MANDAUE CITY - The Region-7 office of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR-7) has assessed and classified another five caves in the Central Visayas in 2012, adding to the 17 caves that were classified in 2011.
Two of these caves were identified as Class 3 - "generally safe to inexperienced visitors with no known threatened species and archeological, geological, natural history, cultural and historical values, the caves may also be utilized for economic purposes such as guano extraction and edible birds and collection."
Among the caves were the Katikyo Cave in Bagacay Tambo Mabini, and Nangka Cave in San Isidro, Trinidad, all in Bohol.
According to the cave classification report released by the Protected Area, Wildlife, Coastal Zone and Management Services (PAWCZMS), both of these caves were found to be potential for resource extraction specifically rock phosphate.
Moreover, three others were classified as Class 2 - "with areas or portions which have hazardous conditions and contain sensitive geological, archeological, cultural, historical and biological values or high quality ecosystem. It may be necessary to close sections of these caves seasonally or permanently. It is open to experienced cavers or guided educational tours or visits."
These caves are Bukilat Cave in San Francisco, Camotes Island, Cebu; Dos Andanas Cave in Cantipla, Tabunan, Cebu City; and Cantabon Cave, Cantabon, Siquijor.
The Cantabon Cave in Siquijor was also found to be potential for ecotourism, but is yet to be subjected to engineering restrictions and recommendations.
DENR-7 Regional Executive Director Dr. Isabelo R. Montejo explained that cave assessment and classification serves a very important role in identifying strategies to protect, conserve and manage the resources within and around them.