With hopes of letting fans 'interact with the brand and the iconic characters they love', giant media company Nickelodeon has shared plans of building an underwater theme park in Palawan island, so-called "the Philippine's last frontier."
The network intimated that the park will be 400-hectare or 1,000-acre big and it will properly showcase the island's marine life. The plan has quickly alarmed the country's environmentalists.
Executive Vice President of Viacom International Media Network, the network behind Nickelodeon Ron Johnson admitted in his statement to Agence France-Presse that the island became their potential target due to the beautiful beaches it possesses.
"It is is known to have some of the most beautiful beaches in the world today," he shared.
Viacom International Media Network made the announcement project last Monday, further noting that the resort would also feature lounges and restaurants 20 feet below sea level. The projected opening is by the year 2020.
They also noted that the project hopes to "advocate ocean protection."
However, not too many are thrilled about the project. Environmental group Greenpeace expressed their position, claiming that it could possibly destroy what's left of the country's world-famous marine ecosystem.
"It's sad and alarming because a theme park that big will not promote environmental protection by building those structures," said Vince Cinches of Greenpeace Southeast Asia.
Grizelda Mayo-Anda, an environmental activist based in Palawan also admitted that the project bothers her.
"I am wary because we have had problems already with resorts built in mangrove areas," the Environmental Legal Assistance Center executive director told.
"I'm really concerned because sometimes, with all due respect to the local government unit, we get captivated by new projects and we do not judiciously study the impact."
Additionally, netizens have also reacted in regards the issue. A certain Anna Oposa even wrote an open-letter to the children's network, saying even their famous character Spongebob will not agree with the project as it "accomplishes the opposite."
In the network's defense, Coral World Park, Viacom's Philippine partner, gave assurance that the resort will maintain the environment of Palawan.
"We are taking very, very careful measures to ensure that the biodiversity is kept intact," Paul Monozca, Coral World Park chairman said.
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