The Pamilacan Island Dolphin and Whale Watching Tours (PIDWWT) was primarily established by Mr. Joselino "Jojo" S. Baritua to market the dolphin and whale watching as a new eco tourism product of the province of Bohol and the Philippines. We aim to provide a viable alternative livelihood to the families affected by the government banned on the hunting and trade of dolphins, whales and recently the ban on whale sharks and manta rays.
Hunting of the above mentioned species has been the traditional form of living of the people of Pamilacan which started since time immemoriale.
The founder, Mr. Jojo Baritua formerly serve as the Project Coordinator- of the Pamilacan Island Dolphin and Whale Watching Village Integrated Development Program which started in May 1997 and ended on June 2000. This was supported by the Inter Agency Taskforce in Marine Mammal Conservation (IATFMMC) chaired by the Philippine Department of Environment and Natural Resources. This was funded by the CITIBANK NA , the Philippine Department of Tourism and the Pacific Asia Travel Association. WWF-Philippines leads in the implementation and coordination of the program. The program lead to formation of the Pamilacan Island Dolphin and Whale Watching Organization (PIDWWO).
Lately, a new organization was also formed on own our initiative using the personal funds of the members. This is presently composed of Eighty Seven (87) member families or about four hundred fifty (450) individuals under the Pamilacan Island Boat Operators and Spotters Association, Inc.
Mr. Baritua has been working and providing viable alternative livelihood and resource management programs for the past 7 years with the fisherfolks in the Visayas and Mindanao Region in Philippines.
PIDWWT strives to reach out the greater number of the affected families and involved them in the new livelihood oppurtunity either as spotter, local guides and food attendants. PIDWWT hope to sustain the energy of the people and continue the dolphin and whale watching program in it's own little way.
Mr. Baritua has met a lot of obtstacle in the course of the project implementation. The Philippine Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR), WWF-Philippines and local government unit of Pamilacan has advised him to leave the island for security reasons. Majority of the people got angry when whale sharks and manta rays.were ban on March 1998 without any consultations to the affected sectors of the Philippine society.
Unmoved by the threat, Mr. Baritua stay put and eventually little by little convince the local people to join the dolphin and whale watching program. The Local Government Unit of Pamilacan who has been hostile to the prgram eventually give thier stamp of approval in February 2000 by enacting an ordinance. There are twenty (20) former whale hunting boats that are engage in the program.
To date, hunting of the marine mammals has been stop.