• Stop Dolphin and Sea Lion shows in Cebu Ocean Park
    Why is it important? Their enslavement should not be our entertainment. Cebu is a beautiful island with rich marine biodiversity. It is always good to enjoy Cebu by visiting sustainable and eco-friendly sites and not going to places where they exploit marine species for entertainment. These animals, once they are in captivity, can affect their behaviours - both physically and physiologically that can put their well-being at risk. And this is what the proposed dolphin and sea lions shows in Cebu Ocean Park will do to our marine friends - they will be held captive and enslaved for entertainment and profit. These animals should not be made to perform or forced to provide rides or handling by visitors. We call on the government to ensure that there won't be any Threatened and protected species going into this facility. We should show compassion and love for these voiceless animals. They deserve the right to be in the wild. The Philippines is one of the best tourist destinations in the world because of its marine biodiversity and natural beauty. The last thing we need is another dolphin and sea lion show.
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  • STOP CEBU's La Vie in the Sky Skylanterns Release
    "I would like us all to make a serious commitment to respect and protect creation, to be attentive to every person, to counter the culture of waste and disposable, to promote a culture of solidarity and of encounter. Thank you." - Pope Francis. General Audience June 5th, 2013 "This same “use and throw away” logic generates so much waste, because of the disordered desire to consume more than what is really necessary." - Pope Francis (Laudato Si, 123) This activity is INTENTIONAL VIOLATION of Republic Act 9003 - mismanagement and improper segregation of waste. Likewise, of the fisheries code and wildlife act, among others. 1. What goes up must come down, and farmers in ­particular have become increasingly ­concerned that livestock might swallow a lantern's wire or ­bamboo frame, or, even worse, that fires might break out in hay barns. Elsewhere, coastguards say lanterns, which can travel for several kilometres and to an ­altitude of 1,000m before the candle burns out, are routinely mistaken for distress flares. A handful of east Asian countries, such as ­Vietnam, Malaysia and Thailand, have already introduced bans, particularly in the lead up to ­major festivals. (https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2010/feb/02/sky-lanterns-danger-farm-animals) 2. Countries like Argentina, Austria, Australia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, New Zealand, Spain, Germany, and parts of Canada and the USA have actually already banned the release of sky lanterns. (http://www.wheninmanila.com/why-we-should-not-release-balloons-skylanterns/). 3. However, the worst part of the fallout from the activity is the impact on local fauna. Reports of animals dying painfully, typically strangled by old lanterns' wires or suffocated by undecomposed paper, are frequent during this time of year. Some visitors are no doubt already aware of this, particularly following the high-profile death of an owl in the U.K. a few years ago. The bird was found suffocated and partly burnt inside the remains of a lantern... Humans are also at risk. The light emitted by lanterns sent en masse at night has been proven to be disruptive to aircraft pilots. As such, some countries like Malaysia have banned the use of sky lanterns in and around certain cities in order to prevent fatal accidents. (http://www.chinapost.com.tw/editorial/taiwan-issues/2017/02/10/491229/pingxis-sky.htm) 4. Though they are undoubtedly beautiful, even the biodegradable lanterns can be incredibly harmful to both the environment and wildlife. Sky lantern litter takes quite some time to decompose, and the wire frames have been known to strangle and maim wild animals and livestock. They also pose a significant fire hazard. Not only have they caused multiple wildfires, a sky lantern was also responsible for a massive fire at the Smethwick Recycling Plant in West Midlands, England. (http://earth911.com/living-well-being/events-entertainement/environmental-impact-traditions/) 5. With Save Philippine Seas, know more about the ills and harms of sky lantern releases here: https://www.facebook.com/pg/savephilippineseas/photos/?tab=album&album_id=1318238384932367
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  • STOP COVE MANILA'S BALLOON DROP
