The U.S. Embassy in the Philippines donated field gears Friday to the enforcement teams of the Palawan Council for Sustainable Development Staff (PCSDS) and Bantay Palawan Task Force (BPTF).
John Law, deputy chief of mission of the U.S. Embassy in the country, said the donation was made through the Protect Wildlife Project of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) aimed at helping strengthen wildlife and environmental law enforcement in the province.
“It is just such a pleasure to be here in this beautiful island, and in this beautiful province in the Philippines. It’s such a pleasure for us to be working with the Palawan Council for Sustainable Development (PCSD), Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), the city and municipalities that are all working together, and the volunteers and the people who make this possible,” Law said.
He said he appreciates the commitment of the PCSDS to protect the province’s wildlife and environment. The field gears include 49 set of backpacks, hammocks, raincoats and boots, 25 tents, five first-aid kits, and 10 sets of tablets.
The BPTF, is a PCSD-led task force composed of civilians and military, created to assist the enforcement of environmental laws in Palawan.
Narra town mayor Lucena Demaala, president of the League of Mayors of the Philippines (LMP) in Palawan, also expressed her gratitude to the USAID for partnering with the province in protecting the environment.
“In behalf of the council and the Bantay Palawan Task Force, I would like to express our gratitude for the generous donation of these enforcement gears of the USAID through the Protect Wildlife Program,” said Demaala.
Demaala added she is confident that the equipment will be of great help in combatting wildlife crimes and in the enforcement of environmental laws.
Nelson Devanadera, PCSDS executive director, said the field gears will be very helpful in their mandate to protect the island’s wildlife and environment.
“These will reinforce our law enforcers. May isang gadget dyan na kapag nilitrato mo (ginamit mong pang-litrato) may GPS ‘yan, may location, tapos ibibigay mo agad doon sa Biodiversity Resources Access Information Network (BRAIN),” Devanadera said.
He explained BRAIN is a system that can be accessed by their team using an application software for improved monitoring and enforcement on the field. This will be through the Samsung Galaxy S2 tablets provided by the USAID.
Meanwhile, PCSDS spokesperson Jovic Fabello admitted the field gears are important for the enforcement teams.
“Iyong ibang mga gamit na ‘yan, wala talagang ganyan ‘yong enforcement team natin. Kaya importante talaga ‘yan para makapag-perform sila ng trabaho nang mas maayos,” Fabello said.