The training held in Maitum town, Sarangani last March 15 and 16 was aimed at providing participants with knowledge and skills in appraisal of caves and cave ss assessment to determine appropriate sustainable uses of caves.
Participants included some 60 trainees from local government units in the provinces of Sultan Kudarat, South Cotabato, and Sarangani, and the DENR.
Part of the training requirement was an actual assessment of Cave Angko in Maitum. They were guided by regional cave focal person Joy C. Ologuin.
Protected Areas and Wildlife Division chief Ali M. Hadjinasser, one of the resource persons, explained that cave assessment is a comprehensive data gathering and inventory of cave resources that must be accomplished at the site level, hence the role of the local government is very crucial.
On other hand, councilor and Maitum's chairman of the Committee on Culture, Arts and Tourism Jess C. Bascuña emphasized that protection an conservation of several caves in the municipality has been part of their local programs.
DENR’s conduct of the said training also forms part of the efforts of local government units to promote and develop ecotourism sites, which have been identified as a potential source of local revenue as well as a major contributor to national economy.
Protection and management of the country’s caves is a priority of the DENR as mandated in Republic Act 9072 or the "National Caves and Cave Resources Management and Protection Act."
Caves are considered unique, natural and non-renewable resources with important scientific, economic, educational, cultural, historical and aesthetic values. They are also home to specialized mineral formations with unique and diverse flora and fauna. (DEDoguiles –PIA 12/CG Valdez/MCalungsod- Locsin-DENR 12).
Source: Philipine Information Agency