Friday, January 16, 2009

An evening with a Honorable Edward Hagedorn, the Mayor of Puerto Princesa City


City Mayor, Honorable Edward Hagedorn, the Mayor of Puerto Princesa City sharing the development plan of Puerto Princesa City with the participants.

We from EDS team comprise of the Dr. Ben Lee, EDS President and Founder, Professor Dr. Pete Ooi, EDS Chief Operating Officer and myself (Associate Professor A. Ramaiyah) were invited by the Dr. Teresita L. Salva, the President of Palawan State University (PSU) to attend a special dinner for the joint PSU and EDS DBA candidates with the honorable distinctive City Mayor of Puerto Princesa City, Honorable Mr. Edward Hagedorn

Honorable Hagedorn is best recognized as one of the more successful progressive local leaders of the Philippines with his passion and dedication towards the protection of the environment. Hagedorn's leadership is directed towards establishing a harmony between the environment and development. The mayor has established the City of Puerto Princesa as a model of eco-tourism for the country.

We arrive to the Legend Hotel at about 7.00 pm with a group of the joint PSU and EDS's doctoral students who are currently pursuing their DBA program. The students comprise of academics and staff from Palawan State University, Zambales (Central Luzon region, Philippines), Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam and Penang, Malaysia.

Upon reaching the hotel ball room, we were greeted by the Honorable Mayor with his working uniform with caps on. The first impression he gave us is that he is still working, even after 7 pm. He humbly distributed his name card containing a website address to www.new7wonders.com. This is not a website to promote himself as a City Mayor to others, instead he distributed a card containing a website containing lead to encourage us to vote Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park for new 7th wonders of the nature in the world.

After we sat on the dinner table, he explained the challenges he faced as mayor on transforming Puerto Princesa City as the cleanest city in Philippines. He also briefly explained how he went against the odd to stop the timber logging, cyanide fishing activities and mining activities to protect the nature. Furthermore, he narrated his challenges of getting the Unesco World Heritage Site recognition for the underground river channel within a month which was nearly an impossible task to achieve during his first term of a mayor.

We all knew that 14 February, is a special day for the lovers. The mayor showed us a slide that during this auspicious day he brought 200 newly married couples with their charming wedding costumes to plant mangroves at the coastal area. In his noble effort to bring greeneries to the island, during 12 years of his tenure as a mayor, he has initiated projects for planting 1.4 million trees in the island. This allows him to improve the greeneries in the island by 25%.

As his latest mission, he is planning to introduce electric transport system in the state to reduce the environmental hazards. Other projects which he has done are providing free education to poor, comfortable relocation houses for the deserving, eradication of poverty and etc.

We strongly belief that whatever efforts which were mentioned to us are only a tip of the iceberg on what he has done for the island. Among all his effort, one of the most difficult tasks which he has achieved successfully is transforming the people to accept his noble ideas of protecting the Mother Nature. Now the idea of cleanliness, preservation of green environment and removal of loggings, cyanide fishing and mining is greatly supported by the people of Puerto Princesa City, even if they have to lose their income.

Honorable Mayor has successfully transformed once an unknown island to the recipient of many international awards. We indeed are very proud to have met such a person who goes against all the odds to standby to his principles to safe guard the Mother Nature. We together in EDS team salute him for his success. I personally feel all other leaders should emulate his style of governing a State or a Country. We are very grateful to Dr. Salva, the President of the Palawan State University and other staff who makes this meeting possible. Thank you very much. We will definitely vote for the Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park to be the new 7th wonder of the world.

For more information about the Honorable Edward Hagedorn, City Mayor of Puerto Princesa, visit http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edward_S._Hagedorn.


From left to right: Associate Professor A. Ramaiyah, Dr. Ben Lee, Honorable Edward Hagedorn, and Professor Dr. Pete Ooi.


Group photo with City Mayor of Puerto Princesa together with President of Palawan State University and the DBA students.


From left to right: Associate Professor A. Ramaiyah, EDS Senior Faculty; Dr. Ben Lee, EDS President and Founder, Honorable Edward Hagerdorn, City Mayor of Puerto Princesa, Professor Dr Pete Ooi, EDS Chief Operating Officer, and Honorable Judge Salva.
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Ready by EDS Team @ 16th January 2009.
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