An underground river in the western Philippines was confirmed to be among the world’s new seven wonders of nature, the head of a global competition said on Saturday.

The Puerto Princesa Underground River in Palawan province is the second of the new seven wonders of nature to be confirmed after provisional results were announced last November.

Bernard Weber, founder and president of the New7Wonders, announced the confirmation in Manila and hailed the support for the nomination in the global competition.

“Today’s confirmation is the well-earned reward for (the Filipino people’s) extraordinary display of enthusiasm,” he said.

Presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda said the campaign has raised awareness about the river, where visitor arrivals have “increased tremendously.” “This is proof positive of how effective a national effort of this sort can be, to build awareness, express pride, and achieve results,” he added.

The 8.2-kilometre navigable underground river is the world’s longest. The Geneva-based New7Wonders earlier confirmed Jeju Island as one of the winners of the competition. The other five provisional winners — the Amazon, Halong Bay, Iguazu Falls, Komodo and Table Mountain — are now undergoing the final verification process for their confirmation.

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