Princesa Tower ris­ing

Palawan News - - EDITORIAL -

“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.

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