Two Philippine Caves Get Government Protection
Two important Philippine cave systems have just received government protection.
The Langun-Gobingob Caves in Calbiga covers some 2,968 hectares. A system of 12 caves filled with giant column and unique formations, the complex is though to be one of the largest in the country and one of the largest in Southeast Asia.
The other system, located in Basey, is known as Sohoton Caves. Covering about 840 hectares, the area contains cathedral-like caves and underground rivers.
The Langun-Gobingob Caves and the Sohoton Caves, both located in Samar, have been classified by the Phillipine Department of Environment and Natural Resources as Class II for their hazardous conditions and sensitive geological, archaeological, cultural, historical, and biological values or high quality ecosystems.
As a result of this protection, the caves will be safer from treasure hunters, polluters and vandals. However, it leaves the caves open to experienced spelunkers or guided visits, with some restrictions on certain areas that may be closed seasonally or permanently for conservation purposes.
A management plan is being prepared for each cave to consider all ecotourism, scientific, educational, and economic activities as well as monitoring and reclassification in the area. Manolito Ragub, DENR-Eastern Visayas Executive Director
Since 2011 the DENR has classified four caves. Classification of caves will continue until all the caves are classified and protected. There are currently 112 in the queue.