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The Biodiversity Management Bureau (BMB) conducted the Learning Event on Basic Caving, Survey and Mapping and Cave Photography (Caving 101) for Luzon Cluster held on April 23-27, 2018 in Tayabas, Quezon. The consultation-workshop was participated in by 53 participants from the DENR Regional and Field Offices, members of the National Cave Committee (NCC) and BMB personnel.

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The consultation-workshop aimed to 1) capacitate participants on safe caving practices to avoid/minimize possible hazards that may be encountered during caving activities; 2) impart techniques in cave photography, survey, and mapping; and 3) enhance capability of field personnel in conducting cave assessments. At the end of the learning event, the participants were expected to be able to:

  1. Acquire basic knowledge and skills on safe caving, photography, survey, and mapping;
  2. Produce at least Grade 3C cave maps; and
  3. Produce high resolution/quality cave photographs

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The BMB OIC-Director and NCC Chair Crisanta Marlene Rodriguez provided her opening message and mentioned that the participants will be equipped with basic knowledge and skills necessary to implement the Cave Management, Protection, and Conservation Program (CMPCP) as mandated by the Cave Act of 2001 (R.A. 9072).

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The City Councilor Albert Dimaranan of LGU Tayabas, who is also the Chairman of the Committee on Environmental Protection and Management, gave his welcome message as the host LGU and expressed his support to DENR in the implementation of RA 9072 and other cave-related activities.

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Ms. Maritess Agayatin, OIC-Chief of BMB-CAWED presented the rationale and overview of the five-day event composed of three (3) main topics, namely; Basic Caving, Survey and Mapping, and Cave Photography.

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As a pioneer member of NCC and has been an active partner of BMB, the Gaia Exploration Club (GEC) led by its President, Mr. Mark Dia with members namely: Mr. Mamerto Certifico, Jr., Mr. John Elton Chua, Mr. Raphael Rios and Ms. Rozhane Alcontin served as resource persons and provided lectures and exercises on the topics that were spread throughout the duration of the event.

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Ralph Rios discussing Cave Photography
Ralph Rios discussing Cave Photography

cave learning event 8Participants working on one of their group tasks

cave learning event 9Mamerto Certifico briefing participants before entering the Kaping Cave

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River trek before reaching the cave entrance

cave learning event 12Participants familiarizing themselves with cave equipment

For the basic caving, the participants were divided into three (3) groups and for the survey and mapping and photography, participants were divided into two (2) batches comprised of six (6) groups. Kaping Cave and Sung Wan Cave served as practicum sites during the activity. The said caves were located in Brgy. Ibabang Palale, Tayabas City and classified as Class I as per DENR Memorandum Circular No. 2015-08.

cave learning event 13Identifying biodiversity before entering one of the caves

cave learning event 14Identifying the centerline

cave learning event 15Establishing elements of the survey leg and passage details

cave learning event 16Traversing difficult areas in the Sung Wan Cave

cave learning event 17Cave mapping exercise

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Cave photography models, photos taken by participants

Each group was assigned to present their outputs including the accomplished assessment reports with maps and images which were consolidated by BMB Secretariat. Participants were given copies of presentations and some photos during the event.

As part of the next steps, the same activity will be conducted for Visayas and Mindanao Cluster. Other capacity building for DENR Field personnel and NCC and consultations in support to the implementation of CMPCP were targeted and scheduled in 2018 including Learning Event on Cave Biodiversity Assessment for Vis-Min Cluster and consultations on the draft amended DENR Administrative Order 1994-04 (Establishing the Cave Management and Conservation Program (CMCP) and Providing Funds Thereof).

National Cave Committee Members

cave learning event 22EJ of National Museum, Joshua of DILG, Michael of PCSD, Matet of DOT, Ross of MGB,
Mertz of GEC, Doms of NIGS, Tess of BMB

Participants’ group pictures after caving

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