|Otso Cave (Credits: DSpeCS)|
These caves are the Otso, Gitgitan, Sayaw and Underground Caves.
During the cave assessments done last February 1 to 3 the following characteristics were considered: length, height and width of the caves as well as identifying resources such as the stalagmites, stalactites, rock formations and wildlife inhabiting therein. Biological resources outside the caves were also identified.
DENR Secretary Ramon J.P. Paje through the Protected Areas and Wildlife Bureau (PAWB) director Theresa Mundita Lim has instructed the DENR field offices to prioritize caves for assessment and classification for 2012 in line with Republic Act No. 9072 otherwise known as the “National Caves and Caves Resources Management and Protection Act.”
The identification process is done by the Regional Cave Committee (RCC) composed of different services of the DENR and other concerned institutions, agencies, academe, Local Government Units (LGUs) and Non-Government Organizations (NGOs).
This was created to ensure the implementation of the proper management, protection and conservation of caves in the region.
The priority caves submitted for 2012 include Tamborong Cave in the Island Garden City of Samal (IGACOS), Andap Cave, Salvacion Cave and Casoon Cave in Compostela Valley Province, Tamisan Cave and Lanca Cave in Davao Oriental.
A total of twenty-four caves were already assessed and classified in 2010 & 2011.
Twelve of these caves have complete assessment reports and cave maps which were already submitted to PAWB.
Two of these caves were classified as Class I – for research/education, exploration, mapping and photography; six caves as Class II – research/education and guided ecotourism; and four caves as Class III – research/education & ecotourism.
The cave maps and reports of the additional twelve caves have yet to be finalized.
So far, Region XI through the Regional Cave Committee has hosted the 3rd and 10thNational Caving Congress in 2003 and 2010, respectively and is planning to bid for the hosting of the 7th Mindano Caving Forum in 2013.
DENR-XI regional executive director Jim O Sampulna emphasized that the submission of the priority caves for assessment will ensure a well-crafted cave management plan appropriate for a particular cave.
“Cave management is complex. It requires a good plan, strict enforcement of laws, maintenance, careful monitoring of its physical and biological processes among others,” Sampulna stated.
Source: Philippine Inforamtion Agency