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Mineral discovery enhances PPUR's New7Wonders bid PDF Print E-mail

By Catherine J. Teves

MANILA, Nov. 9 (PNA) - The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) reported discovery of 11 minerals in Palawan province's Puerto Princesa Underground River (PPUR), believing such unique find further makes this area truly fit to be among winners of the global search for the world's new seven natural wonders.

"Usually, one's already lucky to find three minerals in a cave but we discovered 11 minerals in PPUR," DENR Secretary Ramon Paje said Wednesday during a briefing on the underground river's New7Wonders bid.

He noted La Venta Geographical Association's previous discovery of the mineral serrabrancaite there further highlights PPUR's uniqueness as a natural wonder.

"It's the first time that mineral was found in a cave," he said.

He said discovery of serrabrancaite in PPUR is only the second to be made worldwide after this material was found in Brazil.

"Our underground river hosts the most number of minerals," he noted.

PPUR is reputedly the world's longest navigable underground river which experts describe as lying within a unique, complex, valuable and high-energy karst eco-system.

Limestone stalactites and stalagmites dot the cave through which the underground river passes.

In 1999, United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization included PPUR in its list of natural world heritage sites.

Authorities say inscription to such list confirms the exceptional and universal value of a site deserving protection for humanity's benefit.

PPUR is also among the 10 finalists for the New7Wonders of Nature global search, an international initiative to identify the seven top natural attractions that people worldwide voted for.

The other finalists are the Dead Sea (Israel, Jordan and Palestine), Grand Canyon (United States), Great Barrier Reef (Australia), Halong Bay (Vietnam), Jeita Grotto (Lebanon), Jeju Island (South Korea), Komodo National Park Indonesia), Sundarbans (Bangladesh, India) and Mount Vesuvius (Italy), Paje said.

People can vote for the Philippines' famous underground river by either going online ( or texting PPUR to 2861, the common number for local telecommunications service providers Smart, Sun and Globe which all support this Philippine entry.

During the briefing, Paje reiterated his call for people to support PPUR's bid to be among the New7Wonders winners.

"I'm asking Filipinos to help us push this bid in the succeeding days," he said.

Department of Interior and Local Government Sec. Jesse Robredo echoed Paje's call, believing Filipinos can rally through texting until November 11 this year to make PPUR the top New7Wonder winner.

"Let's make sure PPUR's not only included in the winners' circle but emerges as leader of the winning seven natural wonders," he said during the briefing.

Puerto Princesa City Mayor Edward Hagedorn also believes PPUR's victory will help showcase what's positive about the country.

"This is a chance to show the many good things in the Philippines," he said during the briefing.

Department of Tourism previously estimated PPUR's victory to help increase the country's number of tourists to some four million visitors by 2013, generating around PhP40 billion in revenues then.

Earlier, DENR and its partners launched the "Pera sa Kweba" raffle promo that's designed to help boost PPUR's bid.

Through this promo, texters who voted for PPUR qualify for the raffle that's set to award PhP25 million to the grand prize winner and five grand consolation prizes of PhP1 million each.(PNA)

















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