TANAY, RIZAL – known for its historical background and filming location for both television (TV) and movie productions. Calinawan Cave become a major tourist attraction in the province.
With this activities, flora and fauna inside and outside the cave received immense damage particularly the stalactite and stalagmite formation on its main chamber. The noise and motion create destruction to its natural ecology. That may further lead to transfer of habitats for bats and other life forms inside the cave.
To ensure sustainability and protection against exploitation, the provincial office of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) in Rizal together with Local Government Unit of Tanay and Calinawan Cave stakeholders conducted a three (3) day cave assessment and management planning last September 23-25, 2020.
The Regional Cave Assessment Team (RCAT) headed by For. Reginald Forcadilla conducted cave profiling activities to assess and map the Calinawan Cave in Sitio Rawang, Brgy. Tandang Kutyo.
The Cave will be classified based on the proper use and management under Republic Act No. 9072 (National Caves and Cave Resources Management RA and Protection Act).
“As for initial findings, Calinawan Cave will be classified as Class II, but some chambers will be closed to public for conservation area and safety purposes.” For. Forcadilla said.
Caves classified under “Class II” have sensitive geologic values or high-quality ecosystems, as well as portions with hazardous conditions. These caves may be closed seasonally or permanently, or may be open only to experienced cavers or guided educational tours.
As significant input in the formulation of five (5) year management plan, For. Zosima B. Belen Chief for Conservation and Development Section of PENRO Rizal facilitated the workshop with Calinawan Cave Tour Guides, locals of Sitio Rawang and LGU representatives.
In addition, Ms. Joice Jules Gapido, head of Municipal Tourism office discussed the Tourism Tour Guiding in approach to new normal. Solid Waste Management Practices of Tanay were also introduced by For. Suzette Villanueva, Municipal Environment and Natural Resources Officer.
The general objectives of the management plan are to conserve the biodiversity inside and outside the cave. To promote the area as prime eco-tourism destination and to develop sustainable behavior and attitude among the communities towards forest protection and biodiversity conservation and development.
Caves are considered unique, natural and non-renewable resources with important scientific, economic, educational, cultural, historical and aesthetic values. They are home to specialized mineral formations with unique and diverse flora and fauna.
As mandated by law, the DENR is tasked to formulate, develop and implement a national program for the management, protection and conservation of caves and cave resources, with the cave coordinating agencies like the National Museum, National Historical Institute, the Department of Tourism and Local Government Units concerned.