    It is unsustainable, wasteful and ecologically apathetic. Cove Manila said that the balloon drop will be done indoors and will follow waste disposal guidelines but the activity in itself contradicts the basic principles of environmental sustainability. 1. All of these balloons, if not recycled, will end up as waste in landfills and other areas which will harm wildlife, marine and terrestrial ecosystems and even clog sewage systems, among others. 2. The Philippines is 3rd in the world dumping wastes into the oceans. Don't add more. 3. There are environment-friendly alternatives, read here: https://balloonsblow.org/environmentally-friendly-alternatives. Need more reference? Download Save Philippine Seas Defying Gravity Toolkit at http://www.savephilippineseas.org/toolkits Let's look reflect on the words of econetizen Grayson Gil Lidon Yañez: "Dear Cove Manila, we know this event sounds like a blast in time for the new year but we’ve never been this challenged with plastic pollution than ever before. 130,000 is a massive number of balloons and trash that could flow to the oceans in due time. We hope you reconsider your choice of material for your celebration and we would gladly help you think of more environmentally-friendly yet still fun ways to usher in the new year... We understand that it will be done indoors and that you comply with waste disposal rules. But wouldn’t it be wiser, more cost-efficient, and sustainable to prevent at source? And by this we mean completely refraining from using balloons instead. It’s 130,000 plastic/rubber balloons we are talking about here — at a single event. Chances are it will still be dumped in sites or eventually end up in the oceans. Hope you will still reconsider and help us take action in taking care of our environment. There are many ways to celebrate and have fun, but not at the expense of the environment. And again, we will gladly help you think of other ways..." Econetizen Edgar Alan Zeta-Yap adds: "Despite repeated calls by netizens this past week to find an eco-friendly alternative to their extremely wasteful event, Cove Manila of Okada Manila continues to defend their ”record-breaking” release of 130,000 balloons at their New Year’s Eve party, sponsored by Hennessy and Belvedere Vodka. Justifying that the world’s largest balloon drop will be held indoors and that proper waste disposal will be followed, they totally miss the point as the country — and the entire planet — suffers from plastic pollution on a monumental scale as it is. More than 80% of plastic waste in the country is mismanaged, and often ends up in the ocean. And the Philippines is already the world’s third largest contributor to plastic pollution in the ocean."
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  • STOP NATIONAL ROAD CONSTRUCTION AT MT. GUITING-GUITING NATURAL PARK (SIBUYAN ISLAND, ROMBLON)
    Remember that Mt. Guiting-guiting is Sibuyanon’s remaining terrestrial life-support system. If we attempt to destruct its ecological balance without proper scientific and sociological bases under the principles of sustainable development, we will all suffer the consequences. At the heart of Sibuyan Island is the Mt Guiting-Guiting Natural Park (MGGNP). It is the only remaining mountain in the Philippines with relatively intact habitats along its entire elevational gradient. Mt. Guiting-Guiting’s plant and mammal biodiversity is amongst the richest in the world (Heaney and Regalado 1998, Goodman and Ingle 1997, DENR 1997) Be it known that Bayay Sibuyanon and those who seek the stoppage and investigation of this project are not against development but shall continue to promote and adhere to the targets and indicators of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Sustainable development and precautionary principles must always be considered in implementing projects in ecologically sensitive and disaster prone areas. The ‘Priority Sites for Conservation in the Philippines: Key Biodiversity Areas’ document by the Protected Areas and Wildlife Bureau (PAWB), now BMB, of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) exposes that there are one critically endangered, four endangered, and eight vulnerable species of biodiversity in Mt. Guiting-guiting Natural Park, which includes the endangered Philippine tube-nosed fruit bat, Nyctimene rabori, and a vulnerable Sibuyan pitcher plant, Nepenthes sibuyanensis. The project is not included in the Mt. Guiting-guiting Natural Park Management Plan. Almost every year, new biological species are being discovered. In 2008, a new species of stick insect has been discovered, the Pharnacia magdiwang. In 2010, a new species of shrew has been documented, Crocidura ninoyi. Gekko coi or Leonard’s Forest Gecko, named after famous taxonomist Leonardo Co, was known in 2011. And in 2012, a new owl species has been found, Ninox hilippensis spilonota; in 2014 a pitcher plant named after a Sibuyanon slain environmentalist Armin Marin, Nepenthes armin. In the same year, a rare endemic species of a tree skink Lipinia vulcania was recorded and a new species of lizard called Pseudogekko isapa sp. The Department of Environment and Natural Resources describes Sibuyan Island having "relatively rich biodiversity": "There are approximately 700 vascular plant species, including 54 species that are endemic to the island.  