the transformation of Puerto Princesa into a world-class, park-like city and the eco-tourism capital of Asia, full employment can be assured for those who are not engaged in businesses of their own.
Kaunlaran or economic development is the last of the three K’s (the first two being Kalinisan or cleanliness and Kapayapaan or peace and rrder) that Mayor Hagedorn has promised the people of Puerto Princesa. This is the most difficult and challenging task that the mayor has put before himself.
To achieve this objective, he adopted a three-pronged approach: Enhanced agricultural productivity, aggressive tourism development with the end in view of making Puerto Princesa the eco-tourism capital of Asia, and promotion of livelihood activities that are not necessarily reliant on natural resources.
Initially, the City Agriculture Department and the City Social Welfare Department undertook the organizing, training, screening, evaluation and final determination of possible beneficiaries of the City’s Government various livelihood assistance schemes such as agro-forestry; rice, corn, vegetable, and cut-flower production; furniture making, goat, poultry and piggery raising; cattle breeding and fattening; sari-sari stores; buying and selling; and similar such projects that promote self-employment.
All in all, a total of P27,626,960.00 have been released by the City Government to 1,187 family beneficiaries.
Due to poor repayment record, however, seen in retrospect as having been caused largely by some of the people’s dole-out mentality, Mayor Hagedorn shifted tactic and involved the San Teodoro Rural Bank in a project called Sosyo sa Negosyo.
Under the new scheme, the rural bank puts up 150% of whatever amount that the City Government appropriates for livelihood assistance. Since its implementation, P2,664,300.00 have already been loaned out to 142 family beneficiaries for such livelihood activities as shell craft and native products manufacturing, mushroom culture, fruits vending, art and beauty shops, and many others. Since then, repayment record has gone up to a healthy 80%.
The road of economic development for Puerto Princesa.
And coupled with such an auspicious reputation as the “Last Frontier” in this part of the globe that has already attracted the world’s travel planners to include it in the itinerary of trans-ocean luxury vessels, eco-tourism is undoubtedly the key to the city’s sustainable development.
It is in this context that we have decided to request the conversation of the 1,072-hectare Industrial and Commercial Zone at Brgy. Sta. Lucia into an Environmental Estate. The Estate will be an eco-tourism park and environmental center of the Philippines. It will serve both as a catalyst for economic growth and a vehicle for preserving the environment. It will also become an institution in conservation and the world’s fountain of biological knowledge.
The Estate will have four (4) major components:
The Academic Center – Designed to attract naturalist from around the country and even the world. It can become a facility for exhibits, lectures, demonstrations and exchanges between the people of Puerto Princesa and its environs in learning and understanding our ecological heritage. Consultant guest, naturalists, botanists, scientist of the natural science, landscape artist, marine biologist and nature lovers can engage in the actual field study process. The center and its populace shall become a repository and recipient of data, information and specimens which shall offer an opportunity to observe and investigate the rich living diversity of our aquatic and terrestrial ecology and man’s evolving relationship with it.
The Academic Center will be composed of:
General Areas Interest Areas Centers
Landmark Preserved Church Beach Forest Reforestation
South Security Node Interdenominational Church Interpretive Center
South Parking Area Research Museum Monitoring, Control and
Marina Concert Hall Surveillance (MCS) Center
Hotel Area Tropical Aquaria Garden
The Wildlife Component – Ecology is the study of the relationships of organism to their environment. Man has a relationship with all the other organisms in a given environment and needs an appreciation of this relationship. In spite of the wide adaptability of most living things, they normally inhabit specific neighborhood or habitats. The Wildlife Component is a habitat exploration venture set free.
