Pursuant to Administrative Order No. 12 or the Detailed Guidelines in the Implementation of Republic Act 9147 (Wildlife Act), the Palawan Council for Sustainable Development Staff is continuously conducting the Wildlife Enforcement Officers Training program.
For 2014, PCSDS will conduct its first WEO Training in the municipality of Dumaran, Palawan, where approximately 40 participants are expected to attend from February 10 to 14. The said training will be co-sponsored by the municipal government of Dumaran led by Mayor Medwin C. Pablico with support from Katala Foundation.
Section 5 of AO 12 enumerates who can apply for the WEO training program. This includes individuals from different sectors of the society, such as the local government units (LGUs), non-government organizations (NGOs), citizens groups, community organizations. Also, personnel from the Philippine National Police, Armed Forces of the Philippines, National Bureau of Investigation, Philippine Coast Guard and other law enforcement agencies shall be designated by their concerned heads of office for the purpose.
The participants will undergo a series of workshops, lectures, role plays, field works, and written examinations. At the end of the training, the trainees are expected to acquire the necessary knowledge and skills on the following topics:
- Wildlife laws, rules and regulations;
- PCSD policies and guidelines related to the implementation of the Wildlife Act, including this Administrative Order;
- National government’s international commitments (CITES and IUCN);
- Wildlife Identification and handling;
- Illegal Wildlife Trade;
- Preparation of reports, affidavits, sworn statements, seizure receipts, turn-over receipts, inventory reports and complaints for filing in court;
- Inspection procedures;
- Valid procedures in effecting Arrest, Search and Seizures;
- Conduct of Surveillance activities;
- Evidence gathering, custody and preservation;
- Smuggling Techniques;
- Methods of concealment;
- Detection of falsified or invalid documents;
- Animal handling; and
- Prosecution of wildlife cases.
The trainees must complete the 5 day course, submit all the documentary requirements and pass the final exam before they can be deputized as full-fledged WEOs.
The WEOs shall perform the following duties and responsibilities:
- Seize illegally collected, possessed and/or traded wildlife, or parts, by-products and/or derivatives thereof;
- Effect valid warrantless arrest upon any person who has committed, is committing, or is about to commit in his presence any of the offenses provided under Wildlife Act and other relevant laws, rules and regulations;
- Assist in the conduct of surveillance and monitoring of wildlife-related activities; Deliver the arrested offender within reasonable time to the nearest police station and assist in filing the proper complaint with the appropriate official designated by law to conduct preliminary investigation;
- Deliver within reasonable time to the concerned PCSDS Office for custody all confiscated wildlife, their by-products and/or derivatives, as well as tools, equipment and conveyances used in the commission of a crime, including corresponding reports;
- Act as witness in court for the speedy prosecution of criminal complaints against wildlife violators;
- Prosecute cases before Municipal Trial Courts in areas where there are no prosecutors;
- Prosecute administrative cases before the PCSD Adjudication Board (PAB) for violations falling under the penal provisions of this Order;
- Submit monthly accomplishment reports to the concerned field offices with jurisdiction over their area of operations;
- Coordinate with other law enforcement agencies for security reasons, if
- Perform such other duties as may be assigned by the PCSD, PCSDS Executive
Director or their duly authorized representative/s from time to time.
Those who will be deputized will have the full authority as with a PCSDS wildlife enforcement officer. They will be issued a Deputation Order by the PCSD with corresponding Identification Card. The said Order shall be valid for a period of two (2) years from the date of issue, renewable for the same period after submission of a duly accomplished evaluation form and upon favourable recommendation of the appropriate office of the PCSDS. Theyshall closely work with the PCSDS and will be under the direct supervision of the PCSDS Executive Director.