Category Archives: Advocacy

Environment and Biodiversity Experts Renew Call for Stronger Measures to Combat Illegal Wildlife Trade

On World Animal Day, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has reiterated its call for the approval of two Senate bills that seek to strengthen Republic Act 9147 or the Wildlife Resources Conservation and Protection Act of 2001.

DENR-Biodiversity Management Bureau Director Datu Tungko M. Saikol said it is high time to amend the gaps in the law two decades after its implementation.

Badian, Philippines. Photo by Toa Heftiba on Unsplash

“We commend the House of Representatives for passing House Bill 9833 revising the Wildlife Act of 2001 on third and final reading and call on our good Senators to pass Senate Bills No. 2078 and 2079 to strengthen our fight against wildlife crimes. Almost 20 years after the Wildlife Act took effect, the threat of extinction of wildlife species in the Philippines is still not far behind, wreaking havoc to our biodiversity that supports our livelihood and economy,” Saikol said on Monday, October 4.

“Illegal wildlife trade, which is the second biggest threat to species survival globally, increases the risks of zoonotic diseases, or the transfer of diseases from animal to humans, leading to outbreaks,” Saikol said. “With the lessons learned from the Covid-19 pandemic, it is imperative to pass a strengthened wildlife conservation and protection law without delay,” he also asserted.

Tarsier. Bohol, Philippines. Photo by Julian Paolo Dayag on Unsplash

The law, once amended, will effectively deter wildlife trafficking not only in the country but also in other global destination points. “As a result, it will prevent if not eliminate the incidence, at least in the Philippines, of another infectious disease such as Covid-19, which originated in animals and caused unprecedented loss of human lives worldwide,” he also said.

SB 2078 and SB 2079 were filed by Senator Cynthia Villar and Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri, respectively. Both bills seek the imposition of stronger and more specific penalties. They also seek to strengthen enforcement capacity and the removal of legal loopholes exploited by illegal wildlife traders.

Apo Reef. Photo by Farhan Sharief on Unsplash

From 2010 to 2020, more than 67,500 wildlife specimens worth at least P248M were confiscated from 523 suspected law violators. At least 153 criminal complaints have been filed in court, with 29 cases resolved and 47 criminals convicted.

The Philippines is one of the world’s 17 mega-diverse countries that host two-thirds of the Earth’s biodiversity. Unfortunately, the country has become an important source, transit, and destination point for illegal wildlife trade, now the fourth largest illegal trade worldwide behind illegal drugs, arms, and human trafficking.

The value of illegal wildlife trade in the country is estimated at P50 billion yearly or $1 billion, including the market value of wildlife and its resources, their ecological role and value, damage to habitats, and loss in potential ecotourism revenues.

The Birth Injury Guide for Parents

Childbirth is supposed to be a joyful event for the family. A would-be mom does everything she can to take care of her unborn child. But, what if an unforeseen incident happened to her precious baby before or during childbirth? Childbirth defects or injury is a trauma no parents would want to experience. 

Fortunately, there is a comprehensive birth injury guide for families coping with birth injuries and defects. 

The Birth Injury Guide website, staffed by an advocacy group, works with professional writers and researchers, health care providers, lawyers, and other birth injury experts to provide the most comprehensive birth injury information source available.

The website is easy to navigate. You can search the types of birth injuries, symptoms and causes, the distinction between natural defect and birth injury, and if the child with birth injury will get better. All these questions are answered and explained on the Frequently Asked Question page.  

The Birth Injury Guide estimates that around 28,000 babies in the United States are born each year with a birth injury. Unfortunately, many of these injuries are the result of negligence by health care providers. 

Photo by Solen Feyissa on Unsplash

The usual birth injuries include umbilical cord prolapse, birth trauma, C-section injuries, drug-related negligence, and epidural birth injuries. The website listed the treatment for a specific condition.

When the parents intend to pursue a case against a medical provider for allegedly inflicting the birth injury to their child, the Birth Injury Guide will provide legal assistance to help them get the justice they deserve.

