Environment Secretary Roy A. Cimatu has issued an administrative order transferring the supervision of the Palawan Wildlife Rescue and Conservation Center (PWRCC) from the Biodiversity Management Bureau (BMB) to the Natural Resources Development Corp. (NRDC), the corporate arm of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).

PWRCC, formerly known as the Crocodile Farm and Nature Park, is a breeding place for the endangered Philippine crocodile, as well as a research and rescue center for other species endemic to Palawan, such as bearcats and Philippine cockatoos.

In DENR Administrative Order (DAO) No. 2020-10 he issued last Sept. 17, Cimatu said the transfer was in line with the need to streamline the supervision over PWRCC, generate higher revenues and pursue its financial sustainability.

The DAO took effect last Nov. 25, or 15 days after its complete publication in a newspaper of general circulation.

Included in the transfer are all documents, records, equipment, facilities, supplies and materials, concerned personnel except those holding permanent items in DENR-MIMAROPA Region, budget and all related matters.

“Within three months from effectivity of this Order, the NRDC, BMB, and the DENR-MIMAROPA Region shall formulate and implement smooth transition of the transfer and develop collaborative arrangements to strengthen the operations of the Center, to be contained in a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA),” the DAO reads.

The order provides that within the transition period, the NRDC shall develop a business plan for PWRCC, as well as identify new, innovative, competitive and related business ventures, with the objective of financial sustainability.

Under the DAO, NRDC is authorized to update and fix prices, fees and charges related to PWRCC’s commercial and business operations, in accordance with existing laws, rules and regulations.

However, the BMB will continue to enforce its regulatory authorities over the crocodile and other wildlife species in PWRCC.

Assistant Secretary for Climate Change and concurrent BMB Director Ricardo Calderon said the bureau will continue to provide technical assistance and guidance in the management and conservation of the wildlife species in the center.

“The BMB has entered into an agreement with NRDC and DENR-MIMAROPA to ensure that the PWRCC shall continue to operate efficiently and effectively as a center for the commercial breeding of saltwater crocodiles and conservation breeding of Philippine crocodiles, as well as as for the care and rehabilitation of rescued, donated and confiscated wildlife species in Palawan,” Calderon said.

He added that the NRDC’s business plan will be developed “in consultation with the BMB to ensure that the conservation aspect of PWRCC’s operations are adequately addressed.” ###