The FCD in cooperation with Jaime’s Dive Center and Unified Team Diving (UTD) Regional Manager, Juan Naval (with UTD caver Jackie Genuino) started today the maintenance project inside the Pawod Underwater Cave System (PUCS) of Mactan Island, Lapu-Lapu City, Cebu.

L-R: Jackie, Juan,  Bernil, Jaime’s staff

The objectives of the dives that will be performed until July 27, 2017 are the following :

Concrete block used as line guide. Photo taken by Dr. Alfonso Amores, 2013.

1. Removal of the concrete blocks placed by a group of divers some years ago. The blocks that weigh 10-15kg each and numbering approximately 20pcs. were placed around the main chamber, at the start of the tunnel and all the way to the deepest point of the area. These were used as line guides by the said group but FCD deems the blocks unnecessary and obtrusive and thus has ascertained that the careful removal of the blocks will return the PUCS to a more natural setting. In addition, it may give visiting cavers a better perception of the place as a cave system that still harbors exploration opportunities.

One up, a few more to go.

2. Relining of the chamber and tunnel. Due to age, certain points of the main lines have become frayed and are needing to be replaced for safety purposes. And since the unsightly concrete blocks will all be removed, the lines will be reattached to other points of the cave.

3. Removal of plastics and other garbage inside the cave and in the sump. Due to rain runoffs and from basically lack of care by the community for the area, there is numerous garbage swept into the bottom of the sump, flushed into the cave and lodged inside the cracks in the cave walls and ceiling.

The FCD wishes to remind visiting cave divers to be sensitive to the frailty of the cave and exercise due caution when exploring the site to avoid further damage to its walls and ceilings due to body and air bubbles contact.

It is the hope of the FCD that Pawod Cave may be given its proper protection soon by the Local Government Unit (LGU) of Lapu-Lapu City. The creation of the ordinance for the site’s declaration as a protected area is still ongoing at the LGU level.

Acknowledgement goes to the efforts of Juan Naval and Jackie Genuino for reaffirming the importance of the clean-up and for coming down all the way from Manila to spearhead the project.

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