It will have the following features:
General Areas Interest Areas Centers
Central Train Terminal Wildlife Viewing Station Nursery & Diverse Species
Man-made Landscape Special Interest Shops Reforestation Techniques
Forest Model Ornamental Propagation Farm Center
3) Eco-tourism Village – To promote the habitats of Palawan, the Eco-tourism Village will feature:
General Areas Interest Areas Center
Jogging/Biking Trail Aboriginal Home and Dipterocarp Reforestation
Nature Viewing Spot Artifacts/Crafts Center Techniques
North Train Station Aboriginal Habitats Folk Arts Center
North Security Node Orchid Farms Freshwater Fish Life
Viewing Tower Curio Shops Study Station
Hostel Type Units Delicatessen
(Log Cabins) Book Shop
4) Recreation Component – Eco-tourism is not eco-tourism without adventure travel. Travelers seek to fulfill specific desires and his has evolved to going somewhere they have never been and doing things they have never done before. And nature has taken a reversal of fortune: before it was just a backdrop; now it is part of the infrastructures of the industry. The temperate environment has a lot of new surprises for the adventurous. And adventure is the best avenue to learn more about the environment. This is the marketing niche served by this component.
Adventure will be harnessed through:
General Areas Interest Areas Centers
Camping Area Jogging/Biking Trail Amphitheaters
Toilet Facilities Sea Canoe Station Water Adventures
Cooking Facilities The Outdoors Specialty Shop
Having thus set our sites on tourism in lieu of industrial development, we intend to make Puerto Princesa City as the eco-tourism capital of the Philippines, the ASEAN region and the world by making it a world-class, park-like city. The environmental Estate is an important beginning towards the realization of that dream.
St. Paul Subterranean River National Park – The park is home to what is believed to be the world’s longest navigable underground river, and is the city’s foremost tourism destination. For the first half of 1994 alone, it has received 7,477 local and 8,598 foreign visitors for a total of 16,042.00 in entrance fees alone, not to mention its multiplier effect on the economy of the local populace. A 150% increase in the number of foreign visitors was noted. This despite Mayor Edward S. Hagedorn’s order to put on hold the marketing blitz for the capital city of Palawan as a tourist destination until the necessary amenities like lodging, telecommunications systems and roads shall have been attended to.
For better administrative control, the DENR turned over the management of this world-renowned park to the city government. This turnover of management from national to local government is the first of its kind in the history of the country and was conceived through the effort and initiative of the mayor.
Recently, the Park was declared a World Heritage Site by the United Nations Environment, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).
Aside from the already popular Puerto Princesa City Subterranean River National Park and the exotic Honda Bay, the city’s overall tourism development blueprint includes the following projects that are by no means less important:
1) The Puerto Princesa City Convention Center – The city is fast becoming the country’s convention and conference center. Not counting the regular tourist who have some flocking, some 147 groups have been registered to have held conferences, conventions, and similar such activities here. Big groups, such as the Philippine Medical Association with thousands of members in its roster, we regrettably had to turn down because of inadequate billeting facilities. The planned Convention Center, a city-funded project, hopes to address that inadequacy.
2) Zoological and Botanical Park – To be located in the Irawan Watershed, this proposed 50-hectare Park will showcase the diverse flora and fauna that are endemic in Palawan and the Philippines.
3) Sta. Lourdes Hot Spring – The Spring water spas are attractive alternatives for those who have gotten tired of sun and sea.
4) Salakot Falls Forest Mountain Resort – This will provide nature-lovers the necessary gateway to Puerto Princesa City’s dense forest mountains; Mountain Trekking, water spas in the woods, and many other unique features, another natural alternative to the sea.
5) Salvacion Viewdeck – A panoramic view of Honda Bay, the dozen or so island inside it and the wide expanse of greenery fronting the East Coast.
6) Talaudyong Beach Resort – Sun, sea and wide stretches of white beaches. This is another paradise that is only waiting to be tapped. Its distance from the City Proper makes it the perfect hideaway for the privacy-conscious.
7) Canigaran Sandbar – Right in the fringes of the City Proper, a perfect place for those without the luxury of time and travel.
8.) Government Center and Nature Park – To be located in a 100-hectare area at Brgy. Sta. Monica where the New City Hall Building, Justice Hall, Palawan State University, Palawan Sports Complex and other government offices are currently housed, it will become yet another hallmark of Puerto Princesa as a veritable city of parks and greens.
