About PanayCon
Conservation + 
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Panay Eco-Social Conservation Project
Our research site, project history and coworkers

Map Philippines
Peninsula map

NW Panay peninsula with location of the 
threatened lowland rainforest remnants, 
one focus of PanayCon's conservation efforts 


History and work of the Panay Eco-Social Conservation Project (PanayCon)

PanayCon initially was run under the name Philippine Endemic Species Conservation Project (PESCP), founded by Professor Curio. Its work on Panay was started in 1996 by site investigations in the Central Panay Mountains. At various locations, efforts were made to establish research facilities from which studies on the area's fauna and flora could be conducted. Faunistic and floristic surveys were conducted during this time, but the logistics of performing these tasks in Central Panay proved beyond the means of the project at that time, and so with the discovery of significant stands of low-elevation rain forest in the NW Panay peninsula, to include a variety of endangered, endemic species of plants and animals, the PESCP relocated its main operation to this area.

PESCP soon initiated a campaign focusing on the overall conservation of the natural resource base on the peninsula, while maintaining interest, linkages, and ambitions in Central Panay. The Frankfurt Zoological Society was backing the project activities from its inception, being primarily interested in preserving the highly endangered writhed-billed hornbill (Aceros waldeni; local names: dulungan, kalaw) and its  habitat. With the remnant population of this species and other endangered wildlife living in the Central Panay Mountain Range (CPMR), the emphasis of conservation work shifted to this area from 2000 on. Prior to that, the field work had  quickly become community-based, aiming at the precautionary development of the up-land communities.

In 2011, the  PESCP was replaced with PanayCon, its functional successor, with nature conservation work of the PESCP continued, but with focus on cooperation with and help for the local people. 

Since 2005 the NGO PhilConserve (Philippine Association for Conservation and Development, Inc.) had acted as an umbrella organization for the project. Because of discrepancies concerning by-laws, in Nov 2010 conservation minded citizens of larger Pandan, Antique, established the NGO ‘Philippine Initiative for Conservation of Environment and the People, Inc.’ (PhilinCon) to replace the former NGO. Thus, PhilinCon has now become the operational platform running PanayCon including its linkages with LGUs (Local Government Units) and the DENR.  In the process PhilinCon will restructure PanayCon whilst adhering to the core goals of the project as before (see above).


PanayCon station staff, caretakers and porters. Photo: Sherwin Hembra

In restructuring PanayCon the new NGO has identified a new Project Manager, Christian Schwarz, and various consultants including a Scientific Advisor, namely the project’s founder Prof. E. Curio
(contact, more information), Conservation Biology Unit, Ruhr-University Bochum, Germany, while maintaining linkage with Aklan State University, PanayCon’s partner institution, and establishing a cooperation with the University of the Philippines. PanayCon will join hands with the GIZ (German Society for International Cooperation) in tandem with the DENR in its quest for setting critical portions of the CPMR aside as Protected Areas. Terms of employment embrace aside from fair salaries pension insurance (SSS), PhilHealth and accident insurance. Dr. Enrique Sanchez is a Veterinary Consultant and Vice President of PhilinCon overseeing the health care aspects of PanayCon’s endangered species rehabilitation program that as a whole is being maintained alongside conservation research overseen by Prof. Curio. Rhea A. Santillan is in charge of the administration as a secretary and bookkeeper. Benjamin ("Jun") Tacud is our station officer for Sibaliw who also serves as an extremely gifted field assistant since many years and vitally assists the rehabilitation and research activities at the project’s Research Station Sibaliw in the Municipality of Buruanga. Furthermore, Nestor Bagac, a long time supporter of the project, is taking care of birds in our custody at Bulanao reha facility while Macario Melchor cares for wildlife rescue and rehabilitation in our third facility in Magaba. Junmar Jamangal and Eduard Geronimo are caretakers for the Sibaliw reha facility. Under optimal conditions, we would employ more people at the grass roots for greater duration.

Our PanayCon / PhilinCon Board of Directors in 2018 (see also contact page):
Prof. Dr. E. Curio, PhilinCon President, Scientific Advisor
Dr. Enrique R. Sanchez, Jr., PhilinCon Vice President, Veterinary Advisor, Wildlife Rescue
Rhea A. Santillan, Secretary & Bookkeeper
Mary Joan B. Aldanese, Treasurer
Leocadio F. Dioso, Liaison Officer
Board members at large:
Christian J. Schwarz,  General Manager  

Regular PanayCon staff in 2016:
Christian S. Schwarz, project manager for Panay

Eberhard Curio, scientific advisor, German office

Benjamin “Jun” S. Tacud, Jr., station officer for Sibaliw

Rhea A. Santillan, bookkeeper and secretary

Junmar E. Jamangal, caretaker, Sibaliw wildlife reha facility

Eduard V. Geronimo, caretaker, Sibaliw wildlife reha facility

Dr. Enrique Sanchez, Jr., veterinary consultant, wildlife rescue and rehabilitation

Nestor Bagac, caretaker, Bulanao wilflife reha facility

Macario Melchor, caretaker, Mag-aba wildlife reha facility

MaryJane Geronimo, purchaser for supply for station and reha facilities

6 forest rangers (more would be needed, depending on funding)

Temporarily employed staff:

Porters and workers for instance for repairs: employed on demand


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Panay Eco-Social Conservation Project   -   Conservation Biology Unit, Ruhr-University Bochum
Last amendment: 23 May 2018