Revised Wildlife Protection Bill Hits House Panel – Manila Bulletin

The House Committee on Natural Resources has taken a big step towards improving the protection of Filipino wildlife.

MANILA BULLETIN FILE PHOTO

This, after the committee chaired by the representative of the 4th district of Cavite, Elpidio Barzaga Jr., approved the bill replacing a measure to amend the Law of the Republic (RA) No. 9147, or the “ law on the conservation and protection of wildlife resources ”. The law is 19 years old.

The replacement measure originally represented the consolidation of House Bills (HB) Nos. 265, 3351 and 4860, also known as the Revised Wildlife Conservation and Protection Act.

But Barzaga recommended including the salient elements of two other bills, namely HB Nos. 1684 and 3614, in the substitute measure as they were closely related. Lray Villafuerte, representative of Camarines Sur, and Alfred Vargas, representative of Quezon City, respectively drafted the invoices.

These latter two bills regulate the capture, sale, purchase, possession, transportation, import and export of all sharks, rays and chimaeras and any part of them in the country.

“In fact, these bills were approved in the previous (17th) Congress. But unfortunately it was not approved in the Senate. The purpose of these two bills is in fact linked to the replacement bill that we have just approved… the suggestion is that we incorporate the relevant provisions of these two bills into the replacement bill ”, he said. declared the solon of Dasmariñas.

This was eventually proposed and approved by a panel member after Vice President Rufus Rodriguez, author of HB No.4860, agreed to it. The invited resource persons, including Theresa Tenazas from the Biodiversity Management Office of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), supported her.

Rodriquez’s bill states that the Philippines has a very diverse wildlife. “We have famous species like the Philippine eagle, the tamaraw and the Philippine tarsier,” he wrote in the explanatory note to his measurement.

“According to the Biodiversity Management Bureau, the Philippines has approximately 133 land mammals, 230 birds, 244 reptiles and 97 species of amphibians that are not found anywhere else in the world. We also have over 120 fish that can only be found in the inland and marine waters of the Philippines, ”said Congressman Cagayan de Oro.

Referring to RA # 9147, Rodriguez said: “We need to improve and strengthen this law to meet the demands and problems we have today. This will ensure that our environment will be protected not only for us, but also for future generations. “

Rodriguez revealed during the roundtable that he was happy with the criminal provision of the replacement bill, which would give the eventual law some bite.

“We have discussed this thoroughly and I am very happy with the penalties (in the replacement bill). We will jail for temporary confinement those who inflict or undertake against species classified as critically endangered. That’s good. It’s almost life imprisonment, ”he said.

He also approved the proposed fine of P 2 million for violators.


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Betty T. Simpson

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