The City Council has granted Mayor Lucilo Bayron approval to engage in agreements focused on protecting marine wildlife species within the city and conserving a mountain habitat.
During the City Council’s regular session, Councilor Jimmy Carbonell introduced two measures aimed at granting authorization to Bayron for signing memorandum of agreement arrangements.
These agreements are intended to be established with the Schools Division Office of the Department of Education (DepEd) in Puerto Princesa and the Palawan Council for Sustainable Development (PCSD).
The first seeks to promote the involvement of DepEd in safeguarding the green sea turtle (pawikan) population along the west coast of the city. The second agreement involves seeking support from PCSD to allocate specific areas within Mount Cleopatra’s Needle as crucial habitats.
According to Carbonell, the decision to collaborate on the preservation of Mount Cleopatra’s Needle stemmed from ongoing discussions regarding the restoration of Puerto Princesa’s forested areas.
“Kasi yung area nandoon sa loob ng DepEd premises sa west coast, [at] very much willing din sila na suportahan ang programang ito para mapreserve yung wildlife species. Hindi lang ito sa west coast, under studies pa yung ibang area ng Philippine Coast Guard sa Puerto Princesa,” he said.
A specific stretch of coastline along the western shores serves as the habitat for sea turtles, which are a protected species classified as “critically endangered” according to Resolution No. 15-521 by the PCSD.
Moreover, he mentioned that the Philippine Coast Guard is presently studying other potential habitat areas of the pawikan.
Although both resolutions received the City Council’s approval, it should be noted that the PCSD had previously designated Mount Cleopatra’s Needle, a forest reserve situated within the mountain range, as a critical habitat back in 2016.