How the LGU of Puerto Princesa proudly promotes its distinctive tourism
01 Mar 2015
The city of Puerto Princesa was a place no one really bothered to know in the past, except of course the Puerto Princesans. What little that people knew about the city was mostly conjured images of a not-so-wholesome place like being the abode of prisoners, and where malaria abounds.
However, things has drastically change for Puerto Princesa after it became internationally notable, thanks in large for its breath-taking and distinctive nature and with the efforts of former Mayor Edward Solon Hagedorn, who has built an image for the city as a place in the forest with boundless eco-tourism potential.
Mayor Hagedorn is all for progress but has strict code of conduct to be followed so as not to disturb what can’t be created by man. He said that mining would definitely hurt the earth irreparably as miners take out the rich minerals, poison clean underground water and kill the trees and greens that help screen toxins on the air that we breathe in.
He is into strict enforcement of anti-littering ordinances wherein no one is exempted from obedience. Everyone knows that the reforms he has established in Puerto Princesa will continue even if he is no longer a politician.
Here’s a few of the programs of the local government unit to protect and promote the tourism in Puerto Princesa:
1. Oplan Linis Program (Clean and Green Campaign). Launched on August 1, 1992, the program aims to sustain cleanliness, beauty, and sanitation in the city through active and continuing partnership among government agencies, non-government organizations, the private sectors, and citizens. The program has earned Puerto Princesa the coveted label of being the cleanest and greenest city in the Philippines.
2. Bantay Puerto Program (Puerto Princesa Watch). Protect + Rehabilitate + Plan – these are the program’s key management thrusts. Protect what is there, rehabilitate what has been destroyed, and plan for the intelligent utilization of the city’s terrestrial and marine resources. This is the life cycle that the program envisions for the community to achieve sustainable development.
Moreover, with the vision of the city, “to see Puerto Princesa as model city in sustainable development,” it includes the concept of:
1. A park-like city demonstrating balance and harmony between development and environment;
2. A center for eco-tours, healthful recreation, applied research on ecology, ecosystem, marine and terrestrial flora and fauna and environmental management;
3. A home for disciplined inhabitants who are responsible stewards of the city’s ecological system and resources; their quality of life improved as they enjoy directly or indirectly the bounties of nature and the fruits of their labor; and;
4. Its major thoroughfares developed as boulevards, promenades and stretches of tree-lined and coastal highways interspersed with parks and resorts and provided with appropriate facilities for tourism, agriculture, commerce and environment-friendly industries.
Additionally, the city instituted environmental protection measures to protect and preserve the environment – both marine and terrestrial. It waged war against the spoilers of nature. It was then that people took a really long and hard look at Puerto Princesa and they seem to have liked what they saw, evident with the numerous awards and accolades the city got.
People started to notice and become curious about Puerto Princesa in 1992 and they – including national government leaders from both the executive and legislative, media men, national and international sports celebrities, members of the academe and the studentry, and leaders from other local government units –had invariably said the same thing, “It’s clean and green.”