Palawan Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) Planet Champion Awardee: MS. ANGELIQUE SONGCO

by | Feb 10, 2023

Better known as Mama Ranger, Ms. Angelique Songco has been the Protected Area Superintendent of Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park (TRNP) since 2001. In her pursuit of marine conservation and protection, she has been at the forefront of efforts to steer the public’s awareness and actions to the grandeur and threats besetting TRNP’s marine biodiversity. 

Under her leadership, TRNP has become a no-fish zone. 

As an AB English degree holder and former staff of the Philippine Navy, never in her wildest dreams did she envision for herself to lead such a post. But Ms. Songco is uncompromising and gung-ho with respect to her mandate. Through her leadership, she reinforces law and order; advocates for awareness-raising for the protection and conservation of marine biodiversity; always on the lookout for threats and squarely facing them for the name of marine conservation and protection.

Her at the helm, the TRNP has garnered notable awards and recognitions. In November 2015, Tubbataha was declared by the ASEAN’s Centre for Biodiversity as the 35th ASEAN Heritage Park. In 2017, it also nabbed the Platinum Global Ocean Refuge System (GLORES) Award by Marine Conservation Institute (MCI) in Chile. Just last January, it has also been included in the list of “19 Beautiful Destinations with the Best Scuba Diving in the World” by “Travel + Leisure,” which is a New York-based magazine.

With all these, Ms. Songco clinched the 2019 Kfw Bernhard-Grzimek Prize for her successful protection and conservation efforts for TRNP. She was also named as the  Hero of the Environment by World Wildlife Fund (WWF)-Philippines twice, and was conferred the 1st Philippine Tourism Excellence Awards- Environmental Conservation by Asian Institute of Management (AIM) Dr. Andrew L. Tan Center for Tourism. 

She also became a member of Women Divers Hall of Fame in 2020 composed of women leaders in the diving community, among the many other notable accolades she has under her name.

Ms. Songco’s TRNP career began in 1996 when she started working for the Tubbataha Reef National Park (TRNP)  as a representative for an environmental non-government organization (NGO). She went on to become a part of the World Wide Fund Philippines (WWFP), and ultimately became part of TRNP’s Protected Area Management Board (PAMB) in 2001.

In light of her dynamic persona and leadership bolstered by the result-driven and socio-responsive approach that she applies on the protection and conservation of TRNP, the Palawan Council for Sustainable Development Staff confers their Palawan Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) Planet Champion Award to Ms. Angelique Songco, for her outstanding contributions to the conservation, protection, and preservation of the environmental integrity of Palawan Biosphere Reserves.