HOUSE PANEL OKS BILL IMPOSING STIFFER PENALTIES FOR WILDLIFE ABUSE
The House Committee on Natural Resources has approved a measure seeking to impose stiffer penalties on the exploitation and abuse of the country’s wildlife.
The measure replaces Republic Act 9147, or Wildlife Resources Conservation and Protection Act, which was enacted during the administration of former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.
“I am happy because of the penalties. We are prescribing longer prison terms and higher fines for those who abuse our wildlife, especially endangered species,” said Cagayan De Oro City Representative Rufus Rodriguez, one of the authors of the measure.
Rodriguez pointed out that the nation’s flora and fauna and their habitats “should be protected from overexploitation, destruction, fragmentation, culling, poaching, hunting, pollution, and climate change for us and for future generations as well.”
The existing law, he added, “has to be updated, improved and strengthened to meet and address the demands and problems we have today.”
Under the measure, violators of serious offenses such as illegal killing of wildlife will imposed a penalty of imprisonment of 12 years and one day to 20 years and a fine of P200,000 to P2 million.
Meanwhile, the minimum punishment for minor infractions are one month and one day imprisonment and a fine of P20,000.