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Cimatu urged: Reject Nickelodeon resort in Palawan

New DENR chief challenged to follow Gina Lopez's lead on issue
By: - Reporter / @jgamilINQ
/ 10:31 PM June 05, 2017

Roy Cimatu law implement tourist destinations tourist spots

“The law is there. We have to implement the law in tourist destinations [and] tourist spots, ” says Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu  in a public event on May 19, 2017. (INQUIRER FILE PHOTO)

MANILA — A progressive fisherfolk group has challenged Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu to make a categorical stand against the proposed Nickelodeon theme park in Palawan.

Environmentalists are up in arms once again over the controversial “underwater-themed” resort, after Tourism Secretary Wanda Teo expressed the agency’s excitement over the reported plans of the Coral World Park Undersea Resorts and the Viacom International Media Networks to build the tourist attraction in eco-tourist destination Coron.

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The plans first made waves in January, with environmentalists expressing immediate opposition, and with no less than then environment secretary Gina Lopez saying: ”If it entails destruction of corals, right away, I’ll say ‘no way.’”

In a statement on Monday, the Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (Pamalakaya) challenged Cimatu to likewise release a public statement “deploring” the Coron project.

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“Environment Secretary Cimatu should prove his worth. We all know that the proposed Palawan project is no protection but will pose environmental degradation to our last ecological frontier and to its marine resources,” said Pamalakaya chair Fernando Hicap.

“Cimatu should follow the path of Lopez; a road toward genuine protection of the environment without putting the lives of the ordinary people at stake. If this project pushes forward, we have nothing to blame but the new DENR Chief Cimatu who until now shows no ethos in genuine environment-protection and even continuing Lopez’ actions against giant destructive mines,” Hicap said.

“The least…the DENR could do to preserve our last ecological frontier is to abstain from securing this project with an [Environmental Compliance Certificate],” Hicap added.

While Cimatu has yet to issue a statement on the issue, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) for the Mimaropa region has clarified they have not yet received any application for permits or documents for the resort, approval of which is required before any construction can take place.

DENR Mimaropa director Natividad Bernardino, in a statement, assured the public that consultations with all stakeholders would be held on the matter.

“The construction of a 100-hectare theme park especially in a small town like Coron will impact its ecosystem and rich biodiversity,” Bernardino said, as she noted Coron has been more popular with tourists for its “natural attractions.”  SFM

Coron in Palawan province is popular among tourists for its rock formations, white sand beaches and rich marine life. (INQUIRER FILE PHOTO/ LYN RILLON)

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TAGS: Coral World Park Undersea Resorts, Coron municipality, Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Department of Tourism, Eco-tourism, environment, environmental compliance certificate, Environmental Protection, Gina Lopez, Natividad Bernardino, Nickelodeon theme park, opposition to Nickelodeon resort project in Palawan, Palawan, Pamalakaya, Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas, ‎protest, Roy Cimatu, theme parks, Tourism, underwater-themed resort, Viacom International Media Networks, Wanda Teo
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