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.


DENR MIMAROPA Holds Training Workshop on
Gender and Sensitivity, Planning and Budgeting


  The Regional Gender and Development Focal Point System MIMAROPA successfully conducted the three day workshop on Harmonized Gender and Development Guidelines last January 06-08, 2015 at Best Western Oxford Suites Hotel in Makati City with thirty (30) Land Management Officers from PENROs and CENROs and some DENR Regional Office officers in attendance.

    Regional Director Oscar C. Dominguez emphasized the significance of GAD Mainstreaming in the programs, projects and activities of the office and that there must be more initiatives in mainstreaming Gender in line with the GAD road map of the DENR as a whole. He elaborated his plan of activities in Gender and Development efforts of the regional office including PENROs and CENROs in his opening remarks.

      Resource Speakers, Forester Dolores D. Wanasen and RTD for PAWCZMS and Concurrent Regional Chair for GAD Focal Point System, RTD Gwendolyn C. Bambalan led the leveling of expectation on the conduct of the training and discussed “The Basic Concepts and Principles of Gender and Development”; “Sex Disaggregated Data Collection and Gender Analysis”.

     On the next day, Forester Wanasen presented the topic on Harmonized Gender and Development Guidelines (HGDG) -an important Gender Analysis tool used to analyze the gender responsiveness of development projects of government agencies and attached offices and other office development assistance (ODA) – funded programs. Here, the Core messages in designing, implementation and Monitoring and evaluation of development projects were presented.

   The next topic she discussed was the “Gender Mainstreaming and Gender Mainstreaming Framework (GMEF), which was aimed to determine the level/stage of gender responsiveness of the organization, mainstreaming and integrating gender concerns. The participants were also oriented about the four stages of gender mainstreaming, the indicators or descriptors that are present to signify their level of gender mainstreaming. The topic on GAD Planning and Budgeting was presented by RTD Bambalan where she discussed the concepts, principles and processes of GAD planning and budgeting. She also discussed the legal bases and considerations in planning and emphasized that the budget to be attributed on projects is based from the score of their HGDG.

     Under the Gender and Development (GAD) Program, DENR MIMAROPA aims to be more active and enthusiastic in organizing events about GAD, as reflected in this Harmonized GAD Guidelines workshop, which primarily focuses on the idea that development is for all, that everyone in society, female or male, has the right to equal opportunities to achieve a full and satisfying life.

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