12 caves in Davao placed under protection

Subscribe Now November 04, 2012 at 08:42am

Twelve caves in various parts of Davao Region have been placed by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) under its list of protected caves to spare from further exploitation. Across the country, DENR listed a total of 158 caves classified as protected areas with varying levels of protection classifications.

The order was by virtue of DENR Memorandum Circular no. 2012-03 dated October 30 in pursuant to Republic Act No. 9072 otherwise known as the National Caves and Cave Resources Management and Protection Act.

Of the 12 caves that have been considered as protected areas, seven of which are located in the Island Garden City of Samal (Igacos).

The caves that are declared protected areas with their location and respective levels of classification include: Okbot Cave -- class II; Alena Cave -- Class II; Kapunit Cave -- Class I; Kambat Cav -- Class III (all are located in Barangay Suaon, Kapalong); Mangitngit Cave -- Class I, in Barangay Igangon, San Isidro; Tamburong Cave -- Class II; Bandera I and II Caves -- Class III in Barangay Bandera, Igacos; Manan-ao Cave -- Class II also in Dandera; Sion Bat Cave -- Class Class II and Langgasakan Cave -- Class III both in Barangay Sion in Igacos; and Baga Cave -- Class II in barangay Sta. Cruz, Talikud Island in Igacos.

Caves classified as Class I are those with delicate and fragile geological formations, threatened species, archeological and paleontological values, and extremely hazardous conditions.

DENR said in a circular that only activities such as mapping, photography, educational and scientific purposes will be allowed inside these caves.

Class II caves are those with areas or portions which have hazardous conditions and contain sensitive geological archeological, cultural, historical and biological values or high quality ecosystem.

Declaring close and open season to these caves are possible under the department circular. Caves classified under Class II classification are only open to experienced cavers or guided educational tours and or visits.

On the other hand, Class III caves are those open to public and are safe to inexperienced cavers. These types of caves do not have known threatened species and archeological, geological, natural history, cultural and historical values.

Any activities including for economical purposes such as extraction of guano and edible birds' nest are allowed in these caves.

"A cave management plan will be prepared for each classified cave, provided that all eco tourism, scientific, educational and economic activities, whenever allowed, must be guided by concerned DENR personnel. The said management plan shall also include monitoring and reclassification of the classified caws," DENR Secretary Ramon Paje said in the same circular.

Source: sunstar.com.ph

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