June 24, 2006
The inclusion of the Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park, which is the city's primary tourist attraction, in the prestigious World Heritage List was announced after the Unesco World Heritage Committee convened in Marrakech, Morocco last Nov. 29. It is now part of the 630 sites of ''outstanding universal value'' that represent the highest artistic and cultural achievements of humankind or natural sites of intense beauty and ecological significance.
According to the Unesco, ''(the) Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park was inscribed (in the list) on the merits of its magnificent subterranean river with unique natural formations that empties into the sea.''
The latest addition to the heritage list is the only national park in the country with a dense tropical forest cover within the boundaries of the city. Thus, ''all of the environmental preservation programs and maintenance are meticulously undertaken by the city of Puerto Princesa, whose successful environmental program has won national and international awards for the city government led by Mayor Edward S. Hagedorn,'' said a Unesco statement.
The Unesco announcement came two weeks after then President Estrada changed the name of the St. Paul Subterranean National Park into the Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park through Presidential Proclamation No. 212.