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Press Release - Senator Mark Villar Encourages Heightened Stray Animals Adoption and Lessened Abandonment Through Legislation

Senator Mark Villar expresses his concern with the increasing cases of animal abandonment in different areas in the country. According to the Philippine Animal Welfare Society (PAWS), there are around 12 million stray cats and dogs in 2019, which are either former family pets or those who have reproduced in the streets due to lack of proper shelter. While there are projects and shelters that rescue these abandoned animals, the rising numbers of those abandoned remain highly disproportionate to the support they ought to receive.

"This 12 million number of strays we have in record was back in 2019. Apat na taon na po ang nakalipas. With the pandemic placing a great burden to Filipinos, we can only expect na mas dumami na po ang mga stray animals na walang proper care and shelter. We must act on this and extend our aid in securing safe animal shelters," Senator Mark said.

According to PETA, animal homelessness in the Philippines has reached a crisis point as stray animals struggle to live unsupervised in the streets and impounded ones are euthanized every month in municipal pounds. These unfortunate fates of strays and impounded animals are due to the limited resources of both public and private shelters. One case of this is that of an LGU in NCR which reports that its city pound captures an average of 200 stray animals weekly yet they do not have sufficient resources to maintain their care.

"My heart goes to these animals who are forced to these unfortunate living situations, and some of them to their untimely deaths because they cannot be cared for. Bilang isang animal lover at pet welfare advocate, I will do my best to lessen these rising numbers of strays and euthanized impounded animals. We are also going to exhaust all means to ensure that proper aid are given to animals left in shelters," Senator Mark said.

As an advocate for animal welfare, the Senator filed Senate Bill No. 2257 or the Act Strengthening the Adoption of Stray and Impounded Animals. This bill seeks to encourage the adoption of stray and impounded animals by providing tax incentive benefits to any individual or group who shall adopt stray and impounded animals. The bill also seeks to reduce