The Local Government of Cagayan de Oro City and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources-10 signed on March 3 a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) for the co-management of Macahambus Cave and Gorge, Kalabera and Huluga Caves as an ecotourism and historical heritage sites.

City Mayor Constantino “Tinnex” Jaraula and DENR-10 regional executive director Maximo O. Dichoso formalized the co-management agreement in a simple signing ceremony held at the City Mayor’s Office Reception Hall.

City Councilor and Tourism Committee chair Alden Bacal, City Councilor and Environment Committee chair Caesar Ian Acenas, DENR regional technical director Belen Daba, City Administrator Griscelda M. Joson, City Planning and Development Coordinator Estrella F. Sagaral and City Tourism Officer Imma Rae D. Gatuslao witnessed the MOA signing.

“In behalf of the City Government, we are very happy to go into full active partnership with the DENR-10 in line with our efforts to preserve, enhance and blend tourism development on these ‘natural national treasures’ of our city,” the City Chief Executive said before signing the agreement.

For his part, Dir. Dichoso expressed optimism that the co-management agreement between the DENR-10 and the city government will pave the way for further preservation and protection of these Class 1-classified caves due to its archeological and historical values. “We need to join our efforts to preserve and protect these areas because these are important sites that the people must see and enjoy,” Dichoso stressed.

Macahambus Cave and Gorge is located in barangays Lumbia and Bayanga while the Huluga Cave is found in sitio Taguanao in barangay Indahag, including the Kalabera Cave.

Under the agreement, a management body shall be created to manage the project, to be known as the “Cagayan de Oro Golden Ecotourism Areas (CdeOGEA) Management Board”, which will be chaired by Mayor Jaraula and co-chaired by Dir. Dichoso.

The regional director of the Department of Tourism (DOT-10) shall act as vice chairman with RTD Daba, Gatuslao, Sagaral, CLENR officer, PENR and CENR officers of Misamis Oriental, City Police Director Benedicto Lopez and representatives from Museo de Oro and National Historical Institute as members. (City Information Office)

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