Eagle Cement Corporation (ECC) donates another Php 1.5 Million to the PEF to sustain the needs of its adopted Philippine eagle “Viggo” until 2022. Since 2017, the company has donated a total of Php 4.5 Million to the Foundation.
The mission has become even more daunting with the Philippine Eagle Center (PEC) closed for more than six months amid quarantine. While it recently re-opened, the PEF has yet to recoup the losses from its gate receipts and might not be able to recover anytime soon with the ongoing COVID-19 crisis. With resources depleting, it has been doubly hard to provide the upkeep of 34 Philippine eagles and over 80 other animals in the PEC.
The sustained support of ECC will greatly help in mitigating the adverse impact of the pandemic on the PEF’s captive breeding initiative for the species. Viggo, a 10-year-old male mal- imprinted Philippine eagle, is at a prime age to breed. As a mal-imprint, Viggo’s keeper stands as his surrogate mate. To date, Viggo is the most promising semen donor for cooperative artificial insemination (CAI).
The ECC’s continued participation in the Philippine Eagle Adoption Program helps ensure the long-term security of the species. This also enables us to sustain strategic actions in the field to minimize and prevent risks of future pandemics. By protecting the eagle, its forest habitat, and our biodiversity, the PEF and ECC take a step towards keeping zoonotic diseases such as COVID-19 at bay.
As a way forward, PEF Executive Director Dennis Salvador says “we emphasize the critical need to invest in actions that not only address the economic impact of COVID-19, but also support the conservation of our national bird, its habitat, and our wildlife which in turn, minimizes the risk of future pandemics.” He adds that “with ECC onboard with us, we hope to further generate awareness on our shared cause and underscore the value of a healthy natural environment essential to our own health and wellbeing.”
Eagle Cement’s President and CEO John Paul L. Ang says “we join the PEF in calling on corporations, large and small, and all Filipinos to support the conservation of Philippine Eagles. As our national bird, they embody the health of our forests, the state of our natural resources, and the proud national heritage of our people. In these disruptive times, the Philippine eagle, like the people it represents, should not only be celebrated but also protected.”