CENRO Cabagan ties up with LGU Tumauini for cave mgt

The Community Environment and Natural Resources (CENR) Office in Cabagan, Isabela has linked with the Local Government Unit (LGU) of Tumauini for the maintenance of ecological balance and preservation of the aesthetic value of Sinabuluan Cave.

Officer-In-Charge, CENR Officer Bernardo B. Valiente said the Sangguniang Bayan of Tumauini adopted on July 13, this year the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) containing the responsibilities of the DENR and the LGU in the preservation, development and management of the cave located at So. Sinabuluan of Barangay Antagan 1st. He added that the MOA will improve the ecotourism potential of the cave.

“The SB members moved for the allocation of funds for the management of Sinabuluan Cave in their upcoming budget hearing in October, this year,” Protected Areas and Wildlife Specialist Luz S. Soriano said. She added that the legislators also decided to enact a municipal ordinance that will govern the management and development of the cave including the surrounding watershed.

Under the Agreement, the DENR shall, among others, regulate the collection and removal of cave resources prior to suitable clearance from Protected Areas and Wildlife Bureau (now Biodiversity Management Bureau), LGU, and/or National Museum; in general, provide trainings and other related services to the LGU that will ensure the effective protection, development and management of the subject cave/s; upon request, provide technical assistance to the LGU on the implementation of the Cave Management Plan; monitor the implementation of the Cave Management Plan; and implement the prohibition on the introduction of artificial structures or any similar development inside the cave.

The responsibilities of the LGU include: provide manpower and financial resources for the protection, conservation and management of Sinabuluan Cave; integrate the management plan in the land-use, development, investment and revenue plans of the Municipality; enact the necessary ordinances, rules and regulations consistent with national policies in support of the co-management of the Cave; raise awareness among its constituents on the importance of conservation, protection and sustainable use of caves and cave resources; encourage and promote the participation of the private sector and entrepreneurs in the implementation of the Cave Management Plan and subsequent management/development plans especially those ventures that are related to agriculture and nature-based tourism; and provide such other resources and services that will ensure the effective conservation, protection and management of the cave.

A proposed ecotourism site by the LGU of Tumauini, Sinabuluan Cave was classified as Class II by the DENR per Memorandum Circular 2012-03 which means that it is “open to experienced cavers or guided educational tours/visits”. It is within the Tumauini Watershed Forest Reserve, a protected area under Presidential Proclamation No. 355 dated April 14, 1994. #