The biodiversity team of First Gen-owned geothermal energy leader Energy Development Corporation (EDC) came to the rescue of an endangered male Philippine Deer (Rusa marianna) that was found suffering from several wounds and broken antlers caused by illegal hunting methods in the forests of Kananga, Leyte last November 8, 2022.
Roy D. Dalaguit, a member of the Tongonan Farmers Association and a community partner of EDC, found the wounded deer in the Mahiao river, and immediately contacted EDC BINHI Forester Ronelmar Aguilar, who facilitated the animal’s rescue together with Ormoc City Veterinary Office and CENRO Palo personnel. BINHI is EDC’s banner environmental program that aims to restore denuded forests; preserve and propagate threatened native tree species, and protect Philippine biodiversity.
Upon examination by Dr. Jose Arnel Corong, Ormoc City Veterinarian, the sustained wounds were determined to be caused by traps and dog bites, presumably set up for illegal wildlife hunting in the area. The Philippine Deer was placed under the custody of the Ormoc City Wildlife Rescue Center for treatment. After a week of recuperation, the Philippine Deer was deemed fit for release by Dr. Corong. Forester Aguilar, together with representatives from DENR and the Ormoc City Veterinary Office, released the deer in the forestlands in EDC’s Tongonan Geothermal Reservation on November 15, 2022.
The Philippine Deer, locally known as “bugsok” in Leyte, is an endangered deer species endemic to the Philippines as per DENR Administrative Order No. (DAO) 2019-09. Unfortunately, its population continues to dwindle due to continued unsustainable practices, habitat loss and illegal hunting.
The DENR encourages the public to turn over captured or rescued wild animals for proper handling and care. Furthermore, Republic Act No. 9147 or the Wildlife Resources Conservation and Protection Act prohibits and penalizes the exploitation of wildlife species and their habitat.
“I am thankful to our dedicated team of BINHI foresters and to our community partners, the Tongonan Farmers Association, for their quick response to the plight of this endangered species,” EDC Leyte Corporate Relations Head Erwin Magallanes says. “For over 45 years, EDC has always strived to work in harmony with nature as we generate 100% clean, renewable energy. Protecting and conserving our biodiversity is part of our regenerative mission. I fervently hope that this rescued Philippine Deer stays alive and well in the wild so that it can still be seen by future generations”.
EDC’s over 1,480MW total installed capacity accounts for 20% of the country’s total installed RE capacity. EDC’s Leyte geothermal facility currently supplies more than 30% of the country’s installed geothermal capacity. It is also responsible for putting the Philippines on the map as the world’s 3rd largest geothermal producer and has been providing a reliable supply of clean power to the Luzon and Visayas regions for almost 40 years. (PR)