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Coutinho demands better conditions for divers PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 25 June 2009

Around 10 officers at the Macau Customs Service carry out diving duties, but only hold an amateur diving certificate and not a professional one, lawmaker Jose Pereira Coutinho accused, adding that most of these divers suffer a number of illnesses due to Macau's polluted waters.
To make matters worse, the Customs Service demands employees take their annual leave in the first half of the year due to the lack of staff.
According to the lawmaker, former divers allege that workers rights to use up annual leave in a more convenient way should never be denied with “lack of staff” as a reason.
“If there is lack of staff, then it is a bureau obligation to hire more staff and better manage its human resources without jeopardising these employees rights,” Coutinho said, demanding to know when will the government improve the working conditions of the dozens of divers who work at the bureau, and who on a daily basis face dangerous situations such as sea accidents, the removal of fishing and oyster nets from the sea as well as the removal of dead bodies and other rubbish.
The lawmaker also urged to know whether the government is planning to certify the divers with an international diving certificate for such duties, and when are divers expected to be compensated for illnesses acquired while working and directly related to diving duties.
In response to the lawmaker's interpellation, the office for the secretary of security said that these divers will have better offices at the new installations in Ilha Verde at the end of the year and that the bureau has always paid close attention to divers' working conditions.
Also according to the office for the secretary of security, the diving instruction is carried out by the maritime school, however divers also need to first have a diving certificate issued by the the International Diving Instructors Association in Macau (NAUI Pro Gold Scuba Center).

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