Philippine Eagle Foundation seeks more donors

DAVAO CITY, July 31 (PIA) -- The Philippine Eagle Foundation, a private non-stock, non-profit organization dedicated to the conservation and preservation of the endangered Philippine Eagle (Pithecophaga jefferyis) is seeking for more donors.

According to Rolando Pinsoy, media officer of PEF, the foundation needs at least P20 million to sustain its operations. He said that for this year about P10-million has been raised by the foundation mostly from grants and donations.

About 70% of the donations come from local sources while 30% are from foreign institutions and individuals.

The PEF is involved in different conservation programs particularly; conservation and breeding at their Philippine Eagle Center in Malagos in Davao City, field research, conservation-based initiatives and conservation education.

At the 8-hectare Philippine Eagle Center, the foundation holds 36 eagles. Of the total Philippine Eagles in the center about 25 are adopted by private entities.

An entity has to shell out P150,000 for each eagle in the adoption program. This would involve the eagle's food (an eagle consumes and average of 300 grams of meat per day), veterinary expenses, upkeep of cages and salaries for his caretaker.

One of the newest adopters is the Aboitiz Power which recently inked a five year adoption agreement for a single Philippine Eagle. The company shells out P150,000 per year.

Willy Rodolfo branding manager of Aboitiz Power said the company aims to provide P150,000 on a yearly basis rather than giving it in a five-year lump sum, this enables the company to monitor the progress of the eagle's upkeep.

The City Government of Davao has also been a consistent donor. During the term of Mayor Sara Duterte the city government has been allocating P500,000 for the PEF a five hundred percent increase prior to her term of office.

The Philippine Eagle has been a distinctive symbol and icon of Davao City since its forests is the known habitat of the eagle though the bird-of-prey is also found in the forests of Luzon, Samar and Leyte and in other parts of Mindanao.

With the lack of budget, the foundation would be forced to scale back operations among which is the community-based initiatives where identified communities with Philippine Eagle sightings are given livelihood assistance in the course of habitat protection.

Just this year the PEF has submitted a P2-million request for President Benigno Aquino III that would enable it to fund more conservation projects, the conservation of the Philippine Eagle was once a government project until it was discontinued in 1987.

Since then efforts for the protection of the species has become a private initiative carried upon by the PEF. (PIA/RG Alama)

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