Press Release
January 31, 2013

Legarda pushes for declaration of Waling-Waling as Nat'l Flower

Senator Loren Legarda is pushing for the declaration of the Waling-Waling as another national flower to make its beauty known to the whole country and to the world.

"The Waling-Waling's beauty adorns our treetops, especially in Davao, Cotabato, and Zamboanga where it is endemic. But there are threats to its survival, as the flowers that grow and thrive in the wild are harvested for commercial and decorative purposes, and their habitat is destroyed by deforestation," Legarda said.

In October 2012, Legarda filed Senate Bill 3307, or An Act Declaring the Waling-Waling Orchid as National Flower of the Philippines in Addition to Sampaguita as Declared in Proclamation No. 652 Dated 01 February 1934 by Governor-General Frank Murphy.

The bill, which was submitted for the Senate's approval under Committee Report 497, was passed on second reading on January 28.

"The approval of this measure will place the Waling-Waling under protection, as it will mandate the Secretary of Environment and Natural Resources to promulgate rules and regulations for conserving and propagating the Waling-Waling orchid together with Sampaguita," the Senator stressed.

The Waling-Waling, known as the Queen of Philippine Orchids, has been confirmed by the National Museum of the Philippines as indigenous and endemic to our country, while the Sampaguita is native to India and Arabia.

"Our national symbols are vital to our identity as Filipinos. As we discover more about ourselves, we must also update the symbols that represent us. I believe that initiatives to do so increase the engagement of everyday Filipinos with the symbols of our nation, and aid in our nation-building process. Thus, in addition to Sampaguita, I hope that the Waling-Waling Orchid be declared a National Flower of the Philippines," Legarda concluded.

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