• 04/23/2019
  • 08:11 AM
League Online News


Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III has underscored the need for fresh efforts to

instill in the public consciousness the importance of a mutually beneficial

relationship between man and nature, which is the underlying goal behind the

ongoing efforts to save the Philippine eagle from extinction.


The Philippine eagle, which personifies the nation through its courage, strength and

grace, also represents its predicament, which is “a general lack of appreciation for

what needs to be done to conserve our wildlife–and, ultimately, to conserve

our communities,” said Dominguez, who used to chair the board of trustees of the

Philippine Eagle Foundation (PEF) and was former Minister of the Department of

Environment and Natural Resources during the Corazon Aquino administration

from 1986 to 1987.



Dominguez, who remains an active contributor to efforts to help save the Philippine

eagle, invited the public to find the time to watch a documentary on the country’s

national bird created by Emmy-winning cinematographer Neil Rettig to inspire them

in helping preserve “this magnificent symbol of the Philippines.”


“I hope that through this film, we could reach out to ordinary citizens to help in the

effort to conserve this truly majestic bird. There is an African saying that goes: It

takes a village to raise a child. In the case of the endangered Philippine eagle, it will

take a nation to help it prevail,” Dominguez said at the inaugural screening of the

documentary titled “To Save Our Eagle” held recently at the Ayuntamiento de Manila

auditorium of the Bureau of the Treasury (BTr) central office in Intramuros, Manila.


The 45-minute documentary filmed in ultra-high definition was produced by the

Cornell Lab of Ornithology in partnership with the Philippine Eagle Foundation.

Rettig followed a family of Philippine eagles for five months until its eaglet left its



Dominguez described Rettig’s film as a “work of passion.”


“The Philippine eagle is said to represent the nation through its courage, strength

and grace. It also represents our predicament. The plight of the Philippine eagle is

due to the loss of habitat and a general lack of appreciation for what needs to be done


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to conserve our wildlife–and, ultimately, to conserve our communities,” Dominguez



He said that “in this sense, this film is more than being just about the Philippine

eagle. It is about building a new awareness about the symbiosis between a

sustainable natural environment and a contented human community. It is about

building a vigorous public ethic that respects and appreciates nature.”


Also present at the screening were PEF Executive Director Dennis Salvador; Dr.

Laura Johnson, the film coordinator of the “To Save Our Eagle”

documentary;  Officer-in-Charge Jesus Melchor Quitain, Sr. of the Office of the

Special Assistant to the President (OSAP); National Commission on Indigenous

Peoples (NCIP) Executive Director Rogelio Francisco Bantayan, Jr.; National

Treasurer Rosalia de Leon; and Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) Undersecretary

Ernesto Abella.


The PEF, established in 1987, is a private, non-profit organization dedicated to

promote, and work for, the survival of the Philippine eagle (Pithecophaga jefferyi),

which is considered one of the world’s largest and rarest eagles.


According to the PEF, the Philippine Eagle “is the top predator of the Philippine

tropical rainforest” and “plays an important role in keeping the ecosystem in balance

and provides an umbrella of protection to all other life forms in its territory.”


Dominguez hails from Davao City, the home of the Philippine Eagle Center, which is

an 8.4-hectare sanctuary located in the foothills of Mt. Apo. The Center operates as a

conservation breeding facility for the Philippine Eagle and other birds of prey.


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