The Palawan Council for Sustainable Development (PCSD), represented by PCSDS Executive Director Atty. Teodoro Jose Matta, joined in today’s Public Hearing of the Committee on Environment, Natural Resources, and Climate Change joint with Finance, Sustainable Development Goals, Innovation and Futures Thinking online via Cisco Webex. The session was presided by the committee’s chairman Senator Cynthia Villar and was also attended by Senator Juan Miguel Zubiri and Senator Nancy Binay. The hearing was conducted as a venue to discuss shared concerns and express support for the enactment into law of a consolidated version of Senate Bill No. 2078 and No. 2079 or the Revised Wildlife Resources Conservation and Protection Act.
In the pursuit to stay true to its advocacy for sustainable development, the PCSD firmly pushes for senate bills to amend RA 9147 or the Wildlife Resources Conservation and Protection Act. These legislations would include an updated list of the definition of terms, illegal activities, threatened species, penalties, and processing of wildlife permits, among others. In his speech, Executive Director Matta noted the integral need for these senate bills to amend RA 9147, and also citing suggestions for consideration, including that of declaring Wildlife Trafficking/Trade as “unlawful activities” under the Anti-Money Laundering Law (RA 9160); and for the establishment of a National Anti-Wildlife Trafficking Task Force or Council for the apprehension of transnational perpetrators, among others.
Leaning on the affirmative, Senator Villar and Senator Juan Miguel Zubiri also agreed that SB Nos. 2078 and 2079 are important in “strengthening wildlife protection” and that “it’s a high time to revise the wildlife act,” respectively.
The PCSD plays a key role in the passage of these senate bills by virtue of its jurisdiction in Palawan’s flora and fauna as an arm of the government through RA 7611 or the Strategic Environmental Plan (SEP) for Palawan Act.
The senate bills concerned are now pending for deliberations by the assigned Technical Working Group (TWG) of the Senate.