San Isidro, Davao Oriental
4 May 2016

President Benigno S. Aquino III went to the municipality of San Isidro in Davao Oriental and led the inauguration of Mount Hamiguitan World Heritage Park, the first and only world heritage site in Mindanao.

Upon his arrival, the President was ushered to unveil the marker. Thereafter, he climbed to the Natural Science Museum for a tour of its facilities. He passed through different sections of the establishment and at the Advocacy Room, he wrote his personal message on a parchment as remembrance of his visit.

In his keynote address, President Aquino mentioned a few of the government’s iniatives in protecting and conserving Mount Hamiguitan, such as strengthening of the wildlife law enforcement, promotion of ecotourism awareness, and creation of the Regular Biodiversity Monitoring for the inventory of the species in the area.

Aside from the heritage park, he also cited another tourist attraction in Davao Oriental, the Subangan Museum in Mati City, featuring Mount Hamiguitan and the rich cultural heritage of the province.

“Siyempre, dulo nito, dadami ang bibisita sa inyo, sisigla ang lokal na turismo, na maghahatid ng oportunidad sa mga taga-Davao Oriental, partikular na sa San Isidro,” he said.

The Mount Hamiguitan World Heritage Park is part of the 27,714 hectare Mount Hamiguitan Range Wildlife Sanctuary (MHRWS), which was inscribed as a United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) World Heritage Site in 2014. It represents a highly diverse mountain ecosystem in an essential biogeographic region of the Philippines. It is home to 151 ferns and 13 fern allies, and is a sanctuary for rare, threatened and endangered species.

There are about 108 species from 37 families and 74 genera of birds recorded in the mountain, 30% of which are endemic in the entire country and 19% in Mindanao, including the Philippine Eagle, Philippine Cockatoo, Blue Fantial, among others.

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