The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) urged on Sunday, Jan. 23, lawmakers to amend the Wildlife Resources Conservation and Protection Act of 2001 in order to maximize the protection of the Philippine Eagle which is already classified as an endangered species.
What DENR SEc. Roy Cimatu wants is for stricter penalties against the violators of the law, or the Republic Act (RA) 9147.
This came after a Philippine eagle named “Godod” was released in the municipality of Godod, Zamboanga del Norte province on January 10.
Godod, a female Philippine eagle (Pithecophaga jefferyi), was rescued following a report that it was trapped and in captivity by a resident somewhere in Barangay Bunawan, Godod in Zamboanga del Norte.
“Experts in Philippine eagle biology and ecology deem that the surge in rescues during this time means that culprits are intruding into the forests to hunt for food and as a source of livelihood, thereby causing a disturbance in the forest habitats,” Cimatu said.
“We have to remain vigilant and let the perpetrators know that there are environmental laws they have to face if they continue with such evil deeds. Continuously confronted with such acts, we urge our lawmakers to help us protect the Philippine eagle and other wildlife species,” he added.
Godod was ordered released by the Community Environment and Natural Resources Office (CENRO) in Liloy, Zamboanga del Norte after all the rests revealed that the raptor is healthy.
Before its release, the eagle was tagged and installed with a global positioning system or GPS tracker, and the release site was assessed for suitability as a habitat.
The Philippine eagle is a critically endangered species under DENR Administrative Order 2019-09 known as the updated National Lists of Threatened Philippine Fauna and their Categories and in Appendix I of the Convention on International Trade for Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora or CITES wherein said species is threatened with extinction.
It is also included in the International Union for Conservation of Nature or IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.