Metro Manila Part 2
Metro Manila is exposed to multiple natural hazards such as earthquakes, floods, and typhoons. It is surrounded by active faults including the Marikina Valley Fault System. Other distant faults such as the Philippine Faults, Lubang Faults, Manila Trench and Casiguran Faults, are a threat as well. Flooding is recurrent every year especially in low-lying areas. Around five to seven typhoons hit Manila yearly. Manila was ranked as the second riskiest capital city after Tokyo to live in according to Swiss Re.
According to the Köppen climate classification, there are two climates in Metro Manila. Most of the region has a tropical wet and dry climate (Köppen climate classification Aw) while the northeastern part of the region that lies on the foothills of Sierra Madre has a tropical monsoon climate. Together with the rest of the Philippines, Manila lies entirely within the tropics. Its proximity to the equator means that temperatures are hot year-round, rarely going below 15 °C or above 39 °C. Temperature extremes have ranged from 14.4 °C on January 11, 1914, to 38.5 °C on May 7, 1915.
Humidity levels are usually very high all year round. Manila has a distinct dry season from December through April, and a relatively lengthy wet season that covers the remaining period with slightly cooler temperatures. In the wet season, it rarely rains all day, but rainfall is very heavy during short periods. Typhoons usually occur from June to September
Rizal Park, also known as Luneta Park, is considered as the largest urban park in Asia with an area of 58 hectares (140 acres). The park along with the historic walled area of Intramuros are designated as flagship destination to become a tourism enterprise zone according to the Tourism Act of 2009. Paco Park is a recreational garden which was once the city's municipal cemetery built by the Dominicans during the Spanish colonial period. Filipino Landscape Architect IP Santos, the "Father of Philippine Landscape Architecture", was commissioned to do the design of converting the former cemetery into a park.
Manila Zoo is the oldest zoo in Asia, which was founded on 1959. It is the home to more than a thousand animals from different 90 species including the 40-year-old elephant, Mali. The zoo has an average of 4,000 visitors weekly. An estimated 40,000 tourists visits the zoo each month.
La Mesa Ecopark is a 33-hectare well-developed sanctuary around the La Mesa Watershed. It was established through a joint partnership between the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System, ABS-CBN, and the Quezon City Government. La Mesa Ecopark, along with the Ninoy Aquino Parks & Wildlife Center, are important nature reserves in the Philippines.
The Las Piñas-Parañaque Critical Habitat and Ecotourism Area (LPPCHEA) was declared as a critical habitat by the Government of the Philippines in 2007 and was listed by the Ramsar Convention as a Wetland of International Importance in 2013. LPPCHEA is composed of the Freedom Island in Parañaque and the Long Island in Las Piñas that covers 175 hectares and features a mangrove forest of eight species, tidal mudflats, secluded ponds with fringing salt-tolerant vegetation, a coastal lagoon, and a beach
Government and Politics
The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) is the agency responsible for the delivery of public services in Metro Manila. Its services are limited to traffic management and garbage collection. Previously Metro Manila was governed by a regional government authority, the Metro Manila Commission and was led by a governor.
A bill was introduced in 2014 proposing the creation of a new governing body in Metro Manila to be known as the Metropolitan Manila Regional Administration (MMRA). Unlike the MMDA which is limited to being an administrative coordinating body, the proposed MMRA will have police and other typical municipal powers and is more akin to the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.
Metro Manila, the National Capital Region, is the seat of the national government. All the main offices of the executive departments of the country are in Metro Manila. The Department of Agrarian Reform, Department of Agriculture, Department of Environment and Natural Resources, National Housing Authority and Philippine Coconut Authority has their main offices based around Quezon Memorial Circle in Quezon City.
Manila, the capital city of the country, is the home to Malacañan Palace, the official residence and office of the President of the Philippines. The city is also the home to the Supreme Court of the Philippines. Other key national institutions based in Manila are the Court of Appeals, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, and the Departments of Budget and Management, Finance, Health, Justice, Labor and Employment and Public Works and Highways. Meanwhile, the Department of Science and Technology is based in Taguig while the Department of Tourism has its headquarters in Makati. Important economic and financial institutions headquartered in the region are the Asian Development Bank, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, Development Bank of the Philippines, Land Bank of the Philippines and the National Economic and Development Authority.
The main office of the Government Service Insurance System in Pasay serves as home to the Senate of the Philippines. Meanwhile, the House of Representatives of the Philippines is based in the Batasang Pambansa Complex, Quezon City along with the Sandiganbayan. The Coconut Palace once served as the official office and residence of the Vice President of the Philippines in 2010–2016. The Quezon City Reception House has been serving this purpose since 2016.
Local Government Units
The political and administrative boundaries of the National Capital Region has not changed since its formation in 1975 as a public corporation under Presidential Decree No. 824. They are composed of sixteen independent cities, classified as highly urbanized cities, and one independent municipality: Pateros.
Unlike other administrative regions in the Philippines, Metro Manila is not composed of provinces. Instead, the region is divided into four geographic areas called "districts." The districts have their district centers at the four original cities in the region: the city-district of Manila (Capital District), Quezon City (Eastern Manila), Caloocan (Northern Manila, also informally known as Camanava), and Pasay (Southern Manila). The districts serve mainly to organize the region's local government units for fiscal and statistical purposes.
There is a high clamor for the inclusion of San Pedro, Laguna in Metro Manila. Support groups from the local government and non-government organizations are striving to incorporate San Pedro into Metro Manila.
San Pedro eyed as 18th member of Metro Manila. Former Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) Chairman Francis Tolentino is pushing for the inclusion of San Pedro in the National Capital Region, and eventually become its 18th member city. Tolentino said that in the first meeting of the MMDA Council of mayors in January 2015, he will push for the inclusion of the city to the MMDA.
