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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

Photo Releases

A team from CENRO Buguias headed by CENR Officer Rabindranath Quilala works together with Benguet Provincial Public Safety Command and PNP Buguias in hauling about 3, 000 bd. ft. of illegally sawn pine lumbers and slabs in Amgaleguey, Buguias on January 13.|C. Buguias, VSito

CENR Officer Rabindranath P. Quilala of DENR-CENRO Buguias gives his speech (top picture) during the formal presentation and courtesy visit  of the Deputized Environment and Natural Resources Officers (DENROs) (main picture) from the Municipalities of Atok, Bakun, Bokod,  Buguias, Kapangan. Kibungan and Tublay at the Provincial Capitol of Benguet last January 23, 2017 (Read more... )|Photo by C. Buguias

Dr. Marissa R. Parao (right), Dean of the College of Forestry, Benguet State University (CF-BSU) receives the eco bags from Ms. Perlita T. Nerja, Sr. Comm. Dev’t. Officer, DENR-CAR. The bags formed part of the information kits given during the 1ST International Conference on Forestry, Environment and Climate Change sponsored by the CF-BSU on January 12-13, 2017 at BSU, La Trinidad, Benguet. (Read more...) |GSAstudillo

CDD Chief For. Julius K. Cawilan presents DENR-CAR’s efforts in addressing Climate Change in the Cordilleras during the 1st International Conference on Forestry, Environment and Climate Change on January 12-13, 2017.(Read more...)|GSAstudillo

One, two, three, as Municipal Agricultural Officer (MAO) of A. Lista, Ifugao Engr. Eugene Culimay counts species of birds flying towards the bridge of Sto. Domingo, A. Lista, Ifugao, the second team and location of the ASIAN WATERBIRD CENSUS while (Read more...)|C. A.Lista, PBalao

Baguio City - UP Diliman Training Center for Applied Geodesy and Photogrammetry representative For. Gio Zaragosa explains to concerned DENR personnel how the Phil LiDAR Program works. This Program took off from the Disaster Risk and Exposure Assessment for Mitigation Program and branched into PHIL-LiDAR 1 and 2. (Read more...|SJEMauting

DENR-CAR LAMS Administrator Philippe Cosalan assists a Geodetic Engineer while facilitating the conduct of a training on “E-Survey Plan” held recently in Baguio City.  Cosalan explains to the participants the importance of learning and properly understanding how to operate the system.|SJEMauting

TOTAL UPGRADE. DENR-CAR Data Managers from different field offices listen intently to the instructions of Felix Gaschick, Biodiversity and Forestry Specialist for B+WISER during the Regional Workshop on Lawin Data Management from February 7-9, 2017 at the Eco Lodge, Magsaysay Avenue, Baguio City. (Read more...)|AJTuraray

WE ARE ALL IN. DENR Secretary Regina Paz L. Lopez (Center), MGB-CAR Director Fay W. Apil and DENR-CAR Director Ralph C. Pablo do a Team Hand – Stack with the leaders of the mining community of Sitio Loacan, Barangay Ampucao, Itogon, Benguet as they vow (Read more...)|AJTuraray

Regional Team Leaders listen intently to the instructions of Forester Eligio Soliman of the Forest Management Bureau (FMB) before the conduct of a controlled fire in a site in Sabkil, Itogon, Benguet. The activity form part of the Forest Fire Prevention and Management Training participated by DENR forest managers from Regions 1, 2 and CAR.|Photo by C. A.Lista

Tabuk City, Kalinga - Karen Razelle M. Duyan of PENRO Kalinga delivers a lecture on March 9, 2017 to students of Balawag National High School, Tabuk City.  Topic discussed focused  on Climate Change, its manifestation in the present times and its catastrophic effect on the planet should its inhabitants remain unconcerned. This regionwide environmental awareness campaign is in accordance to Republic Act 9512 known as the Environmental Awareness and Education Act.|P. Kalinga, JBalla-ao

Women Power. DENR women employees of PENRO Kalinga known as Women Change Movers dazzle in their dancing costume as they take part in the Women’s Month Celebration in the Province of Kalinga on March 9, 2017 at the Kalinga Provincial Gymnasium.|AJTuraray

DENR-CAR Representatives (left) hand over educational materials to the Principal and teachers (right) of Batad Elementary School, Banaue, Ifugao after conducting the school campus information dissemination specifically on environmental degradation. Mahogany and Narra seedlings were also given to be planted near the school in exchange for the donated books as part of the continuing Trees for Books, Books for Trees project of DENR-CAR.|SJEMauting

Awardees : Rizal Elementary School Principal Mr. Jackson T. Caya-os (second from left), joins the winners Aprilynne D. Campos, Journey Y. Remiendo and Alfred A. Wacdagan who were the declared winners of the Philippine Eagle Coloring Contest (Read more...)|ANBasali

Participants composed of tourism officers, local tour guides, students, concerned government employees and cave enthusiasts all over Cordillera and nearby province pose to attest the first ever Regional Cave Congress in the Philippines initiated by DENR-CAR.|SJEMauting

Wildlife Brahmmy Kite Eagle (left) and Hawk Eagle (right) are finally released within Mt. Sto. Tomas Forest Reserve on April 11 after being diagnosed and declared as “in good condition” by an accredited veterinarian. (Read more...)|SJEMauting

BAGUIO CITY - ARD Augusto D. Lagon (right)  of the DENR-CAR receives the plaque of appreciation and variety of Sylvatrop issues from Editor-in-Chief Dr. Bighani Manipula (center) and Dir. Carlos Arida of WWRRC (left). Sylvatrop is the technical journal of the Philippine Ecosystems and Natural Resources.(Read more...)|SJEMauting