TAGANAK ISLAND, Tawi-Tawi — Roughly translated as “Day of the Sea Turtle”, the 3rd “Adlaw Sin Payukan” festival is annually celebrated in Taganak Island every 23rd of May, coinciding with the global celebration of World Turtle Day.

Joining the 12,000 residents of the Turtle Islands, delegates from the Ministry of Environment, Natural Resources and Energy (MENRE) – BARMM, led by head of delegation Director Abdul-Jalil S. Umngan, celebrated their first ‘Adlaw Sin Payukan’ experience right after the protected islands were turned over to the Bangsamoro by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources – Region 9.

Provincial ENRE Officer of MENRE Tawi-Tawi Jonel Moh. Monel delivered a message to the community on behalf of BARMM Senior Minister and MENRE Minister Abdulraof A. Macacua.

“The protection and conservation of our environment have always been in the heart of MENRE,” PENREO Monel said.
“We in the Ministry are committed to continue the protection and conservation efforts for the Turtle Islands and to work towards its sustainable development,” he added.

Virtually, President Rodrigo Roa Duterte also addressed the residents of Taganak Island for the first time, thanks to the VSAT facilities installed by the national government in March this year.

“May this be an opportune time to be reminded of the importance of having a balance ecosystem,” President Duterte said.

“I wish you a happy and a successful event,” he told the residents.

The Adlaw Sin Payukan was launched on 23 May 2017. It highlights the significance of marine turtles, its protection and conservation, and the celebration of their abundance in the province of Tawi-Tawi. The festivity has been an ENR activity for Communication, Education and Public Awareness (CEPA) program to increase the communities’ awareness of the protection and conservation of marine turtles.