The Calabarzon Regional Development Council (RDC) approved the creation of a Technical Working Group (TWG) and an Action Plan for Tawilis protection and conservation during the First Quarter Full Council Meeting on March 14, 2019 at NEDA Region IV-A, Barangay Milagrosa, Calamba City Laguna. This action was in response to the January 2019 declaration of Tawilis, the only freshwater sardinella species endemic in Taal Lake, as an endangered species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

The Action Plan includes the implementation of a closed fishing season to allow the fish stocks to spawn. According to the National Fisheries Research and Development Institute, the main research arm of the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources, a closed fishing season for Tawilis should be implemented from March to April. Additionally, three Tawilis Reserved Areas will be secured as a permanent shelter for the natural propagation of Tawilis. These areas will be located in the Municipalities of Balete, San Nicolas and Cuenca in Batangas Province.

The Council also approved the following during the meeting: a) FY 2020 Projects for Inclusion in the Regional Development Investment Programming; b) RDC Project Endorsement Guidelines; c) Orientation on Culture; d) Culture Summit; d) Creation of Technical Working (TWG) on Convergence Program; e) Advocacy on Long Term Vision and Regional Development Plan; f) Institutionalization of Provincial Economic Performance; and g) Calabarzon Convergence Area Action Plan. Agency members also presented status of government response to current issues affecting the region, such as measles outbreak, preparations of the agriculture and fisheries sector for El Nino, and Status of Free WiFi and Third TelCo projects.

Mary Deemple DR. Ariate, NEDA Region IV-A | April 01, 2019