PUERTO PRINCESA CITY -- The multi-sectoral and inter-disciplinary body Palawan Council for Sustainable Development (PCSD) clarified Wednesday, January 11, that it has not received any communication expressing intention to construct an underwater theme park in Coron town in the Calamianes Group of Islands.
The clarification was made by PCSD staff spokesperson Jovic Fabello following a signature campaign created by environmentalist Anna Oposa opposing the Nickolodeon underwater theme park that is allegedly going to be constructed in Coron in a 400-hectare property by Viacom International Media Network (VIMN) and Coral World Park Undersea Resorts, Inc. (CWPURI).
“I, too, was surprised because we have not received any application, any communication, any document expressing or proposing to put an underwater theme park in Coron,” Fabello told the Philippine News Agency (PNA).
Fabello said any company or corporation wishing to invest in a themed underwater business venture in Palawan should pass through the PCSD for the issuance of the Strategic Environmental Plan (SEP) clearance, and should have a full blown environmental impact assessment (EIA) that bears expected outcome on the environment, design measures, and other mitigating measures.
“As of right now, I could say we have not received any application. Where in Coron is it going to be? If there is such a proposal, they should be able to talk too, to the local government unit (LGU) of the municipality,” Fabello reiterated, adding he didn’t know where Oposa was coming from with the signature campaign.
Oposa started the signature campaign against the alleged Nickolodeon underwater theme park at Bataris.com, which now has over 108,000 signatures.
In it, Oposa is calling on the local government of Palawan, VIMN, and CWPURI to “junk their plan to build a 400-hectare underwater theme park in Coron.”
She further said that, “By building artificial structures,” the underwater theme park will “undeniably damage and disrupt Palawan's marine ecosystems -- our Last Frontier.”
“If you are sincere and serious about marine conservation, the money allocated for the underwater theme park should be invested in marine protected areas, sustainable livelihoods for local communities, and environmental education programs,” the campaign said.
About Nickolodeon, the campaign also stated: “For a channel that targets children, Nickelodeon is setting a terrible example to the younger generation by taking away their right to enjoy our natural resources. We don't need an underwater theme park -- our underwater life is fascinating, entertaining, and educational on its own.” (PNA)