LA TRINIDAD, Benguet: To preserve the flora and fauna of Bakun, officials here passed an ordinance to ensure the conservation and protection of indigenous wildlife and their habitat.
The fate of Ordinance Number 04-2014 now rests in the hands of the Benguet Provincial Board.
Vice Mayor Edwin Bandao, who authored the measure, said this would help protect some of the local wildlife that are considered critically endangered.
“We are indigenous peoples yet we cannot show any indigenous wildlife in our area,” said Bandao. “The next generation will question us on what we have done about this.”
Among the critically endangered flora are orchids, blackberries, the Benguet Lily, and Almaciga trees, while fauna include the Philippine brown deer and bearded pig. Other endangered species are the cloud rat, wildcat, woodpecker, and giant ferns.
Contributing to the extinction of indigenous wildlife are illegal acts like killing and destruction, hunting, trapping, collecting, possessing, trading, and transporting endangered species.
Other factors are the dumping of waste products detrimental to wildlife, squatting or occupying portions of the critical habitat, mineral exploitation and extraction, and logging and quarrying that are considered unlawful acts.
If approved, the measure will lead to the creation of a task force on wildlife protection and conservation for proper implementation and enforcement.