The Presidential Spokesperson on the Manila Zoo, July 14, 2011

Presidential Spokesperson Edwin Lacierda:

On the Manila Zoo

[Delivered on July 14, 2011]

We share the concern expressed by concerned citizens over the condition in which animals are kept in the Manila Zoo. We have taken steps again to alert the Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI), which, under the provisions of Republic Act No. 8485, otherwise known as the Animal Welfare Act of 1998, places the animal welfare certification and regulation of zoos under the authority of the Director of Animal Industry and the Protected Areas and Wildlife Bureau of the DENR, pursuant to the provisions of Republic Act No. 9147 (Wildlife Protection and Conservation Act). As a response, the BAI, through the Committee on Animal Welfare, said that it continuously engages in a comprehensive discussion with the animal advocates, particularly on the condition of Mali the elephant and other animals in the zoo. They made a plan of action to uphold the welfare of the animals that should be led by zoo officials.

We have also communicated with the office of the City Mayor of Manila and are confident that Mayor Alfredo Lim will dialogue with concerned citizens. The City Mayor has directed Public Recreations Bureau Chief Engineer Deng Manimbo to receive assistance and support from concerned citizens. Those who may wish to help in raising funds or otherwise helping to restore the Manila Zoo may call telephone numbers 468-9498 and 383-6862.

It is noteworthy that concerned citizens have expressed the willingness to assist in any way they can, to help the Manila Zoo improve its facilities and raise its standards. We are encouraged by this demonstration of public spirit on the part of our fellow citizens. It is a positive sign that the citizenry wants to be part of the solution and not just point out a problem.