By Ellalyn De Vera
The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has given recognition Tuesday to 62 individuals who fought illegal wildlife activities in the country.
The Philippine Operations Group on Ivory and Illegal Wildlife Trade (POGI) Enforcement Awards or POGI Awards recognized 59 personnel of the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine National Police (PNP), one barangay chairman and two concerned citizens during simple rites at the Ninoy Aquino Parks and Wildlife Center in Quezon City.
POGI is a multisectoral group organized by the DENR to combat wildlife poaching and illegal trade, particularly endangered species.
DENR Undersecretary and head of POGI Ernesto Adobo, together with Protected Areas and Wildlife Bureau (PAWB) Director Theresa Mundita Lim, and DENR-National Capital Region Technical Director Donna Gordove, led the presentation of awards.
Lim acknowledged the importance of inter-agency collaboration in wildlife enforcement saying “wildlife enforcement can only be strengthened if we collaborate with our local enforcement agencies.”
“The POGI Awards is our way of thanking these agencies for extending their support to our operations whenever we need their assistance,” she said.
“It is also a way for us to encourage them to help us sustain our activities so that the public will also know how serious we are in curbing the illegal wildlife trade, in order to protect what is left of our flora and fauna, especially the endemic ones, for future generations to enjoy,” she added.
Among the award recipients were members of the POGI team that conducted the July 3 raid on a house in Tondo, Manila, which yielded 109 threatened wildlife species, such as 78 hill mynas, 12 blue-naped parrots, five saltwater crocodiles, and 14 forest turtles. More....