These include Nepenthes sibuyanensis J Nerz (Sibuyan Pitcher Plant); Heterospathe sibuyanensis Becc. (Bil-is), Pinanga sibuyanensis Becc. (Tibañgan), and Orania palindan var. sibuyanensis, a wild palm; Alpinia sibuyanensis, Phyllanthus sibuyanensis, Cyathea sibuyanensis Copel. (Tree Fern); Agamyla sibuyanensis Hilliard & BL Burtt (Sibuyan lipstick plant); Myrmephytum beccarii Elmer (Sibuyan ant plant); Begonia gitingensis Elmer (Guiting-guiting begonia).  Of the 700 plant species in the Island, 180 species can only be found in the Philippine archipelago.   There are numerous endemic species in Mt. Guiting-Guiting that occupy specific habitats.  These are found mostly in primary forest with elevation of 100 meters or higher (Madulid, Domingo, 1997).  The endemic species found in the protected area are as follows: • Sararanga philippinensis grows gregariously and form distinct clumps in Peat swamp forest along riverine/riparian forest at low altitudes. • Heterospathe sibuyanensis and Ardisia sibuyanensis located in primary forest at medium altitudes; and • Nepenthes merrillii and Alpinia sibuyanensis most of these are found in primary forest between 100 and higher elevations.    A total of 130 species of birds have been recorded in Sibuyan, of which 102 are either known or presumed to be breeding residents.  These are: Cinnamon Bittern-Lapay (Ixobrychus cinnamomeus), Celestial Monarch (Hyphothymis coelestis), Striated Grassbird (Megalurus palustris forbesi), Rufous –lored Kingfisher (Halcyon winchelli nesydrionetes), Pygmy Swiftlet (Collocalia troglodytes), and Philippine Hawk-Eagle (Spizaetus philippensis). Sibuyan is also home to nine (9) native non-flying terrestrial mammal species,  four (4) of which are endemic rodents (Goodman and Ingle, 1993).  This are: Greater Sibuyan forest mouse (Apomys sp. B), Lesser Sibuyan forest mouse (Apomys sp. C), Sibuyan striped shrew-rat (Chrotomys sp. A), and Sibuyan giant moss mouse (Tarsomys sp. A) .  Out of nine fruit bat species found in the island, only one (1) species, Sibuyan Pygmy fruit bat (Haplonycteris sp. A) is endemic (Goodman & Ingle, 1993).   Dugongs (Dugong dugong) have also been sighted within the municipal waters and dolphins and whales are also expected to be visiting the area.   There are nine (9) recorded species of lizards and geckoes two (2) which are classified as endemic and rare. Gekko romblon, the Romblon narrow-disked Gecko, appears to be limited to Tablas and Sibuyan Island."
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  • Keep Them in the Wild: Turtle and Shark Adventure ( Ocean Adventure Subic Bay)
    Since 2014, 5 false killer whales, 6 bottlenose dolphins, and 1 sea lion, have died in captivity in one marine park alone in the Philippines. There could be more unrecorded deaths since then in other marine park establishments. The attractions of Ocean Adventure Subic Bay harm marine life and do not teach people about the protection of marine animals. Moreover, it should be established that holding, grabbing, and poking any form of marine life can cause them great distress and inflict injuries. In cases of rescued marine animals, such as sea turtles, they should be immediately put in rehabilitation and be released afterwards. Additionally, feeding the fish, or any other marine animal for that matter, breeds dependence among them, which is dangerous to their health. (They become reliant on the food source being fed) This practice further disrupts the ecological balance because the alteration in behavior it costs fish and other marine life also prevents them from feeding on algae growing on corals. Lastly, keeping any marine animal in enclosed spaces decreases its lifespan. Say no to marine animals kept in captivity. Let’s keep them in the wild!
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  • DENR, charge DOH for exploiting turtle eggs
    Marine turtles are threatened species, classified as Endangered or Critically Endangered because of exploitation for their shells, eggs, and meat; bycatch in fishery; destruction of feeding (seagrass beds and reefs) and nesting beach habitats; pollution, especially plastic trash; and climate change. The only way we can ensure their survival is for us to find ways to stop these threats from affecting their populations. The five marine turtles present in the Philippines are fully protected by the Wildlife Act.
