DECLARING A NATIONAL AND INTERNATIONAL PROMOTION CAMPAIGN FOR THE PUERTO PRINCESA UNDERGROUND RIVER AS ONE OF THE NEW SEVEN WONDERS OF NATURE
WHEREAS, the New 7 Wonders of Nature (N7WN) is a global polling campaign started in 2007 by an independent, Swiss-based, government-controlled foundation that conducted the global polling campaign in search of the New 7 Wonders of the World, an innovative marketing program that yielded tremendous economic, social and tourism benefits to the winning host countries;
WHEREAS, from an initial list of over 400 locations around the world, the Puerto Princesa Underground River is the lone finalist from the Philippines and now counts among the top 14 of the 28 Official Finalist Candidates, selected by a panel of international experts from a list of 77 contenders via the first round of global voting from 2007 to 2010;
WHEREAS, the 8.2 kilometer long Puerto Princesa Underground River, formed 30 million years ago, is considered the longest underground river in the world, with unique and outstanding scientific, biological and geological features that merited its being recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in December 1999 and being declared as a National Geological Monument in December 2003;
WHEREAS, inclusion in the 28 Official Finalist Candidates has made the Puerto Princesa Underground River world-renowned and is starting to attract international interest that will benefit the Philippine tourism industry as a whole with its synergistic effects;
WHEREAS, more than one billion people all over the world are expected to vote by phone, internet or text/sms in the selection of the N7WN, that will close on 10 November 2011;
WHEREAS, the competition is getting stronger and there is now a greater need for the Philippines to aggressively promote and campaign for the Puerto Princesa Underground River to ensure that it is proclaimed as one of the N7WN on 11 November 2011; and,
WHEREAS, the Philippines has over 30 million internet users and 77 million mobile phone subscribers who, together with the millions of Filipinos all over the world, should be made aware and encouraged, as a matter of national pride and patriotism, to support the campaign to ensure that the Puerto Princesa Underground River is proclaimed as one of the N7WN.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, BENIGNO S. AQUINO III, President of the Philippines, by virtue of the powers vested in me by law, do hereby order the following:
SECTION 1. Declaration of a Promotion Campaign. There shall be a national and international promotion campaign to encourage all Filipinos, both here and abroad, and all the friends of the Filipino people, to help in the campaign to make the Puerto Princesa Underground River be proclaimed as one of the N7WN.
SECTION 2. Creation of a Campaign Task Force. There is hereby created a Puerto Princesa Underground River-N7WN (PPUR-N7WN) Campaign Task Force to vigorously promote and push for the proclamation of the Puerto Princesa Underground River among the N7WN.
The PPUR-N7WN Campaign Task Force shall formulate and undertake an aggressive voting campaign at the national level, focusing on students and local government units (LGUs), and at the international level, especially among overseas Filipinos and nationals of other countries.
SECTION 3. Composition of the PPUR-N7WN Campaign Task Force. The PPUR-N7WN Campaign Task Force shall be composed of the following:
Chairperson: Secretary of the Interior and Local Government
Vice-Chairperson: Secretary of Tourism
Secretary of Foreign Affairs
Secretary of Transportation and Communications
Secretary of Environment and Natural Resources
Secretary of Labor and Employment
Secretary of Budget and Management
Secretary of Education
Chairperson, Commission on Higher Education (CHED)
Commissioner, National Telecommunications
Director General, Philippine Information Agency (PIA)
Mayor, City of Puerto Princesa, Palawan
Five (5) Private Sector Representatives, to be appointed by the Chairperson upon the recommendation of the Mayor of the City of Puerto Princesa
SECTION 4. Assistance. All government offices and instrumentalities, including government-owned and -controlled corporations (GOCCs) shall actively participate in the campaign and provide support and assistance to the PPUR-N7WN Campaign Task Force. The private sector and the public at large are likewise enjoined to support the campaign.
SECTION 5. Reporting. The PPUR-N7WN Campaign Task Force is hereby directed to submit regular reports to the President, through the Executive Secretary, on a monthly basis or as often as necessary, on the status of the campaign and the ranking of Puerto Princesa Underground River among the candidates of the N7WN.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the seal of the Republic of the Philippines to be affixed.
DONE, in the city of Manila, this 3rd day of June, in the year of Our Lord, Two Thousand and Eleven.
(Sgd.) BENIGNO S. AQUINO III
By the President:
(Sgd.) PAQUITO N. OCHOA, JR.