The provincial government on Thursday said they will dispatch a team of experts, including the staff of the Palawan Council for Sustainable Development (PCSD) to Balabac to study possible options for the government on resolving the recent cases of crocodile attacks in the area.
Provincial Information Officer Gil Acosta Jr. said the team, scheduled to start its surveys on November 20, will also consider a plan to designate protected areas for the crocodiles.
Acosta told Palawan News that while some residents have suggested removing the crocodiles away from the communities, he said such options cannot be done without conducting scientific studies.
He added, however, that the government’s priority is to raise awareness among the local population about the crocodiles and their natural habitat so that they can adjust properly to the situation.
“Our goal is awareness talaga ng residente sa mga barangay doon na magkakaroon talaga ng interaction between humans and the crocodiles,” he said.
Acosta noted studies stating that Balabac has the highest density of salt-water crocodile population in the country.
Acosta also said that the call for removing the crocodiles is difficult to implement because the area is the natural habitat of the endangered reptiles.
“Hindi naman kasi kasalanan ng buwaya na doon sila nakatira at mas lalong hindi pupwedeng pumatay ng buwaya because it is against the law and they also have a big contribution in balancing the ecosystem,” he said.
He said the study team will be composed of provincial government, local government unit of Balabac, Philippine National Police, Philippine Coast Guard, PCSD and the Palawan Wildlife Rescue and Conservation Center.