Insular Foundation Champions the Release of Philippine Eagles in Leyte

Insular Foundation, the corporate social responsibility arm of Insular Life (InLife), recently supported the significant release of critically endangered Philippine Eagles in Leyte, marking a milestone in conservation efforts.

Raoul Littaua, InLife President and CEO and Vice Chairman of the Insular Foundation, emphasized the alignment of this initiative with the company’s mission to provide "A Lifetime for Good." He expressed pride in supporting nationwide efforts to prevent the Philippine Eagle from becoming extinct. "The reintroduction of the Philippine Eagles in Leyte is the successful culmination of the research and feasibility studies that the Insular Foundation funded from 2018 to 2020. By reintroducing Uswag and Carlito to Leyte, we are effectively expanding their habitat, thereby significantly improving the chances of the Philippine Eagle’s survival for future generations," Littaua, who is also a Trustee of the Philippine Eagle Foundation (PEF), explained.

Dr. Jayson Ibañez, PEF’s Research and Conservation Director, highlighted the ecological importance of returning the Philippine Eagles to Leyte. He said, "We treasure the partnership we have with Insular Life. Providing multi-year support helps us a lot because we cannot deliver these outputs in just one or two years. This is a long-term project, and we need long-term partners."

Last month, the Insular Foundation signed an agreement for a P2-million donation to PEF. This donation will fund conservation and reforestation efforts and community projects supporting the Philippine Eagle Translocation Project in Leyte. The partnership between the Insular Foundation and PEF began in 2011 with a P1-million grant for research and conservation. From 2018 to 2020, the Foundation donated an additional P3 million to support research and conservation efforts, including education and public awareness campaigns in schools and communities near Philippine Eagle habitats in Samar and Leyte. The Foundation also extended its support to the National Breeding Sanctuary in Toril, Davao City.

The Philippine Eagle, a symbol of InLife since its establishment in 1910, reflects the company's deep connection to its Filipino heritage. The eagle, a national symbol, represents InLife’s identity as a far-sighted guardian, loyal partner, and dependable nurturer of Filipinos. This enduring affinity underscores the significance of the company's commitment to the conservation of the species.

The Philippine Eagle, also known as Pithecophaga jefferyi, is one of the world's largest and most powerful eagles. With a wingspan of up to seven feet and a body length of about three feet, it is a majestic bird that once thrived in the forests of Luzon, Samar, Leyte, and Mindanao. However, due to deforestation, hunting, and other human activities, its population has drastically declined, making it critically endangered. Conservation efforts are crucial to preventing its extinction, and partnerships like the one between Insular Foundation and PEF play a vital role in these efforts.

The successful release of Uswag and Carlito into the wild is a testament to the collaborative efforts of organizations dedicated to preserving the Philippine Eagle. These reintroduced eagles not only symbolize hope for the species' future but also represent the collective impact of sustained conservation initiatives. By expanding the eagle's habitat and ensuring their survival, such projects contribute to the broader goal of maintaining biodiversity and ecological balance in the Philippines.

In conclusion, the Insular Foundation's ongoing commitment to the conservation of the Philippine Eagle through funding, research, and community engagement highlights the importance of long-term partnerships in environmental conservation. As these efforts continue, the vision of a thriving population of Philippine Eagles soaring freely in their natural habitats becomes increasingly attainable.

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