Singapore President visits Philippine Eagle Center, expresses interest in biodiversity cooperation

File photo of a Philippine eagle in the wild. (Photo courtesy Philippine Eagle Foundation website)

(Eagle News) — Singapore President Halimah Yacob visited the Philippine Eagle Center in Davao City on Wednesday, Sept. 11, as she stressed her country’s interest in continuing cooperation on biodiversity conservation.

President Yacob visited the conservation facility where 30 Philippine eagle raptors are kept for conservation and breeding at the Malagos Nature Park. She is the first foreign head of state to visit the center.

The Philippine Eagle Foundation manages the Philippine Eagle Center.The center primarily operates as a conservation breeding facility for the critically endangered Philippine Eagle and other birds of prey.

Before the visit, the Singaporean leader noted that landmark agreement between the Philippines and Singapore where a pair of critically endangered Philippine eagles were loaned to Singapore for a 10-year research and breeding program.

President Rodrigo Duterte and Republic of Singapore President Halimah Yacob pose for posterity prior to the start of their expanded bilateral meeting at the Malacañan Palace during the latter’s state visit to the Philippines on September 9, 2019. SIMEON CELI JR./PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO

The Philippine goverment sent a pair of Philippine eagles to Singapore under a Wildlife Loan Agreement (WLA) between the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and the Wildlife Reserves Singapore (WRS) on June 4, marking the first-ever overseas loan of Philippine eagles.

According to the Department of Foreign Affairs, the pair named Geothermica, a 15-year-old male Philippine eagle, and Sambisig, a 17-year old female eagle, were provided to the WRS. They were housed in Jurong Bird Park for captive breeding, as a further conservation measure.

“I am also happy that we are also cooperating in biodiversity conservation, in June 2019, we reached a landmark agreement for a pair of critically endangered Philippine eagles to be loaned to Singapore on a 10-year research and breeding program,” Singapore President Yacob said during the state banquet held in her honor in Malacanang.

The project is part of the ongoing celebrations of the 50th Anniversary of Philippines-Singapore and diplomatic relations this year.

The Philippine eagle, the national bird of the Philippines, is featured prominently in the current Philippine electronic passport.

Diplomatic relations between the Philippines and Singapore were formally established on August 11, 1969.