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APRIL 16, 2014

NR # 3438B

Solons call for declaration of LPPCHEA as wetland to protect threatened Philippine Duck
A group of lawmakers are calling for the declaration of a critical habitat in the southern part of Metro Manila as a wetland to protect and sustain the population of the globally threatened Philippine Duck. Rep. Walden F. Bello Party!list" Akbayan#" together with Reps. $barra M. %utierre& $$$ Party!list" Akbayan#" Mark A. 'illar (one District" (as Pi)as *ity# and +ric (. ,li-are& .st District" Para)a/ue *ity#" filed 0ouse Bill 1234 that seeks to establish the (as Pi)as!Para)a/ue *ritical 0abitat and +cotourism Area (PP*0+A# as a Wetland. 5he bill refers to wetland as an area of marsh" fen" peat land or water" whether natural or artificial" permanent or temporary" with water that is static or flowing" fresh" brackish or salt" including areas of marine water the depth of which at low tide does not e6ceed si6 meters. 5he declaration of the (PP*0+A as a wetland shall ensure that e6isting mangro-e" mudflats and ecosystems are preser-ed and7or both built o-er" and are kept in a condition that will support natural growth of indigenous and or naturally occurring wetland plants critical to the sur-i-al and natural ecological functions. 5he Philippine Duck is 8ust one of the many bird species which breed at the (as Pi)as!Para)a/ue *ritical 0abitat and +cotourism Area (PP*0+A#. Bello said the (PP*0+A is a natural habitat of migratory and endemic bird species comprising of a .9:!hectare wetland ecosystem along Manila Bay" co-ering Freedom $sland and (ong $sland and is home to around 4; bird species. <(PP*0+A also hosts the thickest and most di-erse mangro-e forest along the Manila Bay area. 5his mangro-e forest ser-es as a spawning ground" nursery" feeding and temporary shelter of different fish species and other forms of wildlife. $t also protects the communities of (as Pi)as and Para)a/ue *ity against storm surges and high tides"= Bello said. >nder the bill" the declaration of the ((P*0+A as a wetland shall result in the inclusion of the said habitat as a component of the ?ational $ntegrated Protected Areas @ystems under Republic Act RA# ?o. 9:4A otherwise known as the ?ational $ntegrated Protected Areas @ystems Act of .BB;.

Another effect of the declaration is that it shall enforce RA B.19 otherwise known as the Wildlife Resources *onser-ation and Protection Act in the (as Pi)as!Para)a/ue *ritical 0abitat and +cotourism Area. 5he measure also prohibits the reclamation of the (PP*0+A and the immediate periphery so as not to impede the ecological function of the lagoons and its small mangro-es" salt marshes and tidal areas as breeding" feeding and roosting place for marine and terrestrial wildlife. 5he international community took notice of (PP*0+ACs role in preser-ing global biodi-ersity that in March ;2.3" the ((P*0+A made it to the Ramsar (ist of Wetlands of $nternational $mportance. 5he *on-ention on Wetlands" signed in Ramsar" $ran in .B9." re/uires <the conser-ation and wise use of all wetlands through local and national actions and international cooperation" as a contribution towards achie-ing sustainable de-elopment throughout the world. 32# mvip