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PNoy asks Pinoys: Help PHL bid for New 7 Wonders of Nature

President Benigno S. Aquino III on Wednesday urged Filipinos help push the country’s bid for a spot in the search for the New Seven Wonders of Nature after a tour of the Philippines’ official entry, the Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park (PPSRNP), here.

The President made the pitch after seeing for himself the spectacular sights at the PPSRNP which include various rock formations and flora and fauna.

Among the exotic animals seen at the park were monitor lizards locally known as “bayawak”, groups of wild monkeys, various species of fish and the local “tabon” bird, among others.

The President was welcomed by local officials led by Provincial Governor Baham Mitra; Puerto Princesa City Mayor Edward Hagedorn, Lt. Gen. Juancho Saban, Commanding General, WESCOM; BGen. Esteban Castro, Wing Commander 570th CTW; Commo Edgardo Tamayo, Commander NAVFORWEST; Capt. Alex Lopez, Cmdr., Joint Task Force Malampaya and PC/Supt. Artemio Hicban Jr. Regional Director PRO 4B and well wishers of around 1,000 from various sectoral groups.

During the media briefing at the Sheridan Resort and Spa after the tour, the Chief Executive encouraged the people to participate in the global polling through SMS by sending “PPUR” to 2861.

“Let us promote tourism to help create a better future for the Filipinos”, President Aquino noted.

Also part of the Presidential entourage were Tourism Secretary Alberto Lim, Presidential Communications Development and Strategic Planning Office (PCDSPO) Secretary Ramon Carandang and Fr. Ramon Jet Villarin, incoming president, ADMU.

After the President’s visit to the PPSRNP, several presentations were made relevant to the Pro-Environment theme of the government’s Eco-Tourism promotions. PPSRNP serves as launching pad and unifying element for the thematic campaign.

The Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park (PPSRNP), formerly St. Paul Subterranean National Park, is located at Sitio Sabang, Barangay Cabayugan, in the Midwest coast of Palawan and some 81 kilometers northwest of Puerto Princesa City.

PPSRNP is reputed to be the longest navigable underground river in the world at a length of 8.2 kilometers that winds through spectacular limestone formations before emptying out into the South China Sea.

In 1999, the park was declared as a United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Natural World Heritage Site.

It was also proclaimed “National Geological Monument in the year 2003 by the National Committee on Geological Sciences.

The PPSRNP is managed by the City Government of Puerto Princesa based on a program centered on environmental conservation and sustainable development, through a multi-sectoral Protected Area Management Board (PAMB). It has the distinction of being the first national park devolved and successfully managed by a Local Government Unit (LGU).

The PPSRNP is one of the finalists for the search competing with 27 other sites for the title.

The New 7 Wonders of Nature is a competition organized by the Swiss-based New7Wonders Foundation (government-controlled corporation), led by the Canadian-Swiss Bernard Weber.

The competition started in 2007 to choose seven (7) symbols of nature via global polling, immediately after the successful campaign to elect the man-made official New 7 Wonders of the World, in which more than 100 millions votes were cast. (jcl/pcoo)

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