Viacom, Nickelodeon break off from controversial Coron resort project

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Updated to include statement from Coral World Park.

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, August 22) — Nickelodeon will no longer be involved in a controversial resort project in Coron, Palawan, its parent company said Tuesday.

Viacom International Media Networks (VIMN) in a statement said that it "mutually agreed with Coral World Park to discontinue the IP licensing agreement" for the venture.

"VIMN and Nickelodeon will no longer be involved with this proposed development. We wish Coral World Park well," the statement read.

Viacom eyed a Nickelodeon-branded attraction and resort to be part of a planned development in Coron by Coral World Park Undersea Resorts, Inc.

Coral World Park confirmed the termination on Wednesday, saying it wishes Viacom the best. It added that it would "prioritize building its own brand and customer experience."

"This is due mainly to the area not being ready in terms of infrastructure to host a world class family themed development by 2020," the statement read.

The project, which was initially reported to be an underwater theme park, was met with criticism from environmentalists and netizens.

Coral World Park since clarified it would not destroy corals, and it intended the project to be "an undersea attraction with... ocean conservation."

According to its website, Coral World Park is envisioned as a marine reserve and coral reef conservation program comprising a cluster of 16 islands from Coron to Puerto Princesa. It was founded by the Singapore-based Dr. AB Moñozca Foundation.

Coral World Park also clarified its area and location in Coron, saying that it was private property with a title.

"We are converting a former mining site into a tourism development contrary to reports that we are building on pristine land which is untitled," the statement read.

"Our development is on-land and with a few floating structures with a glass bottom hull, just like a boat and therefore was never destructive to corals contrary to reports," it added.

The park said it would "continually support the implementation of an environment friendly master plan" in league with its fellow land owners in Coron.