Rehabilitating the Pasig River: Unlocking Economic Potential and Addressing Housing Concerns

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The Efforts of Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) in Rehabilitating the Pasig River

In a joint meeting of the Rotary Club of Makati South held at the Architectural Center Club in Rockwell, Makati City, Frisco San Juan, the Deputy Chairman of the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA), highlighted the projects and programs initiated by the government agency for the revitalization of the Pasig River. The MMDA, which operates under the direct supervision of the Office of the President, has been directed by President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. to submit regular reports on the progress of the Pasig River rehabilitation project.

San Juan emphasized that the focus of the rehabilitation efforts goes beyond environmental cleanup. The aim is to restore the “glory” of the Pasig River by unlocking its economic potential and addressing housing concerns for informal settlers. The rehabilitation project will cover the stretch from Manila to Pasig, creating economic opportunities along the riverbanks.

Comprehensive Pasig River Urban Development Plan

To guide the rehabilitation project, a comprehensive Pasig River Urban Development Plan has been formulated. This blueprint aims to maximize the river’s potential for mixed-use development, transportation, recreation, tourism, and sustainable human settlements while preserving its historical and cultural value.

The Pasig River holds immense potential for mixed-use development, which can contribute to the economic growth of the surrounding areas. The plan envisions the creation of vibrant and diverse communities along the riverbanks, where residential, commercial, and recreational spaces coexist harmoniously. By promoting mixed-use development, the project aims to generate economic benefits and enhance the quality of life for the residents.

Revitalizing the Pasig River: A Collaborative Effort

The commitment to revitalize the Pasig River involves the collaboration of various government agencies. President Marcos issued Executive Order 35, establishing an interagency council dedicated to the revitalization of the river. Under this order, the MMDA chairman serves as the vice chairman of the council, and secretaries from different departments hold membership roles. The National Housing Authority acts as the secretariat, facilitating coordination among the agencies involved.

By bringing together experts and stakeholders from different sectors, the interagency council ensures a holistic approach to the rehabilitation project. This collaboration allows for the integration of diverse perspectives and expertise, leading to more effective and sustainable solutions.

Ensuring the Safety of Informal Settlers

One of the key considerations in the Pasig River rehabilitation project is the safety and well-being of the informal settlers living along the river. While the focus is on environmental restoration and economic development, it is crucial to address the housing concerns of these communities.

The comprehensive Pasig River Urban Development Plan takes into account the need for sustainable human settlements. It aims to provide safe and affordable housing options for informal settlers, ensuring that they are not left behind in the process of revitalization. By incorporating social housing initiatives into the plan, the project aims to create inclusive communities that benefit all residents.

Unlocking Economic Opportunities and Promoting Tourism

The rehabilitation of the Pasig River presents significant opportunities for economic growth and tourism. The river, once restored to its former glory, can become a vibrant hub for commerce, recreation, and cultural activities.

With its strategic location and historical significance, the Pasig River has the potential to attract both local and international tourists. The comprehensive Pasig River Urban Development Plan includes provisions for the development of tourism-related infrastructure and amenities. By creating an attractive and accessible destination along the riverbanks, the project aims to boost tourism and stimulate economic activity in the surrounding areas.

Furthermore, the project envisions the establishment of mixed-use developments that cater to both residents and visitors. These developments can house a variety of businesses, including hotels, restaurants, retail outlets, and entertainment venues. By creating a vibrant and dynamic environment, the project aims to attract investments and generate employment opportunities.


The efforts of the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) in rehabilitating the Pasig River are aimed at unlocking its economic potential, addressing housing concerns, and promoting tourism. The comprehensive Pasig River Urban Development Plan serves as a blueprint for the project, ensuring a holistic approach that maximizes the river’s potential for mixed-use development, transportation, recreation, tourism, and sustainable human settlements.

Through collaboration with various government agencies and the involvement of stakeholders from different sectors, the project aims to achieve long-term and sustainable results. By revitalizing the Pasig River, not only will the environmental conditions improve, but the surrounding communities will also benefit from economic growth, enhanced quality of life, and increased tourism opportunities.

Source: The Manila Times

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