The Pateros River Basin

By: Ernesto R. Gonzales, Ph.D


An Ecological Sacrifice for the Economic Globalization of Metro-Manila, Philippines
(Pateros River Basin Rehabilitation Conference September 2007)


THE ISSUES CONFRONTED BY A DYING RIVER

Pateros River is dying. It is just like a toilet un flushed by a total of (2) Million residents of the Cities of Makati, Pasig,Taguig and the only municipality of Metro-Manila, PATEROS. At the backdoor of the prestigious The Fort City of Taguig, is a winding (8) kilometers of a river that became a stagnant sewerage deposit of a total of almost Two Million Residents trapped by expanding industrialization of the Economic Globalization in the Area.


paterosThe extent of the extinction of this once beautiful river was the recent incident of meningo coccimea in the river-based Baranggay of Pateros called "Aguho" Moreover, Pateros became a stigma of Dengue which is a common knowledge among all the resident Doctor of Medical City of Pasig City.

The current focus of attention and funding to the Pasig River Area is a considerable neglect of the Pateros River and Its Basin which was literally obliterated by the construction of the Flood Control Program in the Metro-Manila Region. Today, Pateros River stinks right at the backyard of the prestigious Ayala District, The Global City of the Fort and richest cities of Metro-Manila, i.e. Makati, Pasig and Taguig. While Pasig River had already received hundred millions of dollars grant and loan program, there wasn't any extended for the Pateros River Basin.

At present, a dike cuts across the lakeshore area of the Pateros River Basin which would serve as the "skeletal reference" of the grand C-6 Highway system which will connect Laguna, Metro-Manila Region, Quezon and the Bulacan Provinces. This dike had literally enclosed the Pateros River Basin and its (2) Million residents. Two pumping stations were constructed at the mouth of the River of Tipas and Taguig which proved to be fatal if not properly modified as this early as possible because of the scenario of flooding due to the onslaught of the Climate Change which had drastically increased the amount of rainfall a dozen folds.

There are hundred thousands poor families of marginal farmers and fishermen in the Pateros River Basin who are beginning to feel the displacement that is due them in the coming years. On the face of the lack of subsidies from government, neither a safety nets for their displacement and marginalization, the current situation will lead to increased cases of hunger and malnutrition in the said River Basin Areas.



Dr Ernesto R. Gonzales was a Philippine Fellow at the Asia Research Centre, London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) during the Academic Year 2004/05. He received his Master of Science in Economics and PhD Applied Anthropology in Economics from the Asian Social Institute, Manila, Philippines in 2002, with the dissertation Economics of Ecological Anthropology in Pateros, Metro-Manila, and Its Implication to Sustainable Development. In 2000-2007, he was Director, Social Research Center of the Royal and Pontifical University of Sto. Tomas, Espana, Manila, Philippines. In 2003-2007, he was nominated to become the Chairman-Economics Committee of the National Research Council of the Philippines. He was the previous Chairman of the National Economic Protection Association of the Philippines and currently a Visiting Professor in Environmental Economics at the Graduate Program of the University of the Philippines, Metro-Manila in Business Management.