TUGUEGARAO CITY, Philippines- Tourists who want to explore the Capisaan Caves are encouraged to coordinate with the municipal government of Kasibu, Nueva Vizcaya to ensure safety in the area.
In a phone interview with The Northern Forum on Thursday, September 14, Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Officer (PDRRMO) Robert Corpuz clarified that Kasibu is ready to handle tourists who are advised to have proper coordination with local authorities such as the Provincial Tourism Office.
“It’s a proper protocol to have a request and [to] register so that sa ganoon ay mabibigyan sila (tourists) ng kaukulang pansin at protekstyon,” said Corpuz.
This after Nueva Vizcaya Governor Carlos Padilla reportedly encouraged tourists to “suspend their itinerary” to visit the world-class caves on Thursday, September 7, following a bloody encounter between government troops and members of the New People’s Army which resulted to the deaths of four soldiers.
Corpuz clarified that police and the Barangay Tourism Council have since made their presence in the area and are in charge of the security of Capisaan. A Crisis Management Committee was also formed and is headed by Mayor Alberto Bumolo Jr., the police, and the military.
Corpuz said that the PDRRMO is closely monitoring the situation in Kasibu in coordination with the Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office (MDRRMO) and the police.
He said that they have evacuated a total of 1,245 people from 271 families. Of these numbers, 145 families with 592 members came from Barangay Pao while 126 families with 653 members were from Kakiduguen. 271 families and 1,245 . This number has lowered from the 1,553 evacuees from the conflict zones.
From four evacuation areas, only two sites remain and are located in barangays Pao and Kakiduguen in the town, said Corpuz.
Corpuz said that PDRRMO is continuously helping Kasibu MDRRMO to provide relief and medical operations, and in leading evacuation of affected families due to the conflict in the area. They are also on alert for rescue operations. Northernforum.net