DENR pushes homestretch voting for Puerto Princesa Underground River


FINAL STRETCH Puerto Princesa Mayor Edward Hagedorn (center) shows New Seven Wonders Foundation president Bernard Weber and director Jean-Paul de la Fuente the awe-inspiring sights of the Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park in this photo taken on Oct. 23, 2011. RODEL ROTONI

A new mineral, first found in Brazil, has been unearthed at the Puerto Princesa Underground River, giving another reason why this estuary should be included in the world’s wonders of nature, environment officials said Wednesday.

As voting for the New Seven Wonders of Nature nears the homestretch, Environment Secretary Ramon Paje and Puerto Princesa Mayor Edward Hagedorn on Wednesday urged the public to support the Puerto Princesa Underground River (PPUR).

The subterranean river is a “true wonder of nature,” Paje said. He noted that the river and its caves were helping scientists understand Earth’s evolution.

A few weeks ago, Italian scientists found a new mineral at the mouth of the cave, Paje said.

The new mineral, called serrabrancaite, was found by  Paolo Forti, an Italian crystallographer, and the Italian La Venta Geographical Association.

The mineral was first extracted at the inlet of the river in Serra Branca, Brazil. It had never been found in caves before, Paje said.

“Cave experts themselves are amazed because only a few caves in the world host more than three to four minerals, yet in PPUR alone, they have unearthed at least 11 of which, three are new cave minerals,” Paje said.

Bat, bird droppings

Serrabrancaite is mostly induced by the mineralization of bat or seabird droppings known as guano, scientists said.

The other two new minerals are robertsite and janggunite, while the eight previously known cave minerals include calcite, gypsum, apatite, variscite, strengite, manganite, rodocrosite and pirolusite.

Palawan’s 8.2-kilometer underground river is one of the country’s unique natural formations, featuring spectacular limestone and complex cave systems.

The PPUR flows directly into the sea, and the lower half portion of the river is brackish and subject to tidal influence.

The river, considered one of the most important underground estuaries in the world, supports one of the major biodiversity areas in the Philippines.

In recognition of its globally significant natural properties, the PPUR was put on the List of Natural World Heritage Sites of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization.

Online, SMS voting

Online voting is through the website, while SMS voters can just send “PPUR” to 2861. Voting ends on November 11.

Noting that online votes for the PPUR has slowed down, Paje is appealing to Filipinos to encourage their friends and relatives to cast their votes on the website before the contest ends on November 11 at 11:11 a.m.

SMS participation, however, has increased dramatically, he said.

The search for the New Seven Wonders of Nature was organized by the Switzerland-based New7Wonders Foundation in 2007. When the search started, there were 440 entries from more than 220 countries vying to be included in the final seven.

Hagedorn said the inclusion of the PPUR was a boon for local tourism. In the past, only Palawan residents visited the river.

Now, Filipinos from other parts of the country and foreigners trek to Puerto Princesa to see and tour the world’s largest subterranean river.

According to data from Puerto Princesa City, tourist arrivals there stood at nearly 12,000 in 2010. By May 2011, the number of arrivals reached 20,411.

Originally posted: 4:58 pm | Wednesday, November 9th, 2011

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  • Anonymous

    Is PPUR promo under the supervision of DTI?
    I thought that you will earn one entry for each text of PPUR to 2861. And each number drawn is an automatic winner? Last night Willie dialed a number but no answer so they called another texter. So the unlucky entrant lost 50K for not answering the phone. DTI, is that the correct practice for such promo? Willie is not the source of the prizes. We are paying 2.50P/text, which means the pot comes from us. He is just using the PPUR promo to lift his show’s rating.

  • Mamang Pulis

    May basbas po eto ng bosman nya. Mahina na lang ang pagiisip ng hindi maka kuha ng punto na ganoon nga.

    pero bilib po ako kay Secretary, sya ang shock absorber ng bosman nya.  Ginagampanan nga nya ang trabaho nya…..dapat sabitan ng medalya o di kya iluklok sa senado at doon magkipagdebate kina ni Sen Miriram. o kya kay Manong Johnny.

  • Anonymous

    Principle of Double Effect: Evil is allowed only if it prevents a greater evil from happening. 

    Curtailing the right to travel of Gloria Arroyo is evil, because it’s against her human right. But, if that is done in order to prevent her from not returning back into the country and face the accountability for all her sins, then that is allowable! 

    • Anonymous

      Unfortunately the principle you mentioned is not recognized in any of our laws. I want GMA will pay for her crimes, but what the Pnoy administration is doing borders on dictatorial.

  • Anonymous

    As I was saying, all the yellow hysterics and hooting will not hide nor
    change the fact that this is a matter of constitutional law.  The issue
    is already beyond Gloria Arroyo, their object of hatred, and is already
    in the realm of civil liberties and rule of law. If this government can
    exercise brute force against a former head of state then it can
    arbitrarily do so against any citizen.  Yes, even from those among the
    fanatical yellows whose face they may simply not like tomorrow.

  • Malik

    Sad, sad thing indeed that emotions dominated over reason, and what is sadder is that even the highest official of the land is not spared from it.  In the first place Pnoy was never reasonable. His simplistic campaign platform, hollow speeches,  Babylonian lifestyle reflect his lack of reason.

  • Anonymous

    If Gloria is eventually found guilty by a competent court of law then by all means let her hang.  Until THAT happens then presumption of innocence is the rule. Her crimes and guilt will not be established by what the orchestrated media maliciously hammers about, not what the yellow partisans scream their lungs hoarse about, and not what her political enemies mindlessly blabber on about.  Vindictiveness and malice have no place in the process of serving and obtaining justice.  People who think otherwise should put themselves in her shoes. If you’re truly innocent and can prove it then you have every right under the law to do so.  Anyone who interferes or makes a mockery of this right and the rule of law should not complain if their constitutional rights are arbitrarily denied.  This is what is happening now and it is incredible that many people are so blinded by hatred that they fail to see the danger.

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