DENR-CAR launches 1st Regional Cave Congress

DENR-CAR launches 1st Regional Cave Congress

 

Abundant in a variety of trees, rich in different kinds of rock formations and blessed with clean rivers and falls; a province of sincerely conserved environment in the Cordilleras, no wonder it’s been titled, “The Last Nature Frontier of the Cordilleras.”

Have you guessed where this is? If you’ve got it right, it’s Apayao. A truly remarkable province. Warm as it may be but it upholds that essence of “nature at its best.”

With its title alone, it calls for further protection and preservation of its nature. Republic Act No. 9072 otherwise known as “National Caves and Cave Resources Management and Protection Act” states that it is the policy of the State to conserve, protect and manage natural wealth and heritage which includes cave and cave resources.

In support to this, with the initiative of Department of Environment and Natural Resources – Cordillera Administrative Region (DENR-CAR) in collaboration with the provincial and municipal Local Government Units of Apayao, Department of Tourism-CAR, Civil Society Organizations and Apayao State College, a Regional Cave Congress took place on April 20-21 in the province of Apayao specifically in the municipality of Luna where Dupag Rock Formation, Lussok cave, and Manacota cave and Underground River resides.

There were over 110 attendees composed of tourism officers, local tour guides, students, concerned government employees and cave enthusiasts all-over Cordillera and neighboring province.

Gov. Elias Bulut Jr. also supported this event to help in the protection of the province’s nature and also convinced other locals to join the Congress to gain more knowledge on how to take better care of Cordillera’s “Last Nature Frontier” which is also their home.

DENR-CAR Representative, For. Henry Valleros talked about the Philippine Laws, Rules and Regulations concerning caves; caves as ecotourism destinations; cave management planning and implementation; and survey, assessment, validation and classification of caves.

For. Wrexton Afidchao discussed on conducting surveys in caves and safe cave exploration. He also gave guidelines on how to protect yourself and minimize disturbance of wildlife when exploring caves starting with the use of protective gears and wearing proper attire.

Cave enthusiast couple Eric Bangad of Sang-at Salve Outdoor Club and wife Prissy Bangad of Gaia Exploration Club also shared their knowledge and experiences in caving.

Robert Pangod, the Tourism Officer of Sagada, warned of the effects of tourism boom in Apayao. As observed in Sagada, tourism boom has affected them in ways such as their culture and waste management. Anticipating more tourists for the province would have the need for extensive preparation and in as much as possible, the preservation of nature.

One of the best ways to ensure protection of our nature is knowing the “Why?” Ely Cadang of PENRO Nueva Vizcaya emphasized that if people have that love and care for their nature, they would have that sense of protection since “Human is the best caretaker of the environment.” He also gave the advised to make Apayao’s culture intact – not allowing foreign culture change their culture, despite tourist influx in the future.

Apayao Tourism Officer, Rebecca Mamba, also gave an introduction of Apayao’s history and landscapes in preparation for the adventure the following day.

Participants were able to experience the wonders of the caves and Dupag Rock Formation crossing rivers just to discover their hidden beauty.

The Dupag or Marag Rock Formations is a naturally designed landscape. With its sharp edges, locals were able to use it as their fort during the revolutionary years.

Fishes were evident in the Manacota Underground River as well as bats and other insects that prove sustained life in its cave.

Lussok cave astounds its visitors with its numerous chambers, underground creek and served as home to several bats.

Aiming to have the Regional Cave Congress at a regular basis, the host and participants gave suggestions for the next host province. Abra was taken into consideration.

Prior to the Congress, the Regional Cave Committee held a meeting on April 19 to evaluate on the recommended classification of five caves in the Region. In agreement, the following caves were categorized as Class II: Pita Cave of Bangued, Abra; Punsian Cave of Luna, Apayao; Dukligaw Cave of Kabugao, Apayao; and Takadang Cave of Tuba, Benguet. Pipingew Cave of La Trinidad, Benguet was sorted as Class 1. Class 1 are delicate caves limited only for mapping, photography, educational and scientific purposes; it is not open for the public while Class 2 is open to the public but must be accompanied with tour guides; some areas may have hazardous conditions and sensitive biological values. Lastly, Class 3 is generally safe to inexperienced visitors with no threat to its environment. These agreements will be forwarded to the DENR Secretary for issuance of classification order. |SJEMauting

News

Confiscated forest products turned beneficial

 

The economic value of some confiscated forest products would be redeemed by donating these to qualified recipient.  The National Food Authority (NFA), in its request for some logs intended for the fabrication of office chairs and tables for clients’ and visitors’ use, the DENR-CAR through CENRO Baguio donated a total of six point ninety four (6.94) cubic meter of Benguet pine logs. The 6.94 cubic meter is composed of thirty (30) pieces of logs with an aggregated length of about sixty-nine point twenty-three (69.23) meters.

