DENR, LGU ink MOA to protect CdeO caves
by Peri Madridano
Cagayan de Oro City (12 March) -- The signing of memorandum of agreement between Cagayan de Oro City, through Mayor Constantino Jaraula, and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) in region 10, through Regional Executive Director Maximo Dichoso, strengthens the co-management and eco-tourism development of Makahambus Cave and Gorge, Calabera Cave and Huluga Cave in the city.
These caves have historical and archaeological values to the people of Cagayan de Oro. Makahambus Cave and Gorge which is sprawled about 175 hectares in Barangays Lumbia and Bayanga of the southern end of the city was the site of the famous battle of Makahambus Hill on June 4, 1900, the first Filipino victory against the Americans. While Huluga and Calabera Caves situated in Sitio Taguanao served as burial sites of the early inhabitants of the city.
In his appreciation for another environmental protection mileage, Director Dichoso lauded the city mayor for his plans saying that promoting the area for ecotourism is a way of connecting to the public the value of the environment.
It is also an avenue for people to have a deeper appreciation of the beauty of the environment through recreation, Dichoso said.
On the other hand, ecotourism serves as the core strategy of sustainable development because it provides financial opportunity to the locale without extracting, depleting or changing the state of the environment.
Caves are unique and very special part of our natural environment. The unique environment of caves provides a habitat for many specialized life forms that are susceptible to human disturbance. Because their climatic conditions are constant, caves are excellent sites for the preservation of archaeological and paleontological remains.
The management and protection of caves and its resources is governed by Republic Act 9072 known as National Caves and Cave resources Management and Protection Act which was passed by Congress in 2001.
The DENR is the lead agency tasked to implement the provisions of the Act in coordination with the Department of Tourism (DOT), National Museum, National Historical Institute and concerned local government units (LGU) for specific caves. (PAWD/RPAO) [top]