Senator Aquilino "Koko" Pimentel III is seeking the separation of the City of San Pedro from the first legislative district of Laguna province to constitute a lone congressional district.
In 2015, Pimentel filed a bill for the creation of a separate district for San Pedro for the next national and local elections.
Metro Manila has a population of 12,877,253 according to the 2015 national census. Its total urban area, composed of the urban agglomeration which refers to the continuous urban expansion of Metro Manila into the provinces of Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna and Batangas has an estimated population of 24,100,000 as of 2015. It is the second most populous (after Calabarzon) and most densely populated region in the Philippines, the 7th most populous metropolitan area in Asia, and the 3rd most populous urban area in the world.
The most populous cities in Metro Manila are Quezon City (2,936,116), Manila (1,780,148), Caloocan (1,583,978), Taguig (804,915), Pasig (755,300), Parañaque (665,822), Valenzuela (620,422), Las Piñas (588,894), Makati (582,602) and Muntinlupa (504,509).
Poverty, housing and urban slums
In 2014, there are an estimated four million slum dwellers living in Metro Manila. Homelessness is also a major problem in Metro Manila. However, these are being addressed by creating in-city relocation housing, and by relocating informal settler families in low-density housing built in the nearby provinces of Batangas, Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna and Rizal.
During the American occupation, housing policies in Manila dealt with the problem of sanitation and concentration of settlers around business areas. Among those implemented were business codes and sanitation laws in slum areas in the 1930s. During this period and until the 1950s, new communities were opened for relocation. Among these were Projects 1–8 in Diliman, Quezon City and the Vitas tenement houses in Tondo. The government implemented the Public Housing Policy in 1947 that established the People's Homesite and Housing Corporation (PHHC). A few years later, it put up the Slum Clearance Committee which, with the help of the PHHC, relocated thousands of families from Tondo and Quezon City to Sapang Palay in San Jose del Monte, Bulacan in the 1960s.
During the time of President Ferdinand Marcos, the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank supported the programs for the "development of relocation" and "on-site development." Carmona and Dasmariñas in Cavite and San Pedro in Laguna opened as relocation sites. Along with the establishment of the National Housing Authority, Presidential Decree 772 made squatting a crime, making the Philippines one of only two countries (the other is South Africa) where squatting is a crime. The government formulated the National Shelter Program which became the over-all framework for dealing with housing needs of all income classes.
Imelda Marcos held both the position as Governor of Metro Manila and as Minister of Human Settlements and Ecology or MHSE until the downfall of the dictatorship in 1986. The MHSE, through loans from the World Bank, initiated the Bagong Lipunan Improvement of Sites and Services (BLISS) housing projects not only in Metro Manila but also in other provinces.
From 1960 to 1992, the government transferred some 328,000 families to resettlement sites 25–40 km from Metro Manila. According to the Asian Coalition on Housing Rights, during Corazon C. Aquino's time, the government would bring some 100,000 persons to relocation sites yearly. During the said period, Sapang Palay and Carmona had a 60% abandonment rate. Congress enacted RA 7279 or the Urban Development and Housing Act (UDHA) in 1992. The law gave a new name for the squatters: informal settlers. Essentially, UDHA gives protection for big private ownership of land in the urban areas, ensuring that these are protected from illegal occupants. The law also widened the scope of private sector participation in the National Shelter Program (NSP).
In the middle of the Arroyo administration's term, infrastructure projects of the government led to the demolition of hundreds of thousands of families (from along railways, C4 road, C5 road, and from Fort Bonifacio). During the same period, new relocation sites in Bulacan, Valenzuela and Caloocan opened. Under PNoy administration, 556,526 families in Metro Manila have to be brought to relocation sites not only to solve the problem of flooding but also to give way to infrastructure projects and private real estate developments.
The National Capital Region accounts for 37.2% of the gross domestic product of the Philippines in 2013. Furthermore, it has the highest per capita GDP of the country at ₱183,747. The employment rate of NCR is at 89.6% as of 2012. According to Brookings Institution, the 2014 share of output by industry in Metro Manila is as follows: trade and tourism: 31.4%, business/finance: 28.6%, local/non-market: 15.6%, manufacturing: 12.5%, transportation: 4.9%, construction: 4%, utilities: 2.8%, and commodities: 0.3%.
Metro Manila will add 1.85 million square meters of office spaces between 2015 and 2017 in the central business districts in Makati, Taguig, and Quezon City as more global firms such as Google and HSBC seeks to outsource business process in the Philippines. The vacancy rate for office spaces remains low, at less 3% in the year-end of 2014. Manila remains as the least expensive capital city in the Asia-Pacific to occupy prime office space at an average rent of $22 per square meter per month.
Metro Manila makes it to the "Global Top 30" cities according to property consultancy firm Jones Lang LaSalle, citing its economic scale, vast population, large gross domestic product and BPO specialization as its competitive edge. Furthermore, the region ranks 3rd for the top business process outsourcing global destinations, next to Bangalore and Mumbai. The region's retail sector remains strong, bolstered by remittances abroad, BPOs, and its tourism sector.
Historically, the main business district of the metropolis was Binondo, where commercial trading flourished since the 15th century. By the 1960s, economic activities shifted from Binondo to Makati. It transformed Makati into one of the leading financial centers in Asia. Still, Binondo remained as a cultural and financial center because of the vast Chinese population residing and doing business in the area.
The minimum wage of Metro Manila is at ₱481 ($10.77) for non-agricultural workers and at ₱444 ($9.94) for those working in the agricultural sector, the highest minimum wage among all the 17 regions of the country. However, an increase of ₱25 was made and implemented in November 2018.