The Philippine Eagle is one of the largest and most powerful eagles in the world. Sadly, the forest raptor, endemic to the Philippines, is critically endangered.
To support the safeguarding of the vanishing eagles, CEMEX Philippines Foundation recently inked a three-year partnership with the Philippine Eagle Foundation (PEF).
This collaboration will reinforce the education outreach in at least seven eagle habitats. Also part of the partnership is the organization of at least 100 indigenous forest guards who will care for the eagles and their habitats.
Moreover, CEMEX Philippines Foundation will be able to help conduct Philippine Eagle surveys in three suspected eagle territories, delineate nesting sites, and initiate home range and habitat use on adult birds.
Additionally, the partnership will facilitate livelihood support to communities of the Sinabadan Indigenous Peoples’ Organization (IPO).
The habitat conservation and protection of the Philippine Eagle is now part of the Adopt-a-Species Program of CEMEX Philippines Foundation. In fact, this trailblazing program triggered the establishment of the Adopt-a-Wildlife-Species Program of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).
“The adopt-a-species law allows companies like us to put resources in various species conservation projects. And because of that, we were able to reach out to many areas in the Philippines. Some of our adopted species were the Butanding (whale shark), Tarsier, and Negros Bleeding Heart,” shared Paul Arcenas, CEMEX vice president for strategic planning.
“We are looking forward to many interactions with PEF and the Sibulan IPO. We hope to make this partnership sustainable to be able to help more communities in protecting the Philippine Eagle,” added Arcenas who also serves as board member of the CEMEX Philippines Foundation.
“When we hear Philippine Eagle, it’s synonymous to mighty. Locally, we call it ‘Haribon’ or King of Birds. And indeed, our very own Philippine Eagle is a mighty and powerful forest raptor. We at the CEMEX Philippines Foundation are truly happy to support PEF in their extensive efforts to help address the issue of our vanishing eagles. This partnership will surely help our eagles breed and live safely,” said Chito Maniago, executive director of CEMEX Philippines Foundation.
During the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) Signing Ceremony, PEF Executive Director Dennis Salvador recognized the important role of the Sibulan IPO in the eagle protection. “Again, we’re proud to engage with our partners in Sibulan. PEF has been working with them for more than 10 years now. The Sibulan community is really one of the champions of saving the Philippine Eagle.”
“I know that this [Adopt-a-Species] campaign is not isolated from CEMEX’s global environmental efforts. We know that CEMEX Philippines has similar initiatives implemented by other CEMEX companies abroad; practically doing the same thing— preserving and conserving natural areas and working with indigenous people,” said Salvador.
As response from the Sibulan IPO, Datu Hernan Ambe, president of Sinabbadab Kaag Tugallan, expressed his optimism in this partnership. “Malaki ang aming pasasalamat na kasama na namin ang CEMEX sa proteksyon ng Philippine Eagle. Ang pagprotekta po ng kalikasan ay mahirap kung kami-kami lang. Maraming taong taga-labas ang gumagawa ng illegal logging, illegal kaingin at illegal hunting. Sa partnership na ito, layunin naming matigil na ang illegal activities sa loob ng aming lupang ninuno.”
[We are grateful that CEMEX is now one with us in protecting the Philippine Eagle. The protection of our environment is challenging if we’re alone. There are many outsiders who are doing illegal logging, illegal kaingin, and illegal hunting. Through this partnership, we aim to restrict these illegal activities inside our forefather’s land.]
“Sa aming paniniwala, ang kalikasan ay kasabay ng kaunlaran ng komunidad. Hindi hiwalay sa paniniwala namin na ang kalikasan ang buhay ng mga katutubo. Maraming salamat sa pagtulong sa amin na buhayin ang kalikasan para na rin sa buhay ng tao,” added Ambe.
[In our belief, nature is hand in hand with progress in the community. This is not apart from what we believe in that nature is the life of the indigenous people. Thank you for helping us restore nature for the revival of human life as well.]
The Philippine Eagle Center located in Davao is currently home to 36 Philippine Eagles; half of them are captive-bred. PEF is at the forefront of protecting the critically endangered species known to be geographically restricted to Mindanao but there were also sightings recorded in some parts of Luzon, Samar, and Leyte.
CEMEX Philippines is the manufacturer of the eco-labeled cement brands in the country including Island Portland Cement, Palitada King, Rizal Portland Super, Rizal Masonry Cement, APO Portland Premium, APO Portland Cement, APO Masonry Cement, and APO Pozzolan.