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PUERTO PRINCESA CITY, May 2 - The inclusion of Palawan’s majestic Puerto Princesa River National Park, reputed to be the world’s longest navigable underground river, in the worldwide search for “New Seven Wonders of Nature” is a great boost to the ecotourism industry in the city.

Mayor Edward Hagedorn said the city’s “Underground River”, currently number 35th in the live ranking, will bring more arrivals of domestic and foreign tourists in the city.

The development of tourism in the area has provided income and livelihood opportunities to the local people, he added.

Declared as World Heritage Site by United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organizations (UNESCO) in 1999, Hagedorn said the “Underground River” is still the primary tourist attraction in the province.

He said thousands of tourists visit the national park due to its amazing limestone cliffs, a healthy ecosystem which protects some of the most significant forests in Asia.

The 8.2 kilometer underground river runs through a dome of stalactites complemented by stalagmites running the entire length of the cave.

Hagedorn described the Underground River as the jewel of Puerto Princesa because of its “outstanding universal value” that represents the highest artistic and cultural achievements of mankind or natural sites of intense beauty and ecological significance.

The area covered was increased from 3,901 hectares to 22,202 hectares to include the tributaries of the underground river.


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