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R.

A 9147
Wildlife Act

Environmental Law
Atty. Alain Jan Brigoli

Members:
Guro, Farhana
Mercado, Regina
Miranda, Vienna
Nenaria, Janine Louise Mae

June 1, 2018
Table of Contents

I. History of the Law ..................................................................................................... 1

II. Purpose of the Law ................................................................................................... 2

III. Salient Features or Important Provisions ............................................................. 3

IV. Applicability in present Philippine conditions ..................................................... 4


A. Wildlife Rescue Centre
B. Adopt-a-Wildlife-Species Program
C. Wildlife Conservation Program

V. Proposed Amendments ........................................................................................... 5


I. History of the Law

The Philippines is considered a mega-diversity country rivalled only by a few


countries in the world when it comes to variety of ecosystems, species and genetic
resources. Many of the islands comprising the archipelago are believed to have a very
high degree of land and animal endemism. The country hosts more than 52,177
described species of which more than half is found nowhere else in the world. On a per
unit area basis, the Philippines probably harbours more diversity of life than any other
country on the planet.

The country is also considered a biodiversity hotspot. This is because the


Philippines continues to experience an alarming rate of destruction of these important
resources brought about by overexploitation, deforestation, land degradation, climate
change, and pollution including biological pollution and among others.

According to the International Union for the Conversation of Nation (IUCN),


Philippines has 387 threatened species, the world’s fourth highest, after three Asian
countries- Malaysia, Indonesia and India. With regard to extinct and endangered plants
and animals, the Philippines head the list in Southeast and South Asia and is second in
the world after Africa. The country has 227 extinct and endangered plants and 318
extinct and endangered animals. Some of the threatened species are the Philippine
eagle, Mindoro crocodile and three-striped boxed turtle.

In the fact of such seemingly grim scenario, nature groans and moans and cries
out for help. Its cry is so loud and clear that it reverberates through decades, resounding
as it crosses all borders of time and space, class and culture that is not easy as to
ignore it.

The Philippine government, hearing nature’s cry has promptly taken the cudgel
through the legal framework, enacted R.A 9147 or known as the Wildlife Resources
Conservation and Protection Act, to conserve and protect the wildlife in the Philippines.

R.A 9147 is jointly implemented by DENR, Department of Agriculture and


Palawan Council for Sustainable Development (PCSD).

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II. Purpose of the Law

Republic Act No. 9147 or the Wildlife Conservation and Protection Act was enacted
on July 30, 2001 providing, among others, for the conservation and protection of wildlife
resources and their habitats. The law aims to protect the country’s fauna from illicit
trade, abuse and destruction through:
1) Conserving and Protecting wildlife species and their habitats;
2) Regulating the collection and trade of wildlife;
3) Pursuing with due regard to the national interest, the Philippine commitment to
international conventions, protection of wildlife and their habitats and;
4) Initiating or supporting scientific studies on the conservation of biological
biodiversity

The provisions of this R.A 9147 is enforceable for all wildlife species found in all
areas of the country, including protected areas under R.A 7586 otherwise known as the
National Integrated Protected Areas System (NIPAS) Act, and critical habitats.
The law shall also apply to exotic species which are subject to trade are cultured,
maintained and/or bred in captivity or propagated in the country

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III. Salient Features or Important Provisions

R.A 9147 Section 2 - Declaration of Policy.

It shall be the policy of the State to conserve the country's wildlife resources
and their habitats for sustainability. In the pursuit of this policy, this Act shall have the
following objectives:

(a) to conserve and protect wildlife species and their habitats to promote
ecological balance and enhance biological diversity;

(b) to regulate the collection and trade of wildlife;

(c) to pursue, with due regard to the national interest, the Philippine
commitment to international conventions, protection of wildlife and their
habitats; and

(d) to initiate or support scientific studies on the conservation of biological


diversity.

Section 3 - Scope of Application.

The provisions of this Act shall be enforceable for all wildlife species found in all
areas of the country, including protected areas under Republic Act No. 7586,
otherwise known as the National Integrated Protected Areas System (NIPAS) Act, and
critical habitats. This Act shall also apply to exotic species which are subject to trade,
are cultured, maintained and/or bred in captivity or propagated in the country.

