BATARIS: Coron is no longer Bikini Bottom!

A group of divers display a banner opposing the proposed underwater theme park owned by Nickelodeon (Viacom International Media Networks), and Coral World Park Undersea Resorts Inc in Coron, Palawan. Environmental groups call on the Local Government of Palawan, Nickelodeon (Viacom International Media Networks), and Coral World Park Undersea Resorts Inc., to junk their plan to build a 400-hectare underwater theme park in Coron, Palawan.
A group of divers display a banner opposing the proposed underwater theme park owned by Nickelodeon (Viacom International Media Networks), and Coral World Park Undersea Resorts Inc in Coron, Palawan.
Environmental groups call on the Local Government of Palawan, Nickelodeon (Viacom International Media Networks), and Coral World Park Undersea Resorts Inc., to junk their plan to build a 400-hectare underwater theme park in Coron, Palawan.

Bataris is another local term for bayanihan–a well-known Filipino custom referring to the spirit of communal unity and cooperation in order to achieve a common goal.

Bataris is people-powered action, an online petition platform to use and make the change you want to see in the world.

Viacom International Media Networks (VIMN) is no longer going to be affiliated with the construction of the fiercely opposed Nickelodeon-branded attraction and resort in Coron town, according to Rappler.

Bataris said in a statement released on August 23:

Dear Seatizens,

It’s been seven months since Viacom, the media company that owns Nickelodeon, and Coral World Park (CWP) announced their plan to build an underwater-themed attraction. Since January, we’ve gathered 263,813 signatures from all over the world opposing this project, because of its potential damage to Palawan’s ecosystems and economy.

In July, in response to the endorsement of Department of Tourism Secretary Wanda Teo, Greenpeace Philippines, Social Action Center of the Apostolic Vicariate of Taytay, Palawan and ELAC organized a series of activities in Coron and Puerto Princesa to raise awareness on the proposed project. Locals and members of the Tagbanua tribe expressed strong opposition to it. A community petition paper was also drafted and circulated to reach communities with no internet access, and thus could not access our petition on Bataris. We also conducted a press conference, university forum, and entertained a number of media interviews.

Yesterday, August 22, Viacom officially announced that they have cut off their ties with CWP. Viacom’s decision shows that the real power lies in the hands of the people. As a child-friendly and family-oriented channel, Nickelodeon finally recognized that it is best not to be associated with a potentially destructive structure that will negatively affect the lives, livelihood, and culture of the people of Coron. Thank you for your continued support. Our joint official response can be accessed here.

While we welcome and celebrate this milestone, we cannot be complacent. The battle is not yet over. Together, let us continue to oppose the proposed project of CWP, and send a message to potential future investors not to risk their money and their name on this questionable and destructive project. We continue to call on the local government of Coron, the provincial government of Palawan, and the national government agencies, especially the Department of Environment and Natural Resources and the Department of Tourism, to reject the attraction. We remain vigilant and will continue to monitor any updates and developments related to the proposed project.

Maraming salamat!

 

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