REPUBLIC ACT NO. 9072 (The Cave Act of 2001)
It is hereby declared the policy of the State to conserve, protect and manage caves and cave resources as part of the country’s natural wealth. Towards this end, the State shall strengthen cooperation and exchange of information between governmental authorities and people who utilize caves and cave resources for scientific, educational, recreational, tourism and other purposes.
Powers and Functions of the DENR
Shall be the lead agency tasked to implement the provisions of this Act
In coordination with:
Department of Tourism
National Historical Commission of the Philippines
Concerned Local Government Units for specific caves
In the Province of Palawan:
Palawan Council for Sustainable Development
shall be the lead implementing agency pursuant to Republic Act No. 7611 or the Strategic Environmental Plan for Palawan Act.
Formulate, develop and implement a national program for the management, protection and conservation of caves and cave resources;
Disseminate information and conduct educational campaign on the need to conserve, protect and manage our caves and cave resources;
Issue permits for the collection and removal of guano and other cave resources which shall be determined in coordination with the DOT, National Museum, concerned LGUs, the scientific community and the academe, with regard to specific caves taking into consideration bio-diversity as well as the aesthethic and archaeological value of the cave: Provided, that the permittee shall be required to post a bond to ensure compliance with the provisions of any permit: Provided further, that any permit issued under this Section shall be revoked by the Secretary when the permittee violates any provision of this Act or fails to comply with any other condition upon which the permit was issued: Provided furthermore, That the Secretary cannot issue permits for the removal of stalactites and stalagmites, and when it is established that the removal of the resources will adversely affect the value of a significant cave: Provided, finally, That caves located within a protected area shall be subjected to the provisions of Republic Act No. 7586 or the National Integrated Protected Area System Act of 1992;
Call on any local government unit, bureau, agency, state university or college and other instrumentalities of the government for assistance as the need arises in the discharge of its functions;
Enter into a memorandum of agreement with any local government unit (LGU) for the preservation, development and management of cave or caves located in their respective territorial jurisdiction;
Tap the cooperation of people’s and nongovernmental organizations as active partners in the conservations and protection of our caves and cave resources; and
Exercise other powers and perform other functions as may be necessary to implement the provisions of this Act.
Information Concerning the Nature and Location of Significant Caves
Assessment on the Cave
Determination by the Secretary
Within that time, the DENR in coordination with the DOT, the National Museum, the National Historical Institute, concerned LGUs the scientific community and the academe shall assess its archaeological, cultural, ecological, historical and scientific value
the Secretary determines that disclosure of such information will further the purpose of this Act and will not create a substantial risk of harm, theft or destruction on such cave.
Availability of the Information
Information concerning the nature and specific location of a potentially significant cave shall not be made available to the public within one (1) year after its discovery by the DENR
(Through a *Written Request)
An explanation of the purpose for which the information is sought; and
An assurance or undertaking satisfactory to the Secretary that adequate measures are to be taken to protect the confidentiality of such information and to ensure the protection of the cave from destruction by vandalism and unauthorized use.
A description of the geographic site for which the information is sought
CONTENT OF THE WRITTEN REQUEST
The written request shall contain, among others, the following:
Knowingly destroying, disturbing, defacing, marring, altering, removing, or harming the speleogem or speleothem of any cave or altering the free movement of any animal or plant life into or out of any cave;
Gathering, collecting, possessing, consuming, selling, bartering or exchanging or offering for sale without authority any, cave resource; and
Counselling, procuring, soliciting or employing any other person to violate any provisions of this Section.
Prohibited Acts (Section 7)
Any person found guilty of any of the offenses enumerated hereof: shall be punished by imprisonment from two (2) years to six (6) years or a fine ranging from Twenty thousand pesos (P20,000) to five hundred thousand pesos (P500,000.00) or both at the discretion of the Court:
The person furnishing the capital to accomplish the acts punishable herein: shall be punished by imprisonment from six (6) yrs and one (1) day to eight (8) years or by a fine ranging from Five hundred thousand pesos (P500,000.00) to One million pesos (P1,000,000.00) or both at the Discretion of the Court.
If the area requires rehabilitation or restoration as determined by the Court: the offender shall also be required to restore the same, whenever practicable or compensate for the damage:
If the offender is a government employee: he or she shall likewise be removed from office.
The Secretary shall order the confiscation, in favor of the Government of the cave resources gathered, collected, removed, possessed or sold including the conveyance and equipment used in violation of Section 7 hereof.