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  • No to Nickelodeon's Underwater Theme Park in Palawan
    Contrary to the press statement that the underwater theme park would "advocate ocean protection," it will accomplish the exact opposite. By building artificial structures, you will undeniably damage and disrupt Palawan's marine ecosystems -- our Last Frontier. If you are sincere and serious about marine conservation, the money allocated for the underwater theme park should be invested in marine protected areas, sustainable livelihoods for local communities, and environmental education programs. For a channel that targets children, Nickelodeon is setting a terrible example to the younger generation by taking away their right to enjoy our natural resources. We don't need an underwater theme park -- our underwater life is fascinating, entertaining, and educational on its own.
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  • Stop swimming with whale sharks in Oslob
    Filipinos were alarmed at the news of the Miss Universe candidates' visit to Oslob, Cebu, to interact with whale sharks. In the last few years, Oslob has become a controversial tourist destination because the whale sharks are fed dead, frozen shrimp (uyap), disrupting their natural behavior and diet. "Whale sharks naturally do not spend a lot of time at the surface or in shallow waters, and are migratory species," said AA Yaptinchay, Director of Marine Wildlife Watch of the Philippines. "They’re not supposed to stay in one site for prolonged periods of time. Conditioning whale sharks to approach boats can make them more susceptible to injuries and poaching." Tourism remains unregulated; even if policies have been put in place locally, these destinations find it hard to implement them. In 2016, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species, classified whale sharks as "endangered." Protected in 1998, the whale shark was the first and one of the few protected shark species in the Philippines. "With Miss Universe visiting Oslob, it will inevitably be promoting the site to the entire world. We are concerned that this will bring more tourists to Oslob, aggravating the existing problem in the area," added Anna Oposa, co-founder of Save Philippine Seas. "This is also tantamount to the Philippine government telling the world that it is okay to patronize the feeding of the whale sharks and unsound marine wildlife interaction practices." Vince Cinches, Oceans Campaigner of Greenpeace Philippines, said, "There should be a move to better protect and conserve these species, given their endangered status through a national policy. To reverse the possible impacts, the organizers should publicly say that feeding whale shark is wrong and for tourists to follow interaction guidelines. Being the epicenter of global marine biodiversity the Philippines should pass a national law to ensure that sustainable tourism is in place and that feeding and other harmful activities will no longer happen in the future.” SIGN this petition if you care about whale sharks and marine life in the Philippines!
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  • SAY "NO" TO SPARK HUNDRED ISLANDS FESTIVAL
    Beach litter surveys have shown the amount of balloons and balloon pieces found on the beach have tripled in the past 10 years. Anything that goes up must come down, same as to those lanterns and balloons released into the air where they can wreak havoc into wildlife either land or sea.. Dolphins, whales, turtles, and many other marine species, as well as terrestrial animals such as cows, dogs, sheep, tortoises, birds and other animals have all been hurt or killed by balloons. The animal is usually killed from the balloon blocking its digestive tract, leaving them unable to take in any more nutrients. It slowly starves to death. The animals can also become entangled in the balloon and its ribbon making the animal unable to move or eat. Sea turtles are particularly at risk because they naturally prey on jellies, which balloons can easily be mistaken for, even with human eyes. Balloons can take years to break down, even the so-called “biodegradable” latex ones. This gives plenty of time for it to travel and encounter many animals that may mistake it for a tasty snack, or accidentally get entangled in it. source: http://balloonsblow.org/impacts-on-wildlife-and-environment/
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  • DEMAND BETTER CARE FOR KALESA HORSES
