DENR Region IV-B (MIMAROPA) Took Part in this Year’s 13th Annual

Philippine Cave Congress in Davao del Norte

by: Ma. Grace Laurente-Agatep

            The Philippine Speleological Society, Inc. (PSS), a non-stock, non-profit and non-government organization which serves as the national network of Caving Groups and which has been largely instrumental in the creation of RA 9072 – The Cave Resources Management and Protection Act, held its 13th Annual Philippine Speleological Society Cave Congress with the theme: “Harmonizing Management Interventions for the Sustainable Use of our Caves and Cave Resources”.  The event was conducted on April 8-12, 2013 in Davao Del Norte and hosted by Speleo Davao Inc. in cooperation with the Provincial Government of Davao Del Norte, Municipal Government of New Corella-Davao Del Norte and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources through the Protected Areas and Wildlife Bureau and the Department of Tourism Regional Office (RXI).  The DENR-IVB was represented by the technical staff of the Regional Office and PENROs/CENROs headed by RED Edgardo O. Galeon and RTD for PAWCZMS Gwendolyn C. Bambalan.

       The cave congress was organized to gather all caving clubs in the country and other stakeholders in the conservation and promotions of Philippine caves.  Basically, it aimed to discuss, review and assess current cave management plans and explore different approaches in developing quality cave management plans and promote caving and adventure tourism in the host area by showcasing the natural wonders of the region.  The first two days of plenary sessions were held in Tagum City, Davao Del Norte while the next three days of practical application and technical trainings were held in the Municipality of New Corella, Davao Del Norte.

              Discussions during the plenary sessions included: State of Environmental Management Plans and Implementation in the Philippines by Carlos M. Libosada, Jr. of UP Diliman, DENR’s Approach to Planning and Sustainable Development by Dir. Theresa Mundita S. Lim of DENR-PAWB and presented by Marlynn Mendoza, Importance of Limestone Karst Habitat in the Evolution of Philippine Amphibian and Reptiles by Dr. Arvin C. Diesmos of National Museum, DOT’s Approach to Planning and Sustainable Development by warner Andrada of DOT, Puerto Princesa Underground River History and Tourism Initiatives by James Albert A. Mendoza of DENR-Palawan, State and Conservation Initiatives of the Bats in the Philippines by Dave Walden of Bat Conservation International, Cementing Biodiversity by Dr. Neil Aldrin D. Mallari of Fauna and Flora International, Monfort Cave History and Development Initiatives by Norma Monfort, Caves within Private Land by Atty. Alton Durban of DENR-PAWB, Caves and Tourism by Jason Garrido of PSS.  Before the practicum proper, lectures on Basic Caving Skills, Cave Surveying and Single Rope technique were made.        

           Considering that the Municipality of Corella is famous in Davao del Norte for its number of caves that are potential ecotourism sites, the participants were divided into groups to conduct the survey and mapping, exploration and observation of fauna within the ten caves found in the said municipality as part of their practicum.  Among the caves sighted and observed, Borja Cave was recommended for reclassification from Cave Classification III to Cave Classification II.  If its reclassification will prosper, caving activities within the area will be properly monitored and controlled ensuring its propriety as ecotourism destination without prejudicing its cave resources within.




By Bayani V. Mantubig 

Chief, Land Management Division


           The DENR IV-B MIMAROPA Region celebrates a new milestone in the field of land management and administration. DENR Regional Executive Director (RED) Oscar C. Dominguez and Palawan Governor Jose Ch. Alvarez rallied recently the key officials of the DENR and the Local Government Units (LGU) in the province of Palawan behind a collaborative partnership that would pave the way for the LGU-Assisted Public Land Titling. 

            In that momentous event on March 10, 2014 aptly billed as Land Management Summit, the two chief executives gathered close to 200 government officials and local bigwigs at the Asturias Hotel in Puerto Princesa City. PENRO Juan C. Dela Cruz, the CENR Officers and the Land Management Officers in the province came in full force along with their counterparts from the LGUs. Vice Governor Dennis M. Socrates also graced the occasion with his presence. He was with the City and Municipal Mayors, Environment and Natural Resources Officers; Provincial, City and Municipal Assessors and Planning and Development Officers from the different municipalities of Palawan. Professors from the academe, i.e. Palawan State University and Western Philippines University, stakeholders from the real state and private sectors, geodetic engineers and some members of Sangguniang Bayan and Panlalawigan.    

