Local and foreign tourists who were anticipating Nickelodeon’s planned construction of its underwater theme park in Palawan, one of the new wonders of the world located in the Philippines, will be in for big disappointment. The Philippine government, through its Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), announced that they are not allowing the project to pursue. The agency’s rejection comes after the news spread across rumor mills and drew flak among environmentalists.
The country’s environment and natural resources secretary, Ms. Gina Lopez, made it firm in interviews that she is very much against building a resort and theme park in Palawan. In their Twitter account, the DENR posted a quote from Lopez saying that she will never give the green light in building the underwater theme park. Outraged netizens seemed to have agreed with Lopez, saying that the construction is highly-detrimental to Palawan’s world-famous marine corals which placed it on global spotlight.
According to GMA News Online, Lopez’s announcement came after Viacom International Media Networks, owner of Nickelodeon, expressed their plans to tap Palawan as the location for their multi-million dollar project. The construction encompasses more than 400 hectares of undersea development to showcase the majestic corals and awe-inspiring marine biodiversity of the area. After it rose to global fame as a major tourist destination in the country, it was dubbed as the “Last Frontier.”
As of press time, the project has very minimal chances to push through. Officials from the Palawan Council for Sustainable Development said that the project is under scrutiny. It is also subject for approval.
Based on its environmental profile, is a vantage of tropical rainforests and marine wildlife. It also boasts of having the most number of protected areas in the country. The province is most known for having one of the longest underground rivers in the world, the Puerto Princessa City Subterranean River National Park, a world heritage site. Moreover, the area was proclaimed as a Game and Wildlife Sanctuary in 1967.