In the Deed of Donation prepared, the Donor is represented by CENR Officer Rainier D. Balbuena of CENRO Baguio while the Donee is represented by Cecilia A. Cuncubierta, the Provincial Manager of NFA Benguet.

These logs were derived from previously cut Benguet pine trees with an approved permit from the DENR-CAR within the office premises of  Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) situated in Loakan, Baguio City.  These were turned over to CENRO Baguio City in accordance to Section 2.2 of Executive Order No. 23, s. 2011 which states among others that “all logs derived from issued cutting permits within natural and residual forests shall be turned over to the DENR for proper disposal”. 

Based on the guidelines under Memorandum Order No. 162, s. 1993 confiscated logs, lumbers and other forest products may be disposed through donation if these are not subject of a pending case in court or with other appropriate office; if these are without claimants or offenders against whom the case could be filed; and if these are found abandoned within forest areas, the ownership of which could not be ascertained and without claimants.

Further, the Order also specifies which beneficiary to prioritize in the event that two (2) qualified beneficiaries request for forest products at the same time.  On top of the priority list are the needy victims of disaster as certified by DSWD, for the School Building Program of Department of Education (DepEd), and those undertaken by the Department of national Defense (DND)/AFP Engineering Brigade.

Other beneficiaries shall include Health Centers, Public Markets, Municipal Buildings, Police Station, AFP camps, DPWH, LGUs and the Provincial, Regional and National Projects.

For CY 2016 until June 2017, the DENR-CAR donated a total of 77.936 cu.m. of lumber and 2,927 lineal meters(l.m.) of rattan to the different government agencies, of which the larger bulk is the donation to the DepEd. 

The breakdown of donated lumber per provincial office is in Abra .848 cu.m. lumber, in Apayao 51.390 cu.m. of lumber and 2,927 l.m. and in Benguet 6.700 cu.m..  Likewise, in Ifugao the total donations is 3.149 cu.m., while in Kalinga .400 cu.m. and in Mt. Province 15.446 cu.m.

Further, under the DENR Manual of Authorities, the approving authority is dependent on the volume of forest products to be donated.  It specifies that for donations that are more than 100 cu.m., the Department Secretary shall approve the donation.  But for lumber to be donated with a volume of 30.01 cu.m. to 100 cu.m., the Regional Director,  with clearance from USEC for Field Operations shall sign the Deed of Donation. Also, for the donation of 10.01 cu.m. to 30 cu.m and for those  less than 10 cu.m, the PENR Officer and CENR Officer, respectively has the authority to sign donation documents.  The DENR in the Cordillera Region, shall continue to donate confiscated lumber as long as the requisites are properly complied with.  In this way, the economic value of the lumber shall be redeemed.|GSAstudillo

Photo Releases

FOREIGN PATROLLERS - Beberly Calugan (left) of the DENR-CAR’s Enforcement Division assists the Indonesian visitors in handling the Lawin patrolling gadgets.  These gadgets are equipped with android applications with cyber tracking capacity and spatial monitoring and reporting tool to generate field data for speedier analysis and intervention.(Read more...)|AJTuraray

Bamboo Movement - Members of the Bantay Gubat put on the finishing touches while assembling bamboo shavings for a table during a bamboo furniture training-workshop.  The training was initiated by the DENR-CAR in partnership with DTI-CAR (Read more...|P. Abra, VIDeVera

THE WINNERS TO THE FIRST ENVIRONMENTAL QUIZ BEE. Together with the judges and the DENR Officials, the winners show off their Certificates and medals.  From left to right are three of the judges Mr. Jose Maria Bringas Madriaga, Ms. Michelli Lazo and Ms. Carmelita Bersalona Leano.  They are joined by PENR Officer of Abra For. Shirley Leano and Regional Director Ralph C. Pablo (Read more...) .|PTNerja