            The cordial occasion that day marked the beginning of a working partnership in public land titling between the DENR and the LGUs in Palawan.  Inspiring messages and informative presentations from the DENR and local officials alike, including the open-forum portion defined the event as a whole, but the highlight was by far the signing of Memorandums of Partnership Agreement (MOPAs) by RED Dominguez and Governor Alvarez along with the City and Municipal Mayors in the province, namely: Hon. Lucilo Bayron of Puerto Princesa City; Hon. Jaime Ortega of Aborlan; Hon. Lucena Demaala of Narra; Hon. Ronilo Caputilla of Quezon; Hon. Mary Jean Feliciano of Brooke’s Point; Hon. Maria Angela Sabando of Roxas; Hon. Romy Salvame of Taytay; Hon. Lourdes Lanoy of Cagayancillo; Hon. Samuel de Jesus of Busuanga and Hon. Mersito Acoy of Sofronio Española.    

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Photo Releases

First Regional Management Conference held at Parkview Hotel, Tagaytay City on May 6-7, 2013. In support of the priority program of the President, Benigno S. Aquino, Jr. and DENR Secretary Ramon JP Paje, DENR R4B 1st semester Accomplishments (CY 2013) were focused towards the National Greening Program (NGP), Cadastral Survey, Ecotourism Plan, Barangay Forest and the like. Regional Executive Director Edgardo Galeon (inset) gave his welcome message to the participants composed of the RDs for MGB & EMB; RTD’s, PENROs/CENROs, Support and Technical staff of DENR MIMAROPA.
Land Management Service Forum held at Bayview Park Hotel, Roxas Blvd., Manila last February 12-15, 2013. (inset) RED Edgardo O. Galeon delivered a message to the participants during the opening program and pointed out the importance of the Survey, Mapping and Planning (SMP) in Region IV B as an effective tracking system for land records.

Orientation Workshop on IEC Communication Planning and Web Management Orientation was conducted by the DENR RIV B MIMAROPA at Eurotel Hotel, Ermita, Manila last January 28-31, 2013. RED Edgardo O. Galeon together with RTD Danilo Querijero from FMS, RTD EDGARDO VENDIOLA FROM ERDS. RED Galeon, in his message, invited all the Information Officers to sustain the news and photo release of the MIMAROPA website in order to boost the morale of the region and improve the overall delivery of goods and services to the public.

DENR Public Affairs Office (PAO) Director Maria Sabrina Cruz together with Ms. Carmen Aquino and Mr. Elmer Casta posed with the Regional PENROs and CENROs Information Officer during the Seminar/Workshop on IEC Communication Planning. Director Cruz discussed on the DENR Thrust and Priority Programs While Ms. Aquino updates the information officers about our Region 4B Website and its importance to the Performance Based Incentive System of the region.

PENRO Mary June Maypa of Calapan City was circled by the Local Media after the holding of the press conference  regarding R.A. 10023 (Residential Free Patent Law) held at the PENRO Conference hall last February 20, 2013.

PRESS CONFERNCE, CALAPAN CITY: The DENR REGION IV B MIMAROPA COMPOSED OF (FROM LEFT TO RIGHT) LMO IV Bayani Mantubig, PENRO MARY JUNE Maypa, Engr. Roman Legaspi, RTD Oscar Dominguez and Atty. Edgardo Gerobin, Resource Speakers and panellist during the Press Con. It aimed to promote the implementation of DAO 2011-06 and R.A. 10023 or commonly known as the Residential Free Patent Law.

LAND MANAGEMENT SUMMIT held in Calapan City. Resource Speakers and participants to Land Management Summit pose for posterity. The Land Management Summit aimed to jumpstart the conduct of IEC campaign on LGU assisted Land titling and on the promotion of RA 10023 or Residential Free patent Law and its IRR.

The Regional GAD Focal Point System – MIMAROPA through its Chair and RTD for PAWCZMS Gwendolyn C. Bambalan conducted a Forum on “Life after Retirement”. Aimed to give would be retirees some good advice on how to handle their finances and how to live life fully and healthy. Participants of this activity were mostly DENR MIMAROPA staff and employees retiring under EO366 or The Rationalization Plan of the Department.

Regional Executive Director Oscar C. Dominguez call on the Expanded Regional Executive Committee Meeting last January 6, 2014. Participants of this EXECOM composed of all RTDS/all PENROS and Regional Staff. This meeting discussed all updated information regarding the RAT Plan, Presentation of NGP Validation Result for CY 2011 and 2012 and the submission of the Work and Financial Plan for 2014 by NEP.

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