Friday, January 18, 2008
CANDABA -- Environment Secretary Lito Atienza
has called for the immediate investigation of the wanton hunting
and killing of birds in the country following the appeal made
by Mayor Jerry Pelayo and the Wild Bird Club of the Philippines
to strictly enforce the Wild life Act or Republic Act 9147.
Atienza warned the public that killing, collecting or inflicting
injury to wildlife, including bird species is unlawful, with
violators facing imprisonment and payment of fines.
This developed as some groups and individuals are actively
engaged in hunting birds -- some of which have been classified
as vulnerable or threatened -- as a hobby or as a commercial
Pelayo said he joined those who condemned the wanton hunting
of wild birds in the country.
"It greatly saddens me that even members of the Philippine
National Shooting Team (PNST) who should be models for the
youth seemed involved in the senseless killing of wild birds,
particularly the endemic Philippine Duck (Anas luzonica),"
Atienza said he had already issued an order to environment
filed personnel to look for or monitor the activities of bird
hunters like the PNST and act accordingly, in coordination
with the local government and police officials.
"We have a Wild Life Act aimed at conserving and protecting
wild life resources and habitats. This law explicitly prohibits
the killing, collecting, hunting or possessing wild life,
their by products and derivatives. We must implement this,"
The environment chief expressed serious concern about reports
that bird hunting expeditions are being organized by certain
groups. Some have brazenly advertised on the Internet, soliciting
public participation in bird hunting activities.
But officials of the Department of Environment and Natural
Resources (DENR) learned that some of these controversial
web sites had been shut down following the uproar about photos
on the web showing a group of individuals with hunting rifles
slung on their bodies, proudly displaying lifeless Philippine
ducks or Philippine mallards.
Pelayo expressed sadness and disturbed that even an elected
official in Palawan who serves in a Municipal Committee on
Environment thinks that living closest to nature can be a
licenses to shoot helpless wild birds. "Whatever our
opinion is, killing wild birds is against the law with only
a few exceptions that do not included the need to satisfy
craving for bird meat," he said.
The Philippine duck is a wild bird endemic to the country
and classifies as a vulnerable species. Although not yet endangered,
the Philippine duck is under threat from adverse factors throughout
their range and is likely to move to the endangered category
in the future.
Atienza directed the DENR legal division to study the filing
of charges against the bird hunters.
The other day, a group of student environment activists from
Candaba Central School joined Pelayo in lobbying at the DENR
office to urge the secretary to seriously implement the wild
life law and to once and for all stop the senseless killing
Those who joined Pelayo are Carlo Salac, Jannah Richel Dela
Pena, Jeremy Pius Gonzales, Shaira Simbulan, Robin Peralta,
Katherine Melendez, Patrick Manio, Krizel Mingoy, Eugene Quiazon
and teachers, Mailah Amurao, Rebecca Tungcab, Remedios Dizon,
Neneth Rivera and Aristotle Evangelista. (RCG)