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MAASIN REPORTER NEWS ARCHIVE
Stakeholders craft management plan for two So. Leyte caves :: June 16, 2016, 9:11 pm :: posted by Yel Cobile, IT Admin & Correspondent

(By Marcelino M. Pedalino, 16 June 2016)

MAASIN CITY, Southern Leyte, June 16 (PIA)  --  For two consecutive weeks, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) regional and provincial offices took the lead in gathering various sectors to draft plans designed to manage two caves in the province.

The management function focuses on sustainability, to see to it that the caves remain protected and preserved, ensure visitors’ safety, even as uses for tourism purposes and other development projects are considered.

This week, a three-day workshop is underway , June 15-17, to do just that for the Guinsohotan cave located in barangay Cagnituan, this city, while next week, June 22-24, a similar activity is scheduled for the Cambaro cave in barangay Cambaro, Macrohon.

Attending the Guinsohotan cave management planning being held at Cacao Mountain Resort are city officials led by Councilor Felix Verano and Royeno Segovia, city investments and tourism officer, as well as representatives from the provincial environment office, National Irrigation Authority (NIA), and Maasin Water District (MWD).

Also among the more than 30 participants are barangay officials of Cagnituan and nearby barangays, People’s Organization (POs), and some Habal-Habal drivers.

In the opening ceremonies, Ricardo Tomol, DENR provincial environment officer  and his division head, Edilberto Caidlang, community environment officer, hailed the event as timely for their had been attempts to develop Guinsohotan cave as tourist spot as well as a source of drinking water for MWD.

There were also plans to harness the flowing waters of the underground river inside the cave for irrigation purposes, the DENR officials said.

Crisostomo Badeo, Jr., a forester from the DENR regional office, explained that the formulation of a cave management plan was embodied in Republic Act 9072 or the National Caves and Cave Resources Management and Protection Act, in which the DENR was tasked to harmonize existing cave development programs from other agencies.

Another DENR regional personnel, Ingelina Lantajo, disclosed that both Guinsohotan and Cambaro caves were already assessed by a competent team from the region last year, the assessment a pre-requisite activity before any management planning can be had based on the guidelines of RA 9072.

The two caves were already classified as Class II and were already included in the classified list of caves in the region issued by the DENR Secretary, Lantajo said.

A Class II cave contains high quality ecosystem inside with biological values, and it is open to experienced cavers or guided tours, it was learned. 
(mmp, PIA8-Southern Leyte)

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