DENR tipped to reject Palawan marine park | Inquirer News

DENR tipped to reject Palawan marine park

/ 06:10 AM May 15, 2018

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) will likely reject proposals to build an underwater park in Palawan, in the wake of the government’s intensified campaign to safeguard the country’s marine biodiversity.

Environment Undersecretary Jonas Leones said that while the DENR had not received any formal application for a planned Coral World Underwater Park, reportedly being planned off Coron town, such project would not likely get government approval.

“I don’t think this will ever get approved, considering that our current thrust right now is rehabilitating our oceans. That will go against the programs of our President,” he said.


Leones made the remarks in reaction to reports that proponents have revived the Coral World Park project, and have begun steps to seek approval of the area as a tourism economic zone.


He said the current thrust of the DENR was to clean and rehabilitate the country’s beaches and marine resources.

A lot of permits

“They would have to secure a lot of permits, including environmental compliance certificate, permit water use, and most important, an endorsement from the PSDC,” he said, referring to Palawan Sustainable Development Council.

The PSDC is a multisectoral body charged with the governance, implementation and policy direction of the “strategic environmental plan” for Palawan.

The project was earlier opposed by environment groups as it might cause damage to Coron and its surrounding group of islands, as a key marine biodiversity area.

Charito Planas, director general of the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (Peza), on Monday said Coral World had sought an application with Peza to develop a Nickelodeon-theme park in Palawan, covering an area of about 300 hectares, after seeing the opportunity to operate as a special economic zone.


“Our policy direction at Peza now is to encourage these kinds of investments without compromising the environment,” she said in a phone interview on Monday.

Planas said Viacom had agreed to a joint venture with Coral World for the project. —Melvin Gascon

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TAGS: DENR, Jonas Leones

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