Kaunlaran or economic development is the last of the three K’s we have promised the people of Puerto Princesa, the first two being Kalinisan and Kapayapaan. The entire country and the rest of the world acclaim our success in these first two areas: cleanliness and peace and order. And with the beautiful relationship that has evolved between the citizenry and the city leadership in the course of these earlier campaigns, there is every reason to believe that we can be equally successful in this most important undertaking of all: eradication of poverty.
At any rate, we know we cannot afford to fail in this ultimate challenge of providing food on our people’s tables, roofs over their heads, education, health and clothing for them and their children. For to do so would be to render hollow our earlier successes. And that is one thing we can never allow to happen.
Getting to And Around
Major airlines such as PAL, Air Philippines and Cebu Pacific serve Palawan daily thru Puerto Princesa City from Manila and back while from Cebu makes 4x a week.
Other carriers like Asian Spirit, Seair and charter planes are available daily serving Busuanga, El Nido, Taytay, Cuyo and Coron from Manila.
There are seven(7) commercial vessels available catering from Manila to Palawan thru Puerto Princesa City, Busuanga, Cuyo, Coron, El Nido and Liminangcong.
Tricycles and jeepneys are the main mode of transport within the city and other town center. Buses province regular trips from Puerto Princes City to mainland municipalities. Shuttle vans and vehicles for rent are also available. Visit the Provincial Tourism Office or City Tourism Office for inquiries on schedules, terminals and car rentals.
- Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park
- Tubbataha Reef National Park
- Calamianes – dive sites, Japanese warship wrecks, Kayangan Lake, Twin Lagoons, Siete Pecados, Maquinit Hot Spring, Islands in Coron
- Calauit Island Game Preserve and Wildlife Sanctuary
- Palawan Wildlife Rescue and Conservation Center
- El Nido Islands
- Malampaya Sound
- Honda Bay
- Iwahig Penal Colony
- Crocodile Farm
- Tabon Caves
- Bird watching in Ursula Island
- Rizal Island, Narra
- Iwahig Colony
- Tagbarungis Beach
- Estrella Falls
- Tigman Beach
- Provincial Capitol Site
- Provincial Tourism Information Center
- City Hall
- City Tourism Office – Airport Grounds
- Port of Brooke’s Point
- Batak Tribal Community
- Tagbanua’s School of Living Traditions
North and South Palawan
Tourism Investment Areas
Puerto Princesa & Southern Palawan
Proper utilization of nature-based tourism assets/resources including its proper promotion and rational development.
Required Infrastructure Facilities
- Upgrading of Busuanga Airport to international standards
- Expansion of Sandoval Airport
- Construction/improvement/expansion of airstrip in Linapacan, Culion, Dumaran, Brooke’s Pt., Balabac
- North Provincial Hospital in Taytay
- South Provincial Hospital in Brooke’s Pt.
- Construction of Palawan Medical Center in Puerto Pricesa City
- Concreting of North and South Road – El Nido to Rio Tuba
- Concreting of Abo-abo in Espanola to Quezon and Rizal road
- Conctruction of Poro Port in Sta. Cruz, Taytay
- Expansion of Brooke’s Point Port
- Improvement of Puerto Princesa – Langogan Road, Puerto Princesa North road – 80.34 kms.
- Improvement of Langogan – Roxas Road – 54.14 kms.
- Puerto Princesa – Aborlan – Narra section – 76 kms., Palawan South road
- Improvement of 10 kms. road in Barangay Abo-Abo in Quezon, Palawan
- Construction of terminal building and runway in Puerto Princesa City
- Completion of existing all weather road to concreted roads linking Roxas to Taytay.
- Installation of signages
- 100% energization of the province
- Improvement of urban water system, sewerage and sanitation
- Waste water treatment in island municipalities
SOURCE: DOT WOWPhilippines website