Quezon City, Philippines – The result of the recent validation process conducted by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Region 8 in Homonhon Island has prompted the agency to recommend that all of Homonhon Island be declared as Critical Habitat and not only the initial three proposed barangays.
“We recommended to declare the island as "critical habitat" as soon as possible to preserve and protect Homonhon's critically endangered species like the Philippine Cockatoo, locally known as abukay, and other vulnerable species, including other fauna which were also recorded in the area," said DENR Region 8 during a dialogue with PMPI.
The proposal stems from the result of the actual validation process conducted by DENR Region 8 in partnership with PENRO Guiuan and PMPI where the team actually spotted cockatoo and recorded six of its kind in Barangay Inapulangan alone. Likewise, other decreasing and endemic species to the island were also recorded by the agency, like the Visayan Tarictic Hornbill, Hooded Pitta, Bar-bellied Cuckooshrike, Yellowish bulbul, Guaiabero, and a mammal species of Golden Capped Fruit bat.
In 2017, the Philippine Misereor Partnership Inc. (PMPI) and Visayas State University (VSU) carried out a flora and fauna assessment in the island of Homonhon, Guiuan in Eastern Samar, where they found the critically endangered bird, the cockatoo, and several threatened species of fauna and flora.
The team of PMPI and VSU then informed the residents of these precious species which gave a strong resolve to three barangays namely Inapulangan, Bitaugan, and Habag to protect the said species. The residents from three barangays of Homonhon have gathered signatures and submitted their petition to their respective barangay leaders to create local ordinance that will declare these three contiguous barangays as critical habitat. They also lobbied to the municipality council and the DENR to declare the same.
The DENR Region 8 responded to the clamor of the community. Thus, headed by Technical Support Specialist, Donato C. Fernandez; Development Management Officer I, Virginio C. Cugtas III; DMO II Conrado M. Horado; and Global Information System Specialist, Roberto I. Miano, conducted a population count and conservation initiative to identify and verify the sightings of the Philippine Cockatoo, a species which is endemic to the Philippines, and in the island of Homonhon.
The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and the DENR DAO 2004-15 identified the Philippines Cockatoo as critically endangered species. The identification is the highest risk category that can be assigned to species in the IUCN Red List.
PMPI is concerned that the Philippine Cockatoo may perish if the island is not declared as Critical Habitat the soonest.
“We are happy that the DENR Region 8 proposes more than what the community has requested. To declare all of Homonhon as critical habitat and not only the three barangays will indeed protect that bird and other species living in the whole of the island ecosystem. The effort to declare should be urgent since the island is now under threat from different mining activities, both operating and applying for FTAAs,” Fr. Juderick Calumpiano, PMPI Co-Convenor for Visayas and Social Action Director of Diocese of Borongan said.
JOIN THE PROJECT PAGBANGON 4TH TYPHOON YOLANDA COMMEMORATION
We are inviting you to come and join the Project Pagbangon's 4th Typhoon Yolanda Commemoration on November 8-9 (Wednesday & Thursday) at the Ali Mall Activity Area, Araneta Center in Quezon City.
PMPI-Project Pagbangon will set-up exhibit panels featuring our partner organizations' post-disaster and development initiatives and rehabilitation programs during the 3-year implementation of the project. Local products from Manicani and Homonhon Islands in Guiuan, Eastern Samar developed thru PMPI-Project Pagbangon will be on sale.
There will be a series of lectures from TAO-Pilipinas Inc., Community Organizers Multiversity (COM), SIKAT, Medical Action Group (MAG), INAM Inc., and SIBAT. ECOJIM National Coordinator and Provincial Secretary of the Franciscan Province of San Pedro Bautista, Philippines Fr. Dexter Toledo OFM will also join to discuss the encyclical letter of Pope Francis, the Laudato si'.
LAPIS, Talahib and Pordalab will also be present to share their music during the acoustic sessions.
Development of modern houses, the design of which addresses risks and costs for families in regions high-risk to typhoons and other natural hazards are trending nowadays. Several groups have shown a great promise in terms of promoting risk-proof buildings that are not expensive for common people.
