The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has classified 42 out of 500 identified caves in Southern Mindanao for assessing and determining the most appropriate sustainable use, protection and management.
“Cave classification is a process of assessing and determining the appropriate sustainable use of caves with due consideration on the cave’s biodiversity as well as its archaeological, historical, cultural and potential socio-economic values,” said DENR Region XI Director Joselin Marcus Fragada.
Republic Act No. 9072, also known as the National Caves and Cave Resources Management and Protection Act, mandates the DENR to develop and implement a national program for the management, protection and conservation of caves and cave resources, in coordination with other agencies of the government such as the National Museum, National Historical Institute, Department of Tourism and concerned local government units.
Based on DENR Memorandum Circular No. 2007-04, caves are classified into three categories.