Section 4 - Jurisdiction of the Department of Environment and Natural


Resources and the Department of Agriculture.

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) shall have


jurisdiction over all terrestrial plant and animal species, all turtles and tortoises and
wetland species, including but not limited to crocodiles, waterbirds and all amphibians
and dugong. The Department of Agriculture (DA) shall have jurisdiction over all
declared aquatic critical habitats, all aquatic resources including but not limited to all
fishes, aquatic plants, invertebrates and all marine mammals, except dugong.

The secretaries of the DENR and the DA shall review, and by joint administrative
order, revise and regularly update the list of species under their respective jurisdiction.
In the Province of Palawan, jurisdiction herein conferred is vested to the Palawan
Council for Sustainable Development pursuant to Republic Act No. 7611.

Definition:
 Critically endangered species – species facing extremely high risk of
extinction in the immediate future.

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 Endangered species – species whose survival is unlikely if the casual factors
threatening survival would continue.

 Vulnerable species – species under threat from adverse factors throughout


range of habitat – likely to move to endangered category in the future.

Objectives:
1) To conserve and protect wildlife species and their habitats to promote
ecological balance and enhance biological diversity;

2) Regulate the collection and trade of wildlife;

3) Pursue, with due regard to the national interest, the Philippine commitment
to international conventions, protection of wildlife and their habitats; and

4) To initiate or support scientific studies on the conservation of biological


diversity.

Section 6
Provides for the Wildlife Information that all activities, shall be authorized by the
Secretary upon proper evaluation of best available information or scientific data
showing that the activity is, or for a purpose, not detrimental to the survival of the
species or subspecies involved and/or their habitat. Secretary shall regularly update
wildlife information through research.

Section 7
Also provides for the Collection of Wildlife which allows scientific researches,
breeding/propagation as authorized by the Secretary (either of DENR or DA), subject
to compliance with requirements and conditions. Quantity of collection of species shall
be based in national quota, not detrimental to survival of the species and its habitat.

Section 16
Explains the Biosafety that all activities dealing on genetic engineering and
pathogenic organisms in the Philippines, as well as activities requiring the importation,
introduction, field release and breeding of organisms that are potentially harmful to
man and the environment shall be reviewed in accordance with the biosafety
guidelines ensuring public welfare and the protection and conservation of wildlife and
their habitats.
There is also a provision regarding the Commercial Breeding or Propagation of
Wildlife Resources. That the breeding or propagation of wildlife for commercial

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purposes shall be allowed by the Secretary or the authorized representative pursuant
to Section 6 through the issuance of wildlife farm culture permit: Provided, That only
progenies of wildlife raised, as well as unproductive parent stock shall be utilized for
trade: Provided, further: That commercial breeding operations for wildlife, whenever
appropriate, shall be subject to an environmental impact study

Section 20 - Authority of the Secretary to Issue Permits.


The Secretary or the duly authorized representative, in order to effectively
implement this Act, shall issue permits/certifications/clearances with corresponding
period of validity, whenever appropriate, which shall include but not limited to the
following: (1) Wildlife farm or culture permit is 3 to 5 years; (2) Wildlife collector's
permit is 1 to 3 years; (3) Gratuitous permit for 1 year; (4) Local transport permit is 1 to
3 months; and (5) Export/Import/Re Export permit 1 to 6 months. For the Collection of
Threatened Wildlife,

Section 23
Provides that by-products and derivatives is allowed only for scientific research,
breeding or propagation purposes. Only accredited individuals, business, research,
educational or scientific entities are allowed to collect. Possession of wildlife NO
person or entity shall be allowed of possession of wildlife unless: Proof of financial and
technical capability Has facilities to maintain the wildlife Obtained from legal sources

Section 27
Defined the illegal acts that makes it unlawful for any person to:
 Kill and destroy wildlife species Inflict injury which impairs the reproductive
system of wildlife species.
Effect any of the following acts on critical habitats:
 Dumping of waste products detrimental to wildlife Mineral exploitation and
extraction.

 Burning, logging and quarrying Transporting and trading of wildlife.


