Ecoguiding Seminar for Cave Guides Conducted

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With the  Department of Tourism (DOT), the DENR Region 1 conducted  an ecoguiding seminar for cave guides  at Oldwoods Sea Eco Resort. The seminar aims to strengthen the implementation of RA 9072, the National Caves and Cave Resources Management and Protection Act; and to come up of accredited cave guides pursuant to the provision of Executive Order No. 120. Twenty two  22  participants from 5 municipalities of Pangasinan and one from the Burgos, Ilocos Norte finished the seminar.

Regional Executive Director, Samuel R. Peñafiel , in his inspirational message, emphasized that  we have lots of beautiful caves in Region 1, we should  showcase the beautiful places to earn profit, but not to destroy the natural beauty of the place. 

“Tourism means jobs, it creates a domino effect” says Ms. Evangeline Dadat of DOT. She defined that tourism is the activity of persons travelling to and staying in places outside their usual environment, and a visitor who stays at least a night is called a tourist. Tourism provides a wide array of benefits from economic to social and cultural aspects thus, she encouraged that good comments from tourists must have to be posted through the internet- a great way to promote the tourism industry of the country., the volume of tourists is getting bigger and bigger each year.  As tour guides she enjoined them to take full responsibility for the tourists’ experience and the quality of products they provide. Likewise, she emphasized that social disadvantages should be prevented before they occur. Through this training, She challenged them to be among the competent tour guides to effectively manage the visitors with commitment to good and honest service.

Caving is a great adventure catered to tourists. The caves’ wonders are discussed by Engineer Cora Marie Pugal. Caves are formed over millions of years by various geological processes with unique, natural, and non-renewable resources with important scientific, economic, educational, cultural, historical, and aesthetic values. The different natural formations inside the caves were identified and the most outstanding feature is the speleothem. However, despite their significance, what nature has built over thousands of years is threatened due to vandalism, treasure hunting, extraction and collection of guano deposits and wildlife, she exclaimed. To address these issues and concerns, she cited that the Philippine law on the National Caves and Cave Resources Management and Protection Act of 2001, also known as RA 9072 mandate the Department to formulate, develop and implement program for the management, protection and conservation of caves and cave resources. The cave classification is a step for the identification, surveying, mapping and assessment of a cave which serves as the basis for determining the appropriate use and management of a cave. She emphasized that all entry to the cave requires permission from the DENR. Likewise, she campaigned that all resources inside the cave should remain intact. The different flora and fauna inside the caves were presented through a video presentation. Their characteristics and significance were also highlighted. Finally, she addressed the group to promote sustainable tourism through sustainable resources.