During the 18th National Cave Committee (NCC) meeting chaired by Biodiversity Management Bureau (BMB) held last February 23, 2014, at the National Museum in Tagbilaran, Bohol, the Filipino Cave Divers (FCD) presented the completed penetrations of underwater caves inside Lake Bababu in Dinagat Islands, Hinatuan Enchanted River, Pamuntuanan and Campamento-Lanuza (all in Surigao del Sur), and Pawod and Casili Spring in Cebu.
FCD co-founders Dr. Alfonso Amores and Jake Miranda both pointed out that some of the country’s once impenetrable caves can now be explored and their distances and ranges extended past the water barriers.
NCC Chair and BMB Director Mundita Sison-Lim said, “With cave diving expertise now locally available, we have a partner in FCD to finally explore the numerous freshwater and sea caves in the different parts of the country. Previously we had to rely on foreign expertise. This partnership boosts our local capability to conduct studies on cave geology and biodiversity inside the underwater caves.”
Since freshwater and sea caves in the Philippines are currently not recognized, their identification and classification is crucial to bringing them under government protection.
A memorandum of agreement will be signed between the Biodiversity Management Bureau (BMB) and FCD to fast-track protocols in cave diving exploration all across the country.