One if the most important provision of RA 9147 is the penalties imposed for the
violators of the Wildlife Act.
Fines and Penalties are the following:
 Critically Endangered Species - six (6) years and one (1) day minimum up to
twelve (12) years of imprisonment Php 100,000.00 to Php 1,000,000.00 of fine.

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 Endangered Species - four (4) years and one (1) day minimum up to six (6)
years of imprisonment Php 50,000.00 to Php 500,000.00 of fine.

 Vulnerable Species - two (2) years and one (1) day to four (4) years of
imprisonment Php 30,000.00 to Php 300,000.00 of fine.

 Other Species - six (6) months and one (1) day to one (1) year of imprisonment
Php 10,000.00 to Php 100,000.00 of fine.

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IV. Applicability in present Philippine conditions

Pursuant to the Wildlife act in which its purpose is for the long-term conservation
of the Philippines’ native and endemic wildlife and natural habitats. Different
Organizations led by Government branches were made for the benefit of future
generations of all peoples who may inhabit and share the natural resources of the
country.

A. Wildlife Rescue Centre

A Wildlife Rescue Center (WRC) is established that functions as repository and


rehabilitation facility for confiscated, donated, retrieved, turned over or abandoned
wildlife species. Its ultimate objective is to release the rehabilitated wildlife back to their
natural habitat and/or dispose them through other appropriate modes in accordance
with existing guidelines.

The WRC of the Biodiversity Management Bureau (BMB), formerly Protected


Areas and Wildlife Bureau (PAWB), evolved from a mini-zoo established in 1970’s by
the then Parks and Wildlife Office. Its original purpose was to serve as a wildlife display
facility showcasing the Philippine wildlife. The mini-zoo was gradually transformed into a
wildlife rescue center starting in 1981, when the Philippine Government signed and
became a party to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of
Wild Flora and Fauna (CITES). The BMB-WRC now forms an integral part of the
National Wildlife Rescue and Research Center (NWRCC) established in 2010.

Wildlife rescue centres play important role in the conservation and management
of wildlife resources. They are a source of stock to replenish the wild population as well
as founder stock for breeding, both for commercial and conservation purposes. They
are reservoir of genetic resources which are crucial in maintaining biological diversity.
They serve as research and living laboratory on the fields of, among others, wildlife
pests and diseases, animal anatomy, morphology and behaviour, results of which are
vital in the development of plans and policies for the conservation and management of
wildlife, both in captivity and in their natural habitat.

Wildlife rescue centres also serve as a training ground for practitioners and
students of veterinary medicine, zoology, biology, botany and other natural sciences.
They also contribute in addressing demands for wildlife species for public education and
ecotourism purposes. Through educational outreach programs, wildlife rescue centres
enhance environmental awareness and encourage the public to protect wildlife and their
delicate ecosystem habitats.

These diverse functions of wildlife rescue centres entice local government units,
academic institutions and private entities to establish facilities that perform both as a
rescue centre and a display facility.

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B. Adopt-a-Wildlife-Species Program

Under the new Adopt-a-Wildlife-Species Program of the Department of


Environment and Natural Resources, individuals, companies, and associations may
now adopt a Philippine eagle, a tamaraw, or any wildlife species.

Environment Secretary Ramon Paje said that the new program helps the
government form a strong partnership with private individuals and groups in protecting
the country's wildlife.

The program is covered by Republic Act No. 9147, or the Wildlife Resources
Conservation and Protection Act. The law expresses Government’s commitment to
conserve and protect wildlife species and their habitats to promote ecological balance
and enhance biological diversity.

A list of 1,197 species will be eligible for adoption. This includes 21 insects, 53
amphibians, 27 reptiles, 137 birds, 86 mammals, and 873 plant species. Some of the
endangered species covered by the program are the Philippine eagle, Philippine
crocodile, tamaraw, and waling-waling.

The adopting entity or individual is entitled to tax incentives for donations or


financial contributions under Section 34 of the Wildlife Resources Conservation and
Protection Act.

C. Wildlife Conservation Program

The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has given a
boost to the Department of Environment and Natural Resources’ biodiversity
conservation and efforts.