We are proud to present our partner Tao Pilipinas: women-led organization of professionals in the field of architecture, planning and engineering providing technical assistance to the urban poor. Tao Pilipinas is one of the leading proponent of resilient and cost-effective house designs for vulnerable families.
RESILIENT BAHAY-KUBO. Kahit munti, the houses designed by TAO-Pilipinas are sustainable and designed to be resilienst against the identified risks in the area. The shelter project of #ProjectPagbangon is in partnership with Terres des Hommes - Germany, Christian Aid, and the Municipality of Guiuan.
Better shelter, not helter-skelter
After Yolanda, many humanitarian organizations and corporations rush to the affected provinces to provide assistance. In the island of Manicani in Guiuan, Eastern Samar, #ProjectPagbangon not only provide relief but targeted to build 40 units of risk-sensitive and cost-effective shelters to the most vulnerable households in four barangays of the island: Buenavista, Banaag, San Jose, and Hamorawon.
by Edel S. Garingan
November 7, 2013. Few hours before the monster storm took a landfall in the Philippines, Marissa Cano, a local journalist in Baybay, Leyte was contemplating on the stillness of the night. She settled herself on her bed thinking that it was just an ordinary night, unaware that in next morning she and her family will be battling against the strongest typhoon to ever hit the country… while more than 6,000 people from the pathway of the storm will perish, thousands more will remain untraceable in the coming days, survivors will resort to looting in Tacloban for some days, the government will face a tough ordeal and the survivors will continue to suffer beyond the wind and the waves.
Unlike Marissa, about 233 kilometers away from Baybay, Susan Tan, owner of Tanghay View Lodge in Guiuan, Samar was having coffee with her guest, Vanessa, who came to the town for a potential business venture – together they were sensing the coming of a super typhoon that is according to the reports had been gaining wind power in the Pacific Ocean. But the night was calm and that brought chills to Susan and Vanessa. On her Facebook page Susan wrote, ‘No wind, no air. This is scary!’ And it was.
Guiuan mayor reaffirms support to PMPI rehab project
To keep all the partners up-to-date on every aspect of Project Pagbangon, a consultation meeting was held at the Municipal Office of Guiuan, where the town mayor expressed his support and confidence on the project.
The Philippine Misereor Partnership, Inc. (PMPI) and the partner organizations shared with Mayor Christopher Sheen Gonzales the project's report card since day one of its implementation.
PARTNERSHIP. Guiuan Mayor Sheen Gonzales (left) and PMPI National Coordinator Yoly Esguerra (center) listen to Project Pagbangon consultant Francis dela Cruz of Green Action Collective during the consultation and updating held at the MDRRM Office in Guiuan, Eastern Samar on October 27. (Photo: Charlie Saceda, Pecojon)
The group discussed the developments including several roadblocks to specific project components encountered along the way.
PMPI National Coordinator Yoly Esguerra, Project Pagbangon officers and staff, and the partners also consulted with the municipal leaders the ways forward for the components facing a slight curb in implementation. These include the target evacuation center in barangay Buenavista in Manicani Island, the resettlement area in the island of Homonhon, and the present radio communication system that involves chairpersons in island barangays, and the project's community-based radio station.
Mayor Gonzales voiced out his belief on the genuineness of support PMPI gives to the islands. He pledged to cover the fuel costs for the delivery of housing materials from Tacloban and Cebu, which is part of the shelter component of the project led by Tao Pilipinas.
The meeting was held at the Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (MDRRMO), where one Sangguniang Bayan (SB) member and representatives of Peace & Conflict Journalism Network (Pecojon), Integrative Medicine for Alternative Health Care (INAM Philippines), Sentro para sa Ikauunlad ng Katutubong Agham at Teknolohiya (SIKAT), Medical Action Group (MAG), TAO-Pilipinas, and Green Action Collective were also present.
Project Pagbangon is the ongoing post-disaster initiative of PMPI, which initially started as a relief effort to support partner communities of member organizations in Panay and Eastern Samar. The components of the project in Guiuan include coastal resource management, shelter and evacuation center, water, renewable energy, health, communication, and land resource & sustainable agriculture.