THE City Government of Cagayan de Oro and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources-Northern Mindanao (DENR-X) signed Wednesday 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.

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

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

Dichoso expressed optimism that the co-management agreement between the DENR 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 said.

Macahambus Cave and Gorge is located in barangays Lumbia and Bayanga while the Huluga Cave and Kalabera Cave are found in Sitio Taguanao in Barangay Indahag.

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 Jaraula and co-chaired by Dichoso.

The regional director of the Department of Tourism (DOT) shall act as vice chair with 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.

The signing was witnessed by 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. (CIO)