MOA FOR MARINE TURTLE AND PANGOLIN PROTECTION: The Palawan Council for Sustainable Development (PCSD) and the JCI Puerto Princesa Peacock, Inc. (JCIPPPI or Peacock Jaycees) during the renewal of their agreement on March 1, 2019, to conserve and protect the endangered marine turtle (pawikan) and Palawan pangolin (balintong). The signing between Palawan Council for Sustainable Development (PCSD) Staff deputy director Atty. Adele Benavente-Villena (middle) and Peacock Jaycees president Mabelle Castro (right) was witnessed by Tina Rodriguez (left) also of the PCSD. (Photo courtesy of Mabelle Castro)
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The Palawan Council for Sustainable Development (PCSD) and the JCI Puerto Princesa Peacock, Inc. or Peacock Jaycees renewed their agreement Friday to work together to protect and conserve the endangered marine turtle.

Peacock Jaycees president Maria Claribelle Castro said the renewed memorandum of agreement (MOA) also now includes the critically endangered Palawan pangolin or balintong(Manis culionensis) as part of their role to help conduct public awareness campaigns for protection and conservation.

“Last year kasi marine turtle lang ang nakalagay sa MOA natin with PCSD. Ngayon in-extend namin ito sa pangolin kasi isa siya sa mga critically endangered. Isinama natin siya ngayon because nangangailangan din siya nang pagpapahalaga at proteksyon sa ating environment,” Castro said.

Castro said the signing of the MOA with the PCSD for the protection and conservation of the two wildlife species is part of their participation to the celebration of the World Wildlife Day on March 3.

The Peacock Jaycees, she said, is a non-profit organization composed of young female professionals who also advocate for active citizenship and creating positive change in the environment.

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Involvement in the agreement, she further explained, would mean initiating activities and projects that would increase people’s knowledge about the two species and how they can be best protected.

“Our organization is tasked to conduct information dissemination and awareness campaigns. In order for more people to help conserve the marine turtles and the pangolins, they need to understand and be educated about why these animals need protection. They need to be aware why they are important in keeping the balance in our ecology,” Castro said.

She said the primary focus of their awareness campaigns will be the children because sensitizing them towards conserving wildlife and loving animals is important while they are growing up.

Atty. Adelina Villena, PCSD deputy director, said the children need to learn about the importance of biodiversity in human life and the Peacock Jaycees’ interest to continue the awareness campaign partnership can help make this possible.

“We involve the children dahil mas maganda na bata pa lang tinuturuan na sila. Atleast kahit sa simpleng tanong kung bakit dapat hindi hinuhuli ang mga ibon o bakit bawal ang straw ay may magagawa sila,” she said.

Meanwhile, the PCSD also conducted its 5th Kiddie Wildlife Summit which was participated by 180 students from six schools in Puerto Princesa City.

Villena appealed to the public to be active in efforts the protect the environment.

“Dapat sana lahat magkaroon ng active role sa conservation ng environment. ‘Yon kasi ang mahirap ipaliwanag sa mga tao, kapag pinagbawalan mo sila manghuli ng pangolin iniisip nila mas mahalaga ang hayop kaysa sa kanila. ‘Yon dapat ang maintindihan nila kasi kapag nawala na ‘yan sa picture na lang makikita. Kailangan alagaan natin ang environment kasi isa lang ‘to,” she said.

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is the chief of correspondents of Palawan News. She covers defense, politics, tourism, health, and sports stories. She loves to travel and explore different foods.