List of caves in Region XII (SOCCSKSARGEN)

The following is a partial list of caves in Region XII (SOCCSKSARGEN), Philippines.

NameProvinceCity/municipality
Abbas/Amatac Spring CaveCotabatoBanisilan
Avenue CaveCotabatoKabacan
Bakbaken CaveSultan KudaratSenator Ninoy Aquino
Bandihan CaveCotabatoArakan
Bangilan CaveCotabatoKabacan
Batasan CaveSultan KudaratSenator Ninoy Aquino
Bitogon/Casi CaveSultan KudaratSenator Ninoy Aquino
Bombed/Bongbad Cave (with waterfalls)Sultan KudaratColumbio
Bugso CaveSultan KudaratSenator Ninoy Aquino
Capilan Bat CaveSultan KudaratLebak
Catajay CaveSultan KudaratSenator Ninoy Aquino
Cathedral CaveCotabatoKabacan
Datalblao CaveSultan KudaratColumbio
Guano CaveSultan KudaratBagumbayan
Iglok CaveSultan KudaratKalamansig
Kabuwawan CaveSaranganiMalungon
Kalaja CaveGeneral Santos
Kalamongog CaveSultan KudaratLebak
Kalupingon CaveSultan KudaratSenator Ninoy Aquino
Kamanga Cave (with waterfalls)Sultan KudaratIsulan
Kiabuan CaveSultan KudaratSenator Ninoy Aquino
Kofnit CaveSouth CotabatoLake Sebu
K'yang CaveSouth CotabatoLake Sebu
Lagbasan CaveSultan KudaratSenator Ninoy Aquino
Lagbasan/White CaveSultan KudaratSenator Ninoy Aquino
Lago CaveSaranganiGlan
Laha-Laha CaveSultan KudaratSenator Ninoy Aquino
Lapidas CaveSaranganiMaasim
Lemsinolon Cave (Allah Valley Protected Landscape)South CotabatoT'Boli
Linao CaveSaranganiMaitum
Lomus CaveSouth CotabatoLake Sebu
Lupi/Lope CaveCotabatoKabacan
Maetas CaveSultan KudaratBagumbayan
Maibo CaveSouth CotabatoTantangan
Malibato CaveSouth CotabatoT'Boli
Midpanga CaveSultan KudaratSenator Ninoy Aquino
M'linguwang CaveSultan KudaratKalamansig
Panes CaveSultan KudaratColumbio
Pangaun CavesSultan KudaratKalamansig
Paradise Cave (with falls)Sultan KudaratSenator Ninoy Aquino
Pinol Cave (formerly Ayub)SaranganiMaitum
Pisan CaveCotabatoKabacan
Roadside CaveSultan KudaratLebak
Saklay CaveSultan KudaratSenator Ninoy Aquino
Salangsang CaveSultan KudaratLebak
Salkak CaveSouth CotabatoPolomolok
Santo NiƱo Pitot/Pitot Kalabaw CaveSultan KudaratBagumbayan
Soldilan CaveSouth CotabatoLake Sebu
Sorolla CaveSouth CotabatoKoronadal
Tenobak CaveSultan KudaratLebak
Tinalon CaveSultan KudaratSenator Ninoy Aquino
Tudog CaveSultan KudaratSenator Ninoy Aquino
Tumanding CaveCotabatoArakan
Zion CaveSaranganiMaitum

Safeguarding Philippine Caves

The Philippines is abundantly blessed with an unlimited supply of caves, many of which are still unknown and waiting to be discovered. These caves and all materials and everything else that are naturally inside belong to the country and, as declared in Republic Act 9072, constitute part of its natural wealth. It is no wonder then that national agencies like the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), the Department of Tourism (DOT), the National Museum, the National Historical Institute, and concerned Local Government Units (LGUs) are joining hands to ensure that caves and cave resources are properly managed, protected and conserved. The national government agencies through the National/Regional Cave Committees have been identifying, documenting, assessing, and classifying caves around the country with the final goal of planning for the proper management, protection and conservation of these caves/cave resources. The three classifications of Philippine caves assessed by the government are:

  1. Class I Caves – caves with delicate and fragile geological formations, threatened species, cultural, archaeological and paleontological values, and with extremely hazardous conditions. Allowable activity is limited to exploration, mapping, photography, educational and scientific purposes.
  2. Class II Caves – caves with areas or portions which have hazardous conditions. Contain sensitive geological, archaeological, cultural, historical, and biological values or high quality ecosystem. It may be necessary to close sections of these caves seasonally or permanently. It is open to experienced cavers or guided educational tours/visits.
  3. Class III Caves – caves generally safe to inexperienced visitors. With no known threatened species and archaeological, geological, national history, cultural and historical values. May also be utilized for economic purposes such as guano extraction and edible birds nest collection.

The National Caves and Cave Resources Management and Protection Act, otherwise known as Republic Act No. 9072, enumerates the actions relative to caves which are unlawful and punishable by law, to wit:

  1. Knowingly destroying, disturbing, defacing, marring, altering, removing or harming the speleogen or speleothem of any cave or altering the free movement of any animal or plant life into or out of any cave.
  2. Gathering, collecting, possessing, consuming, selling, bartering, or exchanging or offering for sale without authority any cave resource; and
  3. Counselling, procuring, soliciting, or employing any other person to violate any provisions of Section 7 (Prohibited Acts) of Republic Act No. 9072.

The punishment for violating this law is imprisonment for 2 to 6 years or a fine of PhP20,000 to 500,000, or both, at the discretion of the Court. The person who provided the funds for the punishable acts is to be imprisoned for 6 years and one day to 8 years, or fined from Php500,000 to 1 million pesos, or both, at the discretion of the Court.

The law is unmistakably geared towards the protection of caves from thieves, vandals, as well as inconsiderate, irresponsible, or careless cave sightseers. If the cave is an Ecotourism destination or in a Protected Area, then it becomes more mandatory for the visitor to hire only licensed ecoguides or accredited cave guides. For their own protection and for the protection of these caves as well, excursionists wanting to visit a cave are made to register, pay certain fees,and undergo some briefing and orientation about the site, the wildlife, the local community, the needed gear, and the do's and dont's of caving.

Remember, too, that only Class III caves and certain parts of Class II caves may be available for ecotourism.

References

  1. Department of Environment and Natural Resources - Biodiversity Management Bureau (bmb.gov.ph)
  2. Department of Environment and Natural Resources - Environmental Management Bureau (emb.gov.ph)
  3. Philippine Information Agency (pia.gov.ph)
  4. Department of the Interior and Local Government (dilg.gov.ph)
  5. Official websites of Philippine provinces, cities, and municipalities
  6. Official Gazette of the Republic of the Philippines (officialgazette.gov.ph)
  7. Republic Act No. 9072; An Act to Manage and Protect Caves and Cave Resources and for Other Purposes
  8. Agayatin, Maritess V. Cave-Related Policies and Status of Cave Management in the Philippines (pdf). Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) - Biodiversity Management Bureau (BMB) - Caves, Wetlands, and other Ecosystems Division. 2018.
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