President Benigno S. Aquino III urged all Filipinos to vote the Puerto Princesa Underground River for its inclusion in the global search of the New Seven Wonders of Nature during the official launch of the Puerto Princesa Underground River (PPUR) Campaign in Malacañang.
In his message, the President said that since each New Seven Wonders of Nature finalist only needs at least one billion votes, the underground river will surely claim one of the seven spots in half-a-day span if the estimate eighty million Filipino cellphone users, sending two billion text messages a day, will support the campaign. President Aquino also said that if PPUR succeeds in the poll, the Philippine tourism industry will accelerate. This will lead to increased international and local flights and tours, new facilities and additional employment opportunities. The President personally cast his vote through text and via internet and repeatedly campaigned for PPUR.
The New Seven Wonders of Nature Foundation led by its founder, Mr. Bernard Weber, presented a certificate to President Aquino designating the Philippines as one of the 28 official finalists of the New Seven Wonders of Nature global poll. The official declaration of winners will be in November 11, 2011 (11/11/11).
Also during the event, Puerto Princesa Underground River was recognized by the La Venta Esplorazioni Geografiche, an Italian scientists group, as a deserving winner in the New Seven Wonders of Nature due to their recent significant explorations. La Venta attested that PPUR (1) represents one of the most important underground estuaries of the world, (2) hosts a complex and valuable karst ecosystem, (3) is a cave with a very high amount of energy, (4) contains scientifically and aesthetically unique speleothems, (5) hosts peculiar macro and micro karst morpheologies and (6) most importantly houses a very well preserved fossil of a Sirenia or sea cow from the Miocene period with an estimated age of 20 million years.
The Manila Observatory also recognized Puerto Princesa as a Carbon-Neutral City. The Greenhouse Gas Inventory results show that the City in the Forest has more removals than emissions of carbon dioxide.