Philippine Eagle Center Act in Bukidnon filed

Philippine Eagle Center Act in Bukidnon filed
Philippine Eagle Foundation

AN OFFICIAL from the Philippine Eagle Foundation (PEF) said that they are excited with House Bill 9894, recently filed by Congressman Jose Manuel F. Alba, designating and establishing a satellite breeding and research facility in Bukidnon.

Dr. Jayson Ibañez, director for Research and Conservation at PEF, said in a media interview at the Philippine Eagle Center on Tuesday morning, February 13, 2024, that this is a good thing for the northern part of Mindanao since it has a huge population of Philippine eagles.

“We think that itong [this] breeding facility, the future breeding facility would really help secure yung mga [the] populations naman natin sa [at the] Northern Mindanao because ideally if we want to conserve the Philippine eagles we need to conserve each of the subpopulations,” Ibañez said.

He expressed that in securing the subpopulations, they could secure important bloodlines or pedigrees.

“If you want to save the Philippine eagle, the whole species, you should protect as many as the pedigrees or bloodlines as possible,” he said.  

PEF is positive that the bill will be passed into law since it is very timely and the population of the eagle needs it. Ibañez said that they are expecting that other members of the Senate will support it and a Senate version will be filed. Considering that the Senate president, Juan Miguel Zubiri, is from Bukidnon, the foundation is hopeful there will be a Senate version soon.  

The filling of the House bill is a reflection that the general public, including the lawmakers are willing to support the conservation program of PEF.

“We are looking at this initiative as a trigger to more policies, more Philippine eagle-friendly policies and laws that can definitely help our national bird,” Ibañez said. 

Dennis Salvador, executive director at PEF, said the House bill is a welcome development. However, there is a need to ensure that the threats associated with putting up a breeding facility are sufficiently addressed such that the surrounding community should not have any game or fowl farms.

“It will certainly require a huge logistics demand and hopefully with adequate resources I know we can address that,” he said. 

House Bill No. 9894, which will be called the “Philippine Eagle Center Act in the Province of Bukidnon”, seeks to provide a safe and conducive environment for the conservation and protection of the Philippine eagle population in Bukidnon, which has the most number of wild Philippine eagle pairs in the Philippines with at least 17 pairs followed by the province of Davao Oriental with 14 pairs. 

Also, the foundation is drafting the National Bird Act, which is exclusively for the Philippine eagle and its goal is to muster resources toward more effective conservation, to raise public awareness, and to raise national pride for the bird. 

“We want this to be a more holistic approach rather than just… hopefully engage many parts and sectors of society. It needs to be consultative and it needs to be technically sound,” he said. RGP


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