Tarsier PTFI

The Foundation

Spearheading the campaign to save the Philippine tarsier is the Philippine Tarsier Foundation, Inc. ("PTFI", or the "Foundation"), a non-stock, non-profit organization based in Tagbilaran City, the capital of Bohol. While it is an entirely private sector initiative, it enjoys strong support from the country's two leading government agencies for environmental conservation and eco-tourism: the Department of Environment and Natural Resources ("DENR") and the Department of Tourism ("DOT").

The Foundation's beginnings can be traced back to a visit to Bohol in 1996 by Mr. Jesus Alvarez Jr. Mr Alvarez, a former director of the Philippine Parks and Wildlife Bureau, was invited to Bohol by local connected citizens. Alvarez was one of the country's pioneers in nature conservancy field; he was instrumental in bringing about international attention to the plight of endangered Philippine eagle. Alvarez immediately saw the need for a more organized effort to halt the continuing decline of the indigenous tarsier population.

Following the visit, he proposed an initial program of work with following major recommendations:

Alvarez also specified four key activities that the proposed organization would concentrate on: habitat management and protection, community organization and management, ecology and biology of the tarsier research, and ecotourism.

On April 17, 1996, the Philippine Tarsier Foundation Inc. was registered with the Philippine Securities and Exchange Commission, with the following prominent Bohol residents listed as incorporators: the Rev. Fr. Florante S. Camacho, SVD, (former) president of the Divine Word College (now Holy Name University); Anos Fonacier, municipal councilor and resort operator; and Col. (Ret.) Zosimo Angan, businessman. They were later joined by Richard Uy, banker, and Marlito Uy, department store owner. Elected principal officers were Fonacier as Chairman; Camacho as president; and Alvarez, who was the only Boholano on board, as executive vice-president.

On November 4, 1996, the Foundation submitted a formal request to the DENR for the preparation and conclusion of a memorandum of agreement charging the Foundation with the implementation of the Philippine Tarsier Conservation Program. Five months later, on April 1, 1997, the Foundation invited Tourism Secretary Mina T. Gabor to serve as its honorary chairperson in recognition of her keen interest in environmental concerns throughout the country.

Currently, PTFI maintains offices in Tagbilaran and Metro Manila, which are accessible via postal service, international direct dial telephone/facsimile, and e-mail.

PTFI strongly encourages the involvement of any concerned local individuals and/or corporations in supporting the Philippine Tarsier Conservation Program and the work of the Foundation. This is in firm belief that no undertaking of such nature can flourish without a strong community base.

Although the Foundation is currently focusing its efforts in Bohol, it hopes eventually to link up with groups similarly engaged in nature conservancy elsewhere in the Philippines and the world, with whom it may jointly develop projects to protect rare fauna and flora species, and their natural habitats.