Pasig History, Philippines
The history of Pasig may be tracked back to the roots of the Spanish Regime. When Ferdinand Magellan discovered the Philippine archipelago in 1521, the cities in it started to be accounted for.
In July 1573, Pasig was founded coinciding with the inauguration of the mission-parish of Pasig. The first bell was received together with its patron saint Our Lady of the Visitation. However, later on, in 1587 the former patron was replaced by Our Lady of Immaculate Conception. Up to this day, the same patroness stood as one of the representations of the area.
Pasig was not part of the Metropolis Manila when it was discovered in July 1573. It was considered a town in the province of Rizal, which was created through Act No. 137 by the Philippine Commission back in June 11, 1901. It was even designated as the capital town of the province.
In 1975, however, Pasig was removed from the Province of Rizal and formed part of Metro Manila. This corresponded to the Presidential Decree 824 on the creation of the Metro Manila Commission (to this day known as the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority or MMDA) conceived by then President Ferdinand Edralin Marcos.
Rehabilitation of the Pasig River
Tracking down to Pasig City’s history, the Pasig River was the life line of Metro Manila. It was then the basic means of transport people used for their business and other daily undertakings as well. It became a place where the rich built their houses and where the Presidential Palace dwelt.
After World War II, the Pasig River was no longer considered the city center. The emergence of new business opportunities contributed to the movement of the life line to other sites. Makati City then became the city’s business center. Because of this transformation, the river was neglected. It was abandoned and the urban poor started coming in while the famous moved away. It then became the sewer rather than the life sustenance for the people in the community.
The Pasig River became a threat to people’s lives in the sense that it was endangered. The 26 kilometer long river deteriorated and became noticeable way back in the 1930’s, even before the World War II. There were no more fish from Laguna de Bay to migrate in the rivers of Pasig. Even the bathing activities registered a serious drop in the 1950’s and people hesitated washing their clothes in the river by the 1960’s. In the 1970’s, the river started giving off foul odor which endangered the lives of inhabitants. In the 1980’s, fishing was dominantly impossible for the people.
With the harmful changes in the river, authorities found it necessary to declare it biologically inactive. It was already a vector for disease in the 1990’s due to the floating garbage that gravely affected the entire body of water.
In 1991, DANIDA a Danish agency made it possible for the local government of Pasig to consider rehabilitation of the River. Around 5,000 families squatting in the area were then relocated to Dasmariñas, Cavite. In August 2000, with the aid of the Asian Development Bank, the rehabilitation program was in progress. The resistance of the people to move out from the place though made it difficult for the program to take effect. Up to this day, the river has not achieved full transformation.
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