PIA Press Release
Wednesday, January 25, 2012
Pangasinan caves tapped as potential eco-tourism destinationsBy Venus H. Sarmiento
PANGASINAN, Jan. 25 (PIA) -- The Protected Areas, Wildlife and Coastal Zone Management Service has strengthened its efforts to protect and conserve caves and cave resources in the region.
This will be done thru partnerships with local government units and non-government organizations, according to Policarpio Najera, OIC-Regional Director of PAWCZMS. The said the office has recently forged a memorandum of mgreement with LGU Mabini here to co-manage the natural wonders, he said.
The western town of Mabini is endowed with many natural caves potential as eco-tourism destinations.
The Balincaguin Conservancy, a non-government organization based in Mabini, is in the forefront of efforts to promote the caves' natural beauty.
Aside from Mabini, other featured caves in Pangasinan can be found in the towns of Bani and Sison.
The implementation of cave assessment in Region I started in 1994 and was strengthened thru the enactment of Republic Act No. 9072 otherwise known as the ‘National Caves and Cave Resource Management and Protection Act of 2001” and Department Administrative Order No. 29 series of 2003.
In a report given to the Philippine Information Agency, Najera said of the more than 150 caves in the region, about 60 have already been assessed wherein 25 were classified. Of these, seven entered into the national List of Classified Caves in the Philippines as endorsed by the Regional Cave Committee.
Part of the Regional Development Plan spearheaded by the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) is to encourage local gvernment units to make every effort in promoting their local tourism potentials across the region and to increase the participation of tourist-related establishments. (ANL/VHS-PIA 1 Pangasinan/ PAWCZMS)