TUGUEGARAO CITY, Cagayan, June 14 (PIA) - - The provincial board here is pushing for the declaration of Callao Caves in Penablanca town as "Historical Landmark" following the discovery of the Homo luzonensis, a new hominin species, in the area.
Based on the ordinance authored by Board Member Ma. Olivia B. Pascual, an official marker will be established at Callao Caves to recognize that the area contains sensitive geological, archeological, cultural, historical and biological values.
The marker, Pasucal said will justify the need to push preservation and conservation efforts of the stakeholders.
She further said that the marker will remind the community of the important role of the Callao Caves in educating the locals here as well as the visitors.
"The Callao Caves Tourist Zone still have its other pristine and undisturbed caves with living rock formations that is why we need to ensure its protection and preservation," Pascual said.
The caves had been famous and served as the flagship tourist destination in the Cagayan Valley region, however, its historical value was only recognized after the unearthing of human fossil believed to be 67,000 years old.
"The caves serve as the habitat of the earliest people in Asia Pacific and a mute witness to the significant milestones in the Philippine History," Pascual added.
For her part, Jennifer J. Baquiran, officer-in-charge of the Cagayan Museum and Historical Research Center, said with the passage of the ordinance, the provincial government will ensure allocation of funds for the conservation and restoration of the Callao Caves.
"We will continue collaborating with the different government agencies, individuals and organizations to ensure that Cagayan's heritage will be protected and preserved," Baquiran said.
She confirmed that an influx of tourists from all over the region and elsewhere continue to visit the area since the discovery of the oldest human fossil which was earlier named Callao Man.
Both Baquiran and Pascual are now working hand-in-hand for the passage of the said ordinance which was also supported by the whole provincial board. (ALM/OTB/PIA 2-Cagayan)