By Armando Fenequito Jr.
DAVAO CITY — The Aboitiz Group has built up the facilities of a pawikan (marine turtle) center in the city as part of its effort to intensify the conservation of hawksbill turtle in the Davao Gulf.
This after the company signed a memorandum of agreement with the city government and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) on Wednesday morning.
Aboitiz Power chief operating officer for distribution group Jaime Jose Aboitiz said the signing aims to collaborate with the stakeholders for the better assistance given to the rescued marine turtles.
“Today, after more than 13,000 mangroves seedlings planted and more than 3,000 hatchlings released, we renewed our commitment,” he said.
Aboitiz said the facility has been already used for many years and they just improved the facilities now for more marine turtles to be rescued.
DENR assistant secretary Ruth Tawantawan said the facility will really help the conservation of the Hawksbill turtles since they are already considered endangered species.
“This will help prevent the extinction of the Hawkbill turtles,” she said.
Tawantawan said this turtle species has only one percent of survival after being hatched so it is important to preserve them.
The center is the rescue and hatchery facility located inside the Aboitz Cleanergy Park in Punta Dumalag, Barangay Matina.
The facility is a temporary shelter, clinic, laboratory, observation deck, boardwalks and other facilities for the rescue, rehabilitation, and conservation of marine turtles.
The center also aims to identify, document, and address the threats to marine turtles and their habitats in the area, and promote research as well as enhance public awareness.
A total of 4,370 pawikan eggs found in the Cleanergy Park and 3,482 hatchlings have been rescued and released to the shores.