ALTHOUGH, the Filipino people want the government to develop more world-class tourist spots, they cannot, however, support projects that damage the environment.
In fact, the reported plan to put up a Nickelodeon theme park in Coron, Palawan, a crucial habitat for unique wildlife, has sent shockwaves across the country.
Bayan Muna Rep. Carlos Zarate is against the proposed theme park because “It will affect the ecosystem and biodiversity of Palawan.”
Zarate, chairman of the House of Representatives’ committee on natural resources, said the province, being the last frontier of the country, should be preserved.
The 400-hectare under sea themed park is expected to be finished by the year 2020. It will supposedly feature restaurants and lounges six meters below sea level.
Beyond being just a tourist attraction, Coron Island is a crucial habitat for many wildlife. Any disruption may cause grave effects on the environment and to the people.
The indigenous Tigbanua people in Coron face displacement and eviction from their ancestral land just to give way to the proposed sprawling marine park.
Secretary Gina Lopez of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources said she would not allow the building of the underwater theme park “if it will damage the environment.”
“I will never allow the corals to be harmed, that’s what we have, that’s our wealth. You cannot kill the corals for a theme park, no way,” she said.
Environmentalists and local residents, whose livelihood depends on Coron’s rich land and waters, must oppose the project that would damage the environment.
As local residents said, there’s no need for artificial structures in Palawan to maintain its standing as a favorite destination of tourists in the Philippines.