DAVAO CITY, Philippines ? Well-known singers Rico J. Puno and Jenine Desiderio are to perform at the Royal Mandaya Hotel here Saturday night for a concert aimed at generating funds for the conservation of the pawikan (sea turtles) of Davao Gulf.
Robert Quinto, president of the Davao City Chamber of Commerce and Industries (DCCCI), said the concert at 8 p.m. was part of the business group's contribution to save the pawikan and take care of biodiversity.
?We found out that the pawikan has been visiting Punta Dumalag, we're taking the pawikan as a symbol [of biodiversity], we're doing this not only for the pawikan but for the whole biodiversity, because once these species are lost, our existence will also be threatened,? he said.
Quinto said the business group needed about P5 million to build a sanctuary that would protect the sea turtles in Punta Dumalag and simulate the natural environment of the sea creatures.
?We hope to build a cage right there at sea where fishes can come and go but will protect the pawikan. It will simulate their habitat,? Quinto said.
The efforts of the business group have caught the eye of the Environment Governance Project (EcoGov) project of the United States Aid for International Development (USAID).
Fer Esguerra, EcoGov regional manager, said they supported the project because it sought to reduce threats to biodiversity in key areas such as the Davao Gulf.
?In reducing threats to biodiversity through an integrated ecosystem approach, there are also benefits achieved by way of addressing concerns such as food security and climate change,? Esguerra said.
Davao Gulf, which covers an area of some 308,000 hectares, is a critical resource base for over 4 million people in Southern Mindanao.
It generated some P669 million ($14.4 million) in earnings from aquaculture production, the highest in the country, providing income to 19,000 commercial and municipal fishers, according to the 2009 report of the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources.