As the constant exploitation of wildlife and their habitats increases the risk of zoonotic disease transmission, Senator Cynthia A. Villar seeks to bolster the nation’s wildlife conservation and protection mechanism with a new measure.
His Senate Bill 125 or the Revised Wildlife Conservation and Protection Act seeks to address, among other things, the evolving nature of wildlife offenses and to strengthen the mechanisms in place to provide better protection to our wildlife resources.
“There have been studies suggesting that the COVID-19 virus may have originated in bats and that the first people infected were bat meat traders, who may have then visited the seafood market in Huanan, where the spread of the virus was first traced,” Villar explained.
For this reason, the senator said the need “to fortify our wildlife resources is more critical now that we have faced and continue to experience” the adverse effects of the COVID-19 virus.
Despite Republic Act No. 9147 having existed for more than 20 years, Villar said the incidence of wildlife crime continues to thrive as criminals “have evolved and grown.”