Home Agriculture Smart, WWF call to save dugongs and sea turtles

Smart, WWF call to save dugongs and sea turtles



Your text protects. Smart Public Affairs head Mon Isberto (left) and WWF-Philippines Vice-Chair and CEO lory Tan (right) lead the launching of the Text-to-Donate project.

Leading wireless services provider Smart Communications, Inc. (Smart) in partnership with World Wide Fund for Nature – Philippines (WWF-Philippines), is encouraging citizens to help save the Philippine dugong and green sea turtle – both endangered species.

The wireless leader announced today the launch of its Text-to-Donate service, an SMS-based donation platform that empowers more than 46 million Smart and Talk ‘N Text subscribers to easily contribute to WWF’s wildlife conservation programs through the mobile phone.

Funds raised through this platform will be used by WWF-Philippines in their efforts to rehabilitate and preserve the Davao Gulf, which is a known habitat for dugongs and sea turtles.

“A lot of Filipinos are naturally caring and protective of our country’s environment and native creatures. They are willing to help but they do not know how” said Mon Isberto, head of Smart’s Public Affairs. “Smart’s Text-to-Donate is an accessible, simple and quick way to do their share and with a partner like WWF, they are assured that their donations will be put to good use,” he said.

Smart and Talk ‘N Text subscribers can make a one-time donation for as low as five pesos or as much as P1,000. To donate, they only need to text WWF to 4483. Valid values are 5, 10, 25, 50, 100, 300, 500 and 1000. The donated amount will be deducted from the subscriber’s prepaid load or be billed to the account if user is a postpaid subscriber.

Subscribers may also choose to give regular donations with just one text by texting WWF ON to 4483. A P5 donation will be deducted from or billed to the subscriber every 20 days.

WWF-Philippines Vice-Chair and CEO Lory Tan says Davao Gulf ranks as one of the priority conservation areas of the Sulu-Sulawesi Marine Eco-region.

“It is a breeding and nursery ground for small and large pelagic species, with frequent sightings of whale sharks, dugongs and leatherback turtles. Sadly, the Davao Gulf is being threatened by the very economic activities it supports,” said Tan, citing ports, oil depots, factories and other industries that are perceived to exert pressure on the  quality of the water, the natural habitats and the productivity of the Gulf’s  fisheries.

“Environmental exploitation by humans is a consequence of growing poverty in the area. Fish yields have decreased, leading many to adopt destructive fishing methods in order to survive. Turtles are killed for their meat and eggs, while the number of dugongs has dwindled due to boat propeller accidents and fishnet-caused drowning, among others,” Tan added.

WWF-Philippines’ Davao Gulf conservation and protection programs are being implemented in conjunction with the initiatives of the Davao Gulf Management Council composed of five coastal cities and 18 coastal municipalities surrounding the Davao Gulf. -30- Patrick Vincent Co, Corporate Relationship Manager


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