The website clarifies that they are not trying to replace the information provided by medical and legal experts. They hope to provide readers with accurate information about birth injury. 

If you are a parent coping with a child with a birth injury, the Birth Injury Guide will lead you to support groups to help you deal with the situation. The support groups will direct you to a network of families who have experienced a similar event. 

Check on their website to know more about their advocacy. If you need assistance for a free case review, you can fill out a form or call toll-free at 877-415-6603.

Providing Access to SRH Services Through the Safety Pantry

On May 28, 2021, sixteen (16) Safety Pantries have been launched simultaneously, by the Family Planning Organization of the Philippines (FPOP) in different locations, as part of the International Day of Action for Women’s Health.

As the Covid19 pandemic continues to affect the lives of Filipinos, FPOP recognizes that people’s access to sexual and reproductive health and rights should be unhampered. The organization aims to extend sexual and reproductive health services and commodities, and other necessities through the FPOP Safety Pantry.

On the Safety Pantry tables, vitamins, condoms, lubes, contraceptive pills, alcohol wipes, sanitary napkins, malunggay supplements (capsule), baby dresses, diapers, and pregnancy and hygiene kits are available. People can also take home biscuits, rice, vegetables, canned goods, noodles, and even face shields and masks. Services on family planning, sexual and gender-based violence prevention, HIV testing and counseling, Hepatitis B screening, implant and IUD insertion, cervical cancer screening, and pre-natal check-up are also available. Standard safety protocols against Covid-19 were observed in the Safety Pantry sites located in:

1. Barangay 32, Tondo, Manila

2. Barangay Silangan, Quezon City

3. Barangay Tandang Sora, Quezon City

4. Baguio Public Market

5. T. Alonzo Street in Baguio City

6. Barangay Panamitan, Kawit in Cavite

7. Barangay Sta. Cruz, Naga in Camarines Sur

8. Sorsogon City

9. Arakan in North Cotabato

10.Barangay Dadiangas in General Santos City

11. Barangay Maimpis in Pampanga

12. Barangay Poblacion, Alaminos in Pangasinan

13. Surigao City

14. Davao City

15. Iloilo City

16. Masbate City

Inspired by the Maginhawa Community Pantry, the items given away came from various donors who support the advocacy the organization pursues. Building on the same idea, FPOP opted to name the initiative Safety Pantry as the word “safety” connotes a message of comfort and is safe and protected against sexually transmitted infection, HIV, unintended pregnancy, and sexual and gender-based violence.

The Family Planning Organization of the Philippines (FPOP) is a service-oriented organization providing sexual and reproductive health services to all Filipinos. It has 12 active organization chapters with 17 Community Health Care Clinics offering an integrated package of essential services on family planning and reproductive health.

FPOP is one of the oldest and biggest volunteer organizations in the Philippines. It was founded on August 4, 1969, out of a merger of two organizations that pioneered the family planning movement in the Philippines. It is a member association of the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF).

Aside from various community activities such as the Safety Pantry, adolescent learning sessions, house-to-house outreach, and reproductive health medical missions, FPOP also provides free online consultation and other SRH services through their hotline called FPOP youRHotline. It can be reached on Facebook: www.facebook.com/yourhotline.ph or mobile number: 0998-988-8826, 8 AM to 10 PM daily.

FPOP Safety Pantry Facebook Live Links:

North Cotabato https://www.facebook.com/ranny.labiaga/videos/3908005145934432/

Cavite https://fb.watch/5M7MSUUoQp/

General Santos City https://www.facebook.com/FPOPSOCCSKSARGENChapter/videos/524482665583544/https://www.facebook.com/FPOPSOCCSKSARGENChapter/videos/2243189549195048/

Surigao
https://www.facebook.com/fpopsurigao1969/videos/1146591945812218/

Brgy. Silangan, QC
https://www.facebook.com/famplan.ph/videos/1411139825932214/