Ilocos Sur residents who report a turtle nesting site to local officials will receive monetary reward through the provincial government’s Marine Turtle Protection Program.

Sangguniang Panlalawigan member and Committee on Environment chairman Christopher Baterina first initiated the move last October 2019 to prevent marine turtle eggs poaching, which is considered as one of the major causes of the declining turtle population.

“While we are facing the problem of plastic pollution in our solid waste management program, the Marine Turtle Conservation Program of the provincial government, headed by Governor Ryan Luis Singson, and in collaboration with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), aims to reduce the poaching of turtle eggs by providing a monetary incentive to persons who report it to proper authorities. It is hoped that the incentive will convert former turtle egg poachers to turtle egg protectors,” Baterina said.

It is important to note that before the reward is given, the person who wishes to report the nesting site should tell it to the Barangay Chairman of the barangay where the nesting site is located. Next, a protective barrier around the nesting site shall be installed.

The report should then be relayed to the DENR-Community Environment and Natural Resources Office (DENR-CENRO) or the Municipal of City Environment and Natural Resources (MENRO/CENRO). An official report shall be submitted to the Office of the Governor.

An additional reward would be given to the reporter if DENR-CENRO confirmed a successful hatching through an official report made to the Office of the Governor.

The reward is P2,500, while another P2,500 will be given when the eggs have hatched.

“Although this program is a long-term effort to increase the adult turtle population, it can have an immediate impact on awareness on the importance of turtle conservation,” Baterina added.

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