PRESERVING THE FAMOUS CALLAO CAVES
PRESERVING THE FAMOUS CALLAO CAVES. Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Cagayan Valley Regional Executive Director Gwendolyn Bambalan has appealed to the local officials for the protection of the Peñablanca Protected Landscape and Seascape (PPLS) in Cagayan.
"We share the same goal, to protect our environment, especially the protected area found in your municipality. We must help one another to ensure the success of all our plans and initiatives for the preservation of the PPLS," Director Bambalan underscored during the recent Protected Area Management Board (PAMB) meeting held in Peñablanca town.
Regional Director Percival Rumbaoa of the Police Regional Office 2 committed their support in enforcing environmental laws especially forest protection within the protected area (PA).
During the meeting, the regional environment chief underlined the urgent need to protect and conserve caves and cave resources especially the Callao Caves.
Under Republic Act 9072 or the National Caves and Cave Resources Management and Protection Act, destroying, disturbing, defacing, marring, altering, removing, or harming the speleogem or speleothem of any cave or altering the free movement of any animal or plant life into or out of any cave are prohibited.
PAMB chairperson Bambalan also enjoined the Body to push for sustainable ecotourism in consonance to the protected area management plan and environmental laws.
As protection measure within the PA, she encouraged the academe, research institutions and organizations to secure gratuitous permit from the DENR authorizing the gathering and transport of wildlife species for research and scientific purposes.
The PPLS is a legislated PA by virtue of Republic Act No. 11038 s. 2018. With a total area of 118,781.58 hectares, the PA is known for its limestone forest comprising more than 200 cave systems that include the Callao Caves, popular for its archaeological and aesthetic features.#