    Rambo has been working as a Kalesa horse for more than 15 years. He trudges in at 7:00 am in Intramuros so that he can transport four to eight people - excluding the coachman / cochero - around the Walled City. Rambo is supposed to show these tourists the very best of Philippine culture and heritage. But the sad reality? Kalesa horses like Rambo live miserable lives. They are overloaded, overworked and they are made to work in poor health conditions without seeing an equine veterinarian for most of their working lives. Currently, six (6) to eight (8) people, excluding the cochero, are allowed to ride the calesas in Intramuros. DOT rules and regulations clearly state that there should only be two passengers for calesas. (See http://accreditationonline.tourism.gov.ph/Downloadables/Standards/2000%20Rules%20and%20Regulations%20Governing%20the%20Accreditation%20of%20Calesas%20Providing%20Transport%20Services%20to%20Tourists.pdf ) While cocheros or coachmen say that the horses "rest", the horses do not get a reprieve from the heavy calesa strapped to them during their so-called "rest periods". Many of the horses have contraptions attached to their heads that do not allow them to stretch their necks downwards. Quarterly inspection of hooves, deworming, annual filing of teeth (floating) by an equine veterinarian are extremely important for a working horse. But Rambo and his colleagues have never seen a horse doctor. They will be worked until they are lame. And when they have 'walking problems', that is the only time that a veterinarian will be called in -- if they are lucky. Most of the time though, the cocheros make do with old wives' concoctions - ranging from motor oil rubbed on wounds and open sores, and bleeding them out themselves to 'cure' them of lameness. Kalesa horses take a long walk back to a stable somewhere in Tondo by 7:00pm. The stables have never been inspected by the BAI-Animal Welfare Division. The small stables do not allow animals like them to lie down. People believe that horses sleep standing up. Many do not know that horses also need to lie down. Rambo works as an Intramuros kalesa horse. Photographs are taken. Fees are paid. But he does not "live". He exists. And he can only hope that people will speak up for him, before it is too late.
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    Created by The Philippine Animal Welfare Society
  • We have a Right to Compassionate Food, Give us Access to it!
    There is a growing number of people all over the world, and even in the Philippines who are shifting to vegan diet and lifestyle. It is a conscious choice to show compassion for animals and Mother Earth, and to care for one's own health and well-being. People like these should not be marginalized by having practically nothing to choose from in school, office, and hospital canteens; restaurants; hotels; and other food establishments. Manila Vegans, a facebook group that have grown a few hundred to 13,400+ in a matter of months, is proof that there is a growing interest in vegan diet. Aside from Manila Vegans, there are other vegan groups with thousands of members who are vegans, transitioning, or vegan-curious. There are so many reasons why vegan diet is becoming the food choice of many: 1. Compassionate/Vegan food is an ethical choice as it does not use any animal ingredients that cause needless suffering and death to animals. See the documentary Earthlings for more information. 2. Vegan food is better for the climate. With worsening climate change, shifting to vegan food drastically reduces ones carbon footprint. Meat-based diet has been found to generate more carbon pollution than the entire transport sector. An Oxford University study found that meat-based diets result to 7.2 kg carbon emissions a day, while only 2.9 kg for vegan diet. Also see the documentary Cowspiracy for better understanding of this. 3. Vegan food is kinder to Mother Earth. With the antibiotic-laden animal waste being generated by the poultry and livestock industry, so much soil and water are being polluted every single day. Livestock are fed with corn, soybeans and grains, which require huge amount of fertilizers and pesticides. 4. Vegan food is healthier. Whole foods, fresh fruits and vegetables are more alkaline and thus prevent many types of illnesses. Studies have shown that blood from vegans fight off cancer cells. There are also numerous studies showing vegans had lower risk of cancer, as well as lower rates of diet-related diseases such as obesity, diabetes, and hypertension. See the documentary What the Health. People who make an effort to make conscious choices for animals, for their health, and for the planet should be provided access to these kinds of food. It is totally unfair that people whose food choices hurt animals, themselves, and the planet should have so many food choices yet vegans often go hungry when eating out due to lack of choices. By providing compassionate food choices, it could also make businesses thrive. Owners of vegan restaurants and shops claim most of their customers are not even vegan but vegan-curious, who are more than happy to try healthier, more earth-friendly, compassionate food choices. This means that given alternatives, more people would start to choose vegan food. Even meat eaters deserve to have a choice when they want to try vegan alternatives. Vegans would like to alleviate the needless suffering and death of animals and in the process also protect the earth, the climate, and themselves. Why should hotels, restaurants, canteens, and grocers not provide vegan choices to them? We have a Right to Compassionate Food, Give us Access to it!
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