DENR-MIMAROPA CONDUCTS THE FIRST-EVER
“TAKBO PARA SA TAMARAW”
By: Maria Teresita P. David, Jr., PAWD Technical Staff
The DENR-MIMAROPA Region thru the Protected Areas, Wildlife and Coastal Zone Management Service (PAWCZMS), in coordination with the Protected Areas and Wildlife Bureau (PAWB), Quezon City Government and partnership with the Mindoro Biodiversity Conservation Foundation, Inc. (MBCFI) have conducted the first-ever run for a cause coined as: “Takbo para sa Tamaraw” on October 27, 2012 at the Ninoy Aquino Parks and Wildlife Center and the Quezon City Memorial Circle as a culminating activity for the Tamaraw Month Celebration.
The fun run was conceptualized to heighten awareness about the Tamaraw (Bubalus mindorensis) as a wildlife species found only in the Philippines specifically in the island provinces of Mindoro in which it is truly a national pride and also to raise funds for the rehabilitation of the single-cabled hanging bridge going to the Tamaraw Gene Pool Farm, the facility for the lone captive Tamaraw “Kalibasib” in Brgy. Manoot, Rizal, Occidental Mindoro.
An opening program was held near Ninoy Aquino’s monument where a Tamaraw exhibit was set-up for the month-long celebration. PAWB Assistant Director Nelson P. Devanera gave a welcome message while DENR-MIMAROPA Regional Executive Director Edgardo O. Galeon delivered his inspirational talk and announced the prizes that await the top 20 runners (10 each) of the 3K and 5K categories which include the free trip from San Jose, Occidental Mindoro to Mts. Iglit-Baco National Park, the natural habitat of the tamaraws.
On the other hand, Tamaraw Conservation Program Coordinator Rodel M. Boyles presented the basic information about the Tamaraw and emphasized the species conservation status which is already critically endangered. Regional Technical Director for PAWCZMS Gwendolyn C. Bambalan and MBCFI’s Executive Director Grace C. Diamante, masters of ceremony of the event, explained to the participants where the proceeds of the run will go by showing the pictures of the hanging bridge printed on a tarpaulin. Upon seeing the proposed project, the participants of the “Takbo para sa Tamaraw” have been more enthusiastic to help in the Tamaraw conservation.
The participants who joined the run were from the following offices: DENR-Central Office (Special Concerns Office, Public Affairs Office), PAWB, Forest Management Bureau (FMB), Land Management Bureau (LMB), DENR-National Capital Region (NCR), National Mapping and Resource Information Authority (NAMRIA), Pasig River Rehabilitation Center (PRRC), Department of Agrarian Reform-4B (DAR) and DENR-MIMAROPA Region. The runners from the academe were selected students and faculty members of the Far Eastern University (FEU), Miriam College and National College of Public Administration and Governance (NCPAG). Others who joined are private individuals, HARIBON Foundation and Slimmers World International, who led the warm-up exercise before the fun run. The total number of participants was 621 (551 heads-3K and 70 heads-5K).
The “Takbo para sa Tamaraw” has been successful because of the support and assistance from the Department of Public Order and Safety (DPOS), QCMC Parks Management, Disaster Control Division and Brgy. Socorro of Cubao (2 ambulance and medical teams) of Quezon City Government, Maynilad Water Services, Inc. (for the water stations), Philippine National Red Cross-QC Chapter, Solar News, ABS-CBN News, TV 5 and Malampaya Joint Venture (tokens and raffle prizes).