(Background photo courtesy of PCSD)
(Background photo courtesy of PCSD)

Board Member Juan Antonio Alvarez is urging different agencies to form new strategies that will protect Palawan’s endangered species following the recovery of 65 sacks and boxes of poached wildlife.

Alvarez said the government should be preventive and not reactive in conserving the country’s wildlife species, particularly those whose protection status is high.

On September 27, a joint team of the Western Command’s (WESCOM) Naval Forces West (NFW), Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office (PENRO), and Palawan Council for Sustainable Development (PCSD) confiscated still undetermined kilos of dried Hawksbill turtle scutes, pipefishes, seahorses, and pangolin scales in Barangay San Pedro.

The military named the owner of the wildlife by-products as a certain Garry Abriol.

“I commend the agencies that apprehended and seized the poached species but it is very alarming. For me, however, they did a good job. It is a little bit too late though… kumbaga nagiging reactive na lang tayo pagdating sa protection ng ating wildlife species lalo na ang mga endangered,” he said.

Alvarez said there are still endangered species being sold in the wet market and coastal areas in some municipalities.

He said it has reached his knowledge that even protected sharks are being sold along the shores of the province.

“May mga reports tayo na natatanggap na sa mga coastal areas na pati ang mga pating ay binibenta at marami pa ‘yan na hindi talaga napro-protektahan,” he said.

Alvarez is calling on all concerned agencies to form a strategic plan to solve illegal wildlife trafficking in Palawan as soon as possible.

“Maybe they have an idea but maybe they also need the help of the provincial government to strengthen the fight against the illegal activities involving our wildlife species,” he said.