Puerto Princesa, Palawan
November 10, 2018

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte joined in the celebration as the city of Puerto Princesa launched its first ‘Subaraw Biodiversity Festival’ at the People’s Amphitheater in Puerto Princesa, Palawan.

In his message, the President urged hotel owners and other establishments to follow the rules on water treatment and easements for Palawan for it not to be likened to Boracay, which underwent a six-month closure due to environmental degradation.

“Iyang Underground River, you have to control the number.  Do not allow ‘yung mga hotels sa easement.  Doon kayo sa malayo.  The beach should remain para sa tao,” he said.

“Let us work together in protecting the environment so that the government’s action to close Boracay Island will not be repeated elsewhere in the country,” he added.

On Palawan’s rotational power outages, President Duterte warned the independent power producers (IPPs) to upgrade its source of energy or he will be compelled to expropriate the franchise and sell them to big players.

“I’ll give you towards the end of the year a new set-up that could provide energy, enough energy to run a place and so that it can develop and operate and it can move.  Kailangan you have to upgrade your source of energy, kasi pag hindi ang gawain ko maghanap talaga ako may pera talaga, China nangangati ang kamay niyan just to get hold of development here.  I will expropriate your franchise.  Bilihin ko ‘yan in a valuation that is fair, just compensation,” he said.

“I will allow other players to enter and I will allow them to buy you out and I will exercise the right of the state to eminent domain,” he added.

Previously known as the Puerto Princesa Underground River (PPUR) Festival, the city government of Puerto Princesa elevated its yearly festivity by making it the island’s main attraction — renaming the event as ‘Subaraw’ Festival, which means suba (river) and taraw (limestone cliff), in recognition of the Puerto Princesa Underground River after it was named as a UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) World Heritage Site and declared as one of the New Seven Wonders of Nature of the World on November 11, 2011.

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