Tuesday, April 7, 2015

15th PSS National Cave Congress on April 20 to 25 at Surigao City

Wazzup Pilipinas!
The Philippine Speleological Society 15th Cave Congress is a yearly gathering whose main objective is to discuss issue and concern regarding the use of our caves and cave resources, and to formulate alternative solutions for the sustainable use of these resources. This gathering is participated by local government units, government line agencies, non-government organization, the academe, caving groups and enthusiast and other stake holders.
This year’s congress will focus on the environmental, social and economic effects of climate change in caves and karst areas. The event will be held on April 20 to 24, 2015 with theme; “Caving in a Changing Climate”. The objectives for this year’s congress are as follows:
a. To impart greater awareness on the effects of climate change on caves and karst landscape 
b. To enhance the participants knowledge and greater understanding on the social, economic and environmental effects of climate change and its impact on the sustainable management of karst areas.
c. To develop a sustainable karst management program for the Silop cave system.
The 15th cave congress will feature numerous activities; from plenary discussion and paper presentations to technical trainings and tours. Registration fee is pegged at Php 1,500.00 for non PSS members and Php 1,200.00 PSS members. The registration fee is inclusive of: Congress Kit, event Jersey, dry bag, 3 hosted meals, transportation from school to training sites, Entrance fees & permits.

Host Organizations
The host for this year’s congress are as follows:
  • Local Government of Surigao City
  • Philippine Speleological Society, Inc. ( PSS )
 Partner Organizations    
Other partner organizations are as follows:
  • Department of Tourism 
  • Department of Environment and Natural Resources
  • Surigao City Tourism Council, Inc.
  • Provincial Government of Surigao del Norte
  • Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority
The 15th National Cave Congress will be held in Surigao City, Surigao del Norte. Surigao City located at the North Eastern section of the Mindanao and is the provincial capital of Surigao del Norte. The city can be accessed by air, sea and land. Major airlines and shipping companies ply the route from Manila and Cebu and by land through the Maharlika National Highway. The main base camp for the congress will be at the Surigao City Pilot School. The school, located within the city proper, will be the main venue for the plenary session and workshops as well as free lodging for the participants. Practical exercises for all the technical trainings will be conducted in the caves of barangay Silop, barangay Mapawa and island barangay of Buenavista. All caving sites are within 30 minutes travel time. 
For those who will opt to avail of the free lodging at the school, kindly bring your own sleeping bags and mattress. Hotel accommodations are also available at personal expense.   
The following are the activities that will be held during the congress. Everyone is encouraged to attend the plenary and workshop sessions which will feature international speaker as well as local experts in different fields of study. The method of instruction for the technical trainings will combine both lecture and hands-on. Participants are advised to provide their own personal equipment and other gear essential to their chosen activity.

Skill level requirement / participants
TOPIC I : Mining and Sustainable Development
                   Officer in Charge Mines and Geo Sciences
                   Region XIII
Local government representatives
Line agencies
Caving clubs
Interested individuals
TOPIC II: Tourism and Climate Change        
                  Director Training Center for Tropical Resource
                  And Ecosystem Sustainability
TOPIC III : The Pros and cons of Tenurial Instruments
                  Protected Areas Superintendent
                  Department of Environment and Natural  
                  Resources, Samar Island Nature Park
TOPIC IV :Understanding past Climate change from caves
                  Kangwon National University South Korea
                  President, Union of International Speleology and  
                  Asian Federation of Speleology
                  Professor in Carbonate Sedimentary petrology
                  Marine Geology
                  Speleology and Environmental Geology
Topic V: Cave Conservation program DENR / GIZ PAME
                  Senior Advisor, Regional Coordinator
                  GIZ / PAME
Topic VI : Underwater Caves, Silop and New discoveries
Technical trainings
Basic Caving at Surigao City Pilot School
Mrs. Dorina Ararao
Mr.  Rollie Del Carmen
Cave survey and mapping at Barangay Buenavista
Mr. Mamerto Certifico
Mr. Aris Cristales
Intermediate to expert
Must have basic compass Skills
Single rope technique and Cave Rescue at Barangay Mapawa
Mr. Ronald Estrera
Mr. Dennis Ararao
Mr. Eric Bontuyan
Mr. Reynaldo Bagayas
Intermediate to expert
Experienced to expert
City tour
Silop cave tour
Buenavista cave tour
Mapawa cave tour
Island tours
Open to all

Congress itinerary

Day (-)1
Apr 19, 2015 Sunday
Arrival & Registration City Pilot School
Site Tours: City Tour, Buenavista, Mapawa
Photo ko Like mo Contest
Venue for registration will be at the Surigao City Pilot School
Day 1,
Apr 20, 2015 Monday
Registration continues @ City Pilot School
9 am PSS Press con @ City Cultural center
3 pm Opening Ceremonies @ Gateway Hotel
Welcome Dinner
Hosted dinner
Day 2
Apr 21, 2015 Tuesday
Plenary sessions at Provincial Convention Center
venue to be announced
The sequence for the presentation will be posted soon
Day 3
Apr 22, 2015
Workshop at Pilot School
Other plenary topics may be presented on this day
Day 4
Apr 23, 2015
Technical trainings:
- Basic
- Cave surveying
- Single rope technique
- Cave rescue
Lectures will be conducted at the school
Day 5
Apr 24,2015
Hands-on Trainings on Basic Caving, Cave Survey at Silop & Mapawa
Post Evaluation for Basic Caving, Cave Survey & Cave Rescue
Free Time in the afternoon, Prep for closing ceremonies
6 pm Closing program and hosted dinner
Hands on training for basic caving, cave survey and SRT will be at Silop, Mapawa caves
Hands on training for cave rescue will be at Buenavista cave
Participants will be ferried to and from the site
Day 6
Apr 25, 2015
Countryside / Island Tours (Lake Mainit, Sohoton, Siargao, Island Hopping, etc.)
Post congress tours for those who want to extend their stay
Day 7
Apr 26, 2015
Countryside / Island Tours (Mainit Lake, Sohoton, Siargao, Island Hopping, etc.)
Post congress tours for those who want to extend their stay

Contact persons

For more information please contact the Surigao tourism office at Luneta Park, Surigao City. Telephone No: (086) 826-8064, fax no: (086) 826-4131. Email: or call any of the persons listed below.


Contact information
Ms. Roselyn Armida B. Merlin
City tourism officer
Congress event director
Mobile: 0929-828-0251
Land line: (086) 826-8064
Fax: (086) 826-4131
Mr. Chisom Factura
PSS congress director
Mobile: 00917-712-1990
Mr. Jason Garrido
PSS President
Mobile: 0918-905-0079
Ms. Dorina Ararao 
PSS Secretariat coordinator
Mobile: 0922-863-8076
Ms. Mae Lasala
Surigao tourism coordinator
Mobile: 09128250796
Fax: (086) 826-4131





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