It was beyond belief that I will be encountering the trade of dried Flying Lizard openly in the busy street of Uyanguren,Davao City, knowing Davao as the city with one of the most strict implementation of policies in the Philippines.
As we came close and had a short conversation with the local trader, he mentioned that the dried flying lizards are local medicine to cure cough, asthma, goiter and tuberculosis. The dried lizards were sold for Php 100.00 or $3.00 (small) and Php 200.00 or $6.00 (bigger one). I have heard the urban tale about lizards that it can cure asthma and other respiratory related diseases but it was proven not so true by scientists.
If I would speculate on the species of the flying lizard (I am not an expert to identify this herp species), this could be the species of lizard named after Dr. Jose Rizal known as Draco rizali (please correct me if I’m wrong).
The real issue now is the rampant existence of such trade that is prohibited by the Republic Act 9147 or Wildlife Resources Conservation and Protection.
This situation is a true reflection of our society today and I hope that the Philippine implementing agencies, like the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and the local government unit (LGU) of Davao work their arse to prevent this open wildlife trade.