On January 3, a fisherman Rodrigo Giguera spotted a sea turtle, known locally as pawikan, in the waters of Barangay Balaring, Negros Occidental.
Unaware of the standard operating procedure of handling endangered animals, the fisherman turned over the turtle to the Bantay Dagat members who were a group of new volunteers.
According to the proper procedure, the turtle should have been handed over to the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), which allows them to attach a metal tag on the turtle's flipper that help scientists track the turtle’s migration pattern.
"The volunteers did not have a metal tag so they painted the words 'Silay Bantay Dagat' on the turtle’s carapace in yellow instead." according to inquirer.net.
Community environment and natural resources officer, Joan Nathaniel Gerangaya pointed out that what the volunteers did has violated the Wildlife Conservation Act and are required to attend an orientation seminar after they had been reprimanded.
Luckily, the volunteers were just reprimanded as they meant no harm to the turtle and the animal back was released back to the sea shortly.