers that membership in PCIA is exclusive to scuba instructors only,and he further advised that the new name name should have the sound of a federation to be the country’s national diving federation as the umbrella organization not only for instructor and divers but also for
establishments providing facilities and services for divers. Hence, on November 17, 2005, the PHILIPPINE FEDERATION OF CMAS UNDERWATER ACTIVITIES, CMAS PHILIPPINES, for short, was registered at SEC to replace PCIA. CMAS PHILIPPINES is likewise affiliated to CMAS with memberships and voting rights in its Technical, Sports and Scientific Committees.