Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Secretary Roy A. Cimatu has expressed his strong support for a bill seeking to conserve the critically endangered Tamaraw (Bubalus mindorensis).

Cimatu issued the statement following calls for the passage of House Bill (HB) 8299 or the proposed Tamaraw Conservation Management Act in response to the pressing need to conserve the remaining population of the Tamaraw, a dwarf buffalo that is endemic to Mindoro Island.

"We hope that the House of Representatives and the Senate will keep this bill in mind in choosing priorities to ensure that one of our country’s biodiversity treasures is conserved and protected," Cimatu said.

The DENR chief said he also "thoroughly supports the proposed crafting of a Department Administrative Order for the Tamaraw Conservation Program while the said bill is not yet a law."

Cimatu's statement came as the country observed the National Tamaraw Month in October under the theme: "Tamaraw atin ito, Ipagmalaki mo bilang Pilipino!"

The DENR-Biodiversity Management Bureau (BMB), together with the DENR-Region 4B (MIMAROPA), conducted the "Tamaraw Talks" webinar to highlight the conservation and protection efforts and activities implemented by the DENR through the Tamaraw Conservation Program.

The activities were conducted with the assistance of various non-government organizations in Mindoro that help in the conservation, protection, and preservation of the remaining population of the Tamaraw in their natural habitat.

In his message during the webinar, DENR-BMB Director Datu Tungko M. Saikol enjoined the public "to pursue and enhance our advocacy for Tamaraw conservation to allow future generations to appreciate and marvel at one of the country’s treasures and pride."

Authored by Occidental Mindoro Rep. Josephine Ramirez-Sato, HB 8299 calls for the creation of the Tamaraw Conservation Coordinating Council and the Technical Advisory Group, Tamaraw Conservation Program Office, and the Tamaraw Conservation and Research Center that will be in charge of coordination, research, and pertinent activities to ensure that the program’s objectives are met.

The celebration of the National Tamaraw Month is under Presidential Proclamation No. 273, series of 2002, which declares the month of October of every year as a Special Month for the Conservation and Protection of the Tamaraw in Mindoro. ###