METROPOLITAN MANILA MAYORS'
ESTERO DECLARATION
 
WE, THE UNDERSIGNED MAYORS OF THE SIXTEEN CITIES AND ONE MUNICIPALITY COMPRISING METROPOLITAN MANILA, TOGETHER WITH THE CHAIRMAN OF THE METROPOLITAN MANILA DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY (MMDA), recognize the urgent need to control environmental pollution and its dire effects on the health, safety and quality of life of Metropolitan Manila residents.

WE ACKNOWLEDGE our collective responsibility to advance and strengthen sustainable development - economic development, social development and environmental protection - at the local and regional levels.

WE DECLARE our responsibility to one another, to our fellow citizens residing, traversing and earning their living within Metropolitan Manila, to the greater community and to our descendants.

WE NOTE that within Metropolitan Manila, some of the following areas have been identified as flood prone: (a) Sampaloc, Manila and its immediate vicinity; (b) Rizal Avenue corner R. Papa; (c) South Superhighway - Buendia and its vicinity; (d) Maysilo Circle - Boni Avenue and its vicinity; (e) Shaw Boulevard, Kalentong St. and vicinity; (f) Barangay Salapan and Balong Bato, San Juan City; (g) Barangays Dona Imelda, Damayong Lagi, Tatalon and Talayan, Quezon City; (h) Pasig-Marikina River Basin; and (i) Laguna Lakeshore Area.

WE NOTE that the causes of flooding include the low efficiency of existing pumping stations, the continued presence of informal settlers that constrict our esteros thereby limiting the capacity to convey flood waters to the pumping stations, the limited capacity of existing esteros, diversion channels, creeks and other waterways, inadequate drainage systems, and overflowing rivers.

WE CONCUR with the 1976 UN Conference on Human Settlements declaration considering land as the principal instrument in fostering "social justice, development, provision of decent dwellings, and health conditions, to be used in the interest of the society as a whole."

WE CONCUR with findings that land utilization in the economic and social activities of society makes it imperative to adopt a comprehensive land use policy to effectively manage the utilization of this resource.

WE RECOGNIZE the mandate of the Philippine Supreme Court embodied in the landmark case "Metropolitan Manila Development Authority, et. al. v. Concerned Residents of Manila Bay, et. al. (G.R.No. 171947 - 48, 18 December 2008)," requiring the MMDA and other government agencies to "protect and preserve, at the first instance, our internal waters, rivers, shores, and seas polluted by human activities".

WE RECOGNIZE that the seven major causes of flooding are rapid urbanization and development, rapid clogging and siltation of drainage laterals and waterways, encroachment in open waterways, limited capacity of existing drainage systems, lack of integrated land use plans, inadequate flood control structures and excessive rainfall intensity due to climate change.

WE RECOGNIZE that sustainable development requires the integrated management of activities among government and the citizenry in continuing public-private partnership.

WE RECOGNIZE the importance of institutionalizing coalitions between civil society and government to promote good governance, empower the citizenry and reduce poverty.

WE ACKNOWLEDGE the urgent need to implement immediate, medium- and long-term plans to mitigate and eradicate the life-threatening effects of environmental degradation.


Against this background:

WE PLEDGE full compliance with the directive to local government units, embodied in the Manila Bay case to inspect all factories, commercial establishments, and private homes along the banks of the major river systems within our respective areas of jurisdiction, such as but not limited to the Pasig-Marikina-San Juan Rivers, the NCR Rivers, and the Navotas-Malabon-Tullahan-Tenejeros Rivers, and other minor rivers and waterways that eventually discharge water into the Manila Bay, and the lands abutting the bay, to determine whether they have wastewater treatment facilities or hygienic septic tanks as prescribed by laws, ordinances and rules and regulations.

WE PLEDGE to order non-complying establishments and homes within our jurisdiction, to set up the said facilities or septic tanks within a reasonable time to prevent industrial wastes, sewage water, and human wastes from flowing into these rivers, waterways, esteros and the Manila Bay.

WE COMMIT to fully support the MMDA's mandate, in coordination with each component local government unit and the various government agencies, to dismantle and remove all structures, constructions, and other encroachments established or built in violation of the Urban Development and Housing Act of 1992 and other applicable laws along waterways within our respective jurisdictions.

WE PLEDGE to actively implement our respective anti-littering ordinances as well as to clean and dredge the esteros, creeks and waterways located within our respective jurisdictions as immediate and short-term measures to combat the effects of environmental degradation.

WE PLEDGE to help relocate informal settlers in these areas in coordination with concerned national governmental housing agencies, in a humane manner cognizant of every person's right to a decent dwelling place and standard of living.


City of Makati, Metropolitan Manila, 17 September 2010.


HON. BENJAMIN C. ABALOS, JR.
Mandaluyong City


HON. HERBERT M. BAUTISTA
Quezon City


HON. JEJOMAR ERWIN S. BINAY, JR.
Makati City


HON. GUIA G. GOMEZ
San Juan City


HON. DEL DE GUZMAN
Marikina City


HON. ALFREDO S. LIM
City of Manila


HON. CANUTO S. ORETA
Malabon City


HON. JOHN REY M. TIANGCO
Navotas City


HON. ANTONIO G. CALIXTO
Pasay City
HON. VERGEL A. AGUILAR
Las Piñas City


HON. FLORENCIO M. BERNABE, JR.
Parañaque City


HON. ENRICO R. ECHIVERRI
Caloocan City


HON. ROBERT C. EUSEBIO
Pasig City


HON. SHERWIN T. GATCHALIAN
Valenzuela City


HON. JAIME C. MEDINA
Municipality of Pateros


HON. ALDRIN L. SAN PEDRO
Muntinlupa City


HON. MA. LAARNI L. CAYETANO
Taguig City


SEC. FRANCIS N. TOLENTINO
Metropolitan Manila Development Authority



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