Legarda, Jubilant over Palawan River Win in New7Wonders Bid, Calls for Greater Efforts for its Protection

November 12, 2011

Senator Loren Legarda today expressed jubilation over the inclusion of the Puerto Princesa Underground River in the New Seven Wonders of Nature as she stressed the need to strengthen efforts to protect and preserve the country’s natural heritage.

“I am happy that the Puerto Princesa Underground River made it to the New Seven Wonders of Nature. I congratulate our government, and most especially the city government of Puerto Princesa, led by Mayor Edward Hagedorn, for its efforts and intensive campaign to make this possible,” she said.

“The result that was released is still being verified by the New7Wonders Foundation, but with the exceptional beauty of the world’s longest navigable underground river, we have good reason to hope that it would be one of the official New Seven Wonders of Nature. What is actually more important than being included in this list of wonders is the continuous preservation not only of the Puerto Princesa Underground River but also of the other natural resources which we are very fortunate to have,” Legarda stressed.

The Senator explained that as one of the New Seven Wonders, the underground river would attract more tourists to Puerto Princesa. In fact, even during the campaign period, the city government of Puerto Princesa already saw a dramatic increase in its tourist arrivals-from 11,981 tourists in 2010 to 20,411 tourists between January and May 2011 alone.

However, more visitors would also mean that it would be more exposed to exploitation by both tourists and tourism-related entrepreneurs who would want to gain more at the expense of this natural wealth.

“We hope that the government of Puerto Princesa would strengthen its policies to preserve the beauty of the underground river and the ecosystems that exist in it. On the other hand, citizens should also be concerned with the protection of our heritage and must help the government in protecting our country’s natural treasures,” Legarda concluded.