A Guardian report on Wednesday said that American children’s television network Nickelodeon will no longer pursue its plans to build its themed resort in Palawan due to protests from environmentalists.
In January, Nickelodeon announced that it would open its Nickelodeon Hotel and Resort brand on Palawan island and would let fans of the children’s network enjoy activities inspired from various Nickelodeon characters like SpongeBob SquarePants, Dora the Explorer, and PAW Patrollers.
The plan triggered negative reactions from environmentalists who feared for the destruction of the island, which Greenpeace has called as “the last ecological frontier” in the country, and its world-famous marine ecosystem. An online petition calling for a stop to the project got more than 260,000 signatures.
In June, Department of Tourism (DOT) Secretary Wanda Tulfo-Teo noted that DOT would only promote the theme park as a tourist destination once it had complied with legal and environmental requirements.
She added that the theme park would boost tourist arrivals and create job opportunities.
But, the environmental groups stressed, “The DOT cannot promote a project that destroys the very attraction you are promoting, which is the beauty of the healthy marine ecosystem of Coron, among others.”
Viacom, the company behind Nickelodeon was quoted in a statement: “[Viacom] and Nickelodeon will no longer be involved with this proposed development.” the company said in a statement.
According to Viacom, the decision to pull out the project was said to be a mutual agreement between the company and its Philippine partner Coral World Park.