The DENR and the USAID launched Protect Wildlife, a five-year program meant
chiefly to cut illegal wildlife trade in the Philippines. The program will be piloted in
Palawan, including the Tubbataha reef and the Mt. Mantalingajan range and the Sulu
archipelago, including Zamboanga and Tawi-Tawi.

The purpose of which is for procuring technologies and for capacity-building for
biodiversity conservation and environmental law enforcement, for supporting alternative
livelihood, and for a massive information campaign that will institutionalize “behavioral
changes” in affected communities, according to DENR-Biodiversity Management
Bureau director Theresa Mundita Lim, in an interview.

The Philippines and other Southeast Asian countries have been deemed
“hotspots” for wildlife trafficking, being “strategic locations” as international “transit
points” for contraband.

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The 2014 International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of
Threatened Species included over 800 species in the Philippines, although over the
years, new wildlife species have also been discovered.

Environment Secretary Gina Lopez extolled the benefits of wildlife in the


Philippines, citing her belief in their medicinal value and pull on ecotourism. Wildlife is
therefore an integral part of developing areas. Taking care of them will give us great
ecotourism zones that can help people in the communities and lift them out of poverty.

United States Ambassador to the Philippines Sung Kim said the Protect Wildlife
project will demonstrate that protecting and managing the Philippines’ diverse habitats
and species lead to improved quality of life and sustainable development.

“’Protect wildlife’ is not only the name of the project. It is also the imperative for
all of us to take care of the species with which we share the planet.

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V. Proposed Amendments

The Philippines derives large benefits from ecosystems. In particular, the country
recognizes the important role played by watersheds, river basins and coastal areas in
the environment and in society as a source of livelihood (supporting fisheries, recreation
and tourism and many other activities).

Threats to biodiversity differ from one ecosystem to another. Loss of biodiversity


in the agricultural ecosystem is a direct consequence of habitat destruction via
conversion of agricultural land to other uses; the possible negative impacts of
biotechnology; natural calamities or extreme weather events associated with climate
change; introduction of invasive alien species, pests and diseases; and inherent
institutional problems of government agencies responsible for conserving agro-
biodiversity.

The Philippine Government, therefore should start formulating and taking actions
as to the preservation of a healthy and balanced ecology. Traditionally, sectoral
approaches have been used in the Philippines to manage environmental and natural
resources, which have led to separate governance mechanisms for different resource
uses, and conflicts in management.

Enhanced cooperation
Biodiversity management is promoted through the formalization of partnerships,
either through Executive Orders, as in the case of the Bicol River Basin and the
Watershed Management Councils in Lake Lanao and Bukidnon Watershed, or through
a Memorandum of Agreement or Understanding, such as in the case of the Kabulnan
Watershed Multi Sectoral Council.
Under said councils, multi-sectoral and multi-disciplinary task forces, committees,
and technical working groups are organized to address specific policy decisions or
implementation problems or issues, either at the local, provincial or regional level,
depending on the extent of coverage of the river basin and watershed.
A multi-sectoral, multi-institutional mechanism called “Network for Nature” (N4N)
should be put in place to proactively disseminate, monitor and coordinate the
implementation of the Philippine Biodiversity Conservation Priorities (PBCP).
Secretaries of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources and the
Department of Agriculture, in coordination with the Committees on Environment and
Ecology of the Senate and the House of Representatives, respectively, should
promulgate respective rules and regulations for the effective implementation of this Act.

Whenever appropriate, coordination in the preparation and implementation of


rules and regulations on joint and inseparable issues shall be done by both
Departments.

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Mechanisms for monitoring and reviewing implementation

Monitoring activities notably recording the impacts of climate change in the


framework and species conservation. Several biodiversity monitoring tools have been
developed but sustaining the effort remains a challenge, especially after donor exit.
For a time, monitoring efforts yielded promising results and resulted in
management interventions. In some protected areas, the Biodiversity Monitoring
System was sustained through local efforts but, in general, monitoring ceased due to
lack of funds.
Efforts regarding the development and implementation of criteria and indicators
for sustainable forest management, requiring the participation of multi-disciplinary
teams, etc., had a similar fate after donor exit.
Implementation of Conservation International’s framework for monitoring
biodiversity conservation outcomes should fully take off and should be given enough
budget for a better monitoring mechanism.

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