Dec 6 House approves bill establishing an ‘Adopt-A-Wildlife Species Program’

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  DEC. 6, 2011 DATE NR # 2609 REF. NO. House approves bill establishing an ‘Adopt-A-Wildlife Species Program’ The House of Representatives has approved on second reading a measure establishing an “Adopt-A-Wildlife Species Program,” designed to conserve and protect biological diversity and promote ecological sustainable development. House Bill 5421 seeks to address major inhibiting factors to widen private sector participation in conservation by providing not only incentives but also a strong sci
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  DATEREF. NO. NR # 2609 DEC. 6, 2011 House approves bill establishing an ‘Adopt-A-Wildlife Species Program’ The House of Representatives has approved on second reading a measureestablishing an “Adopt-A-Wildlife Species Program,” designed to conserve and protect biological diversity and promote ecological sustainable development.House Bill 5421 seeks to address major inhibiting factors to widen private sector  participation in conservation by providing not only incentives but also a strong science- based framework that will guide programs and activities.The approved measure, House Bill 5421, substituted House Bill 769 authored byRep. Edcel Lagman (1 st District, Albay).Lagman said the Philippines has enacted various laws to protect the country’sthreatened species, including Republic Act 9147 or the “Wildlife Resources Conservationand Protection Act” and Republic Act 7586 or the “National Integrated Protected AreasSystem (NIPAS) Act and a number of existing laws aimed at protecting specific threatenedspecies but all have unfortunately not yet achieved their intended conservation impact.“These are primarily due to problems in implementation, poor coordination of various species protection efforts among NGOs, universities and the government, a dearthof appropriate monitoring mechanisms and a lack of interest and participation by localcommunities and the private sector,” Lagman said.Lagman said despite these conservation efforts, population estimates for somenotable species, including the national bird of the Philippines, the Philippine Eagle and thelargest mammal endemic to the country, the Tamaraw still continue to decline.The measure cites the policy of the State to protect and advance the right of the people to a balanced and healthful ecology in accord with the rhythm and harmony of nature.The bill provides the establishment of ‘Adopt-A-Wildlife Species Program’ to beimplemented in all appropriate areas of the country with the active participation,involvement and assistance of local government units (LGUs), non-governmentorganizations (NGOs), people’s organizations (POs), civil society ad private individuals.The bill further provides for the prevention of species extinction and promotes the protection of threatened species and their habitats and encourages the conservation of threatened species and their habitats through the active participation of the private sector and all other sectors of society.  DATEREF. NO. NR # 2609 DEC. 6, 2011 Under the measure, a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) shall be executed by and between the adopting entity or individual and the Secretary of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), or the Secretary of the Department of Agriculture (DA), or the Chairman of the Palawan Council for Sustainable Development(PCSD) stipulating the terms and conditions of the adoption in accordance with R.A.9147.The bill grants tax exemption on any donation, contribution, request or grant whichshall be made to the ‘Adopt-A-Wildlife Species Program’ by the adopting entity or individual from donor’s tax and shall be considered as allowable deduction from grossincome in the computation of the donor’s income tax.The bill mandates the DENR, DA, and the PCSD in consultation with theDepartment of Finance (DOF) to jointly formulate the rules and regulations to implementthe relevant provisions of this Act. (30) lvc
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