Princesa Tower rising
“It will host the highest Jolibee, the highest McDonalds and the highest Starbucks,” a ranking city official stated during Monday’s traditional flag raising ceremony at City Hall. He was talking about the city’s new plan to put up an immense tower at a government lot beside the City Hall building. To be dubbed Princesa Tower, the edifice will ostensibly qualify as an amazing piece of architecture and land this town into the Guiness Book of World Records. Then, it is expected to draw more tourists into the City and boost its tourism economy. A considerable amount of time must have been spent drawing up such a plan. Not too long ago, Mayor Lucilo Bayron was saying it will be constructed on top of the Magarwak quarry in Santa Lourdes, currently an eye sore feature of the Honda Bay tour. He said it will be called the “DNA Tower” as it will be designed to look like a giant cellular structure. This latest revised concept will rise up to a specific height of 550 meters, to qualify as the second highest building in the world next to Dubai’s famous Burj Khalifa. It is envisioned to become an iconic feature of Puerto Princesa City, similar to the great landmarks as the Eiffel Tower or the Sydney Opera House. Beyond City Hall’s excitement to usher the world’s highest Jolibee outlet, the important details about the execution of the project were sorely missing in the presentation - feasibility studies, cost and benefit analysis, funding, among other important details. It was but a flashy powerpoint. We combed through the wave of reactions from the public on the news accounts that have gone viral on our site following Monday’s announcement and public presentation of the project. That we were unable to find a single comment in support of the idea is already a netizen indictment of the plan. It is, from the outset, simply indefensible as a plan. This, or its originators overlooked the need to convey a deeper rationale and meaning to it. Maybe if there were ready answers to some of the obvious questions, the overall initial feedback would have been more forgiving. It is a cause for alarm when among the main reasons why we are even discussing plans like this on government time and money is so we can brag about eating fastfood burgers or siffing gourmet coffee at a height. No, this isn’t a belated April Fool’s joke, as a netizen suspected. City Hall seems to be intent seeing this through. Most of us just take it in stride and be amused at what’s really going on in those planning offices.