CANDABA, Pampanga, Jan. 30 – The local chief executive of this town on Monday issued a stern warning not only to bird hunters but also to individuals who will disregard the inherent rights of the birds here.
Mayor Jerry Pelayo said that just like human beings, the birds should also be afforded with great importance and respect.
"Here in Candaba, I am treating the birds like my children. We are spending a lot for the care and protection of those birds and yet there are people who just simply shoot them," he added.
Pelayos said Candabenios are environment-friendly and bird lovers and they will not allow people who will attempt to destruct the balance of nature and its wildlife.
In fact, the mayor said that both local and migratory birds have been instrumental and inspiration to whatever this town has achieved.
Pelayo revealed that based on the last count this month, the number of wild ducks (dumara) ranges from 5,000 to 6,000 only and they are classified now as vulnerable to becoming endangered.
"The residents here have united with the help of those birds. That's why we have Ibon-Ebon Festival which is being participated in by all, Pelayo said.
In fact, he said the town will be celebrating its 5th year of Ibon-Ebon Festival starting on February 1 to 5 with a variety of activities.
The highlights of Ibon-Ebon festival are as follows: harvest festival, fun run, street dancing, trade fair, jamming with ibon-ebon dancers, river cruise, kite flying, concert of Sandwich band and Sponge Cola, "itik" cooking contest, race of best dressed "itik" and dragon boat race exhibition, among others.
Meanwhile, Pelayo on Monday led the burial of 12 Philippine wild ducks which were killed by Herbert Jacobe, a suspected professional bird hunter in Sitio Perlas in Barangay Panclara here.
The birds were buried in Candaba Swamp, particularly in Manjahnong as witnessed by representatives from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, local police, local officials and members of the media. (PNA)