School of Urban and Regional Planning

Theses and dissertations submitted to the School of Urban and Regional Planning

Items in this Collection

Access to water supply and sanitation (WSS) facilities is not only considered as one of the most basic human need, but is also considered a human right. In 2002, the United Nations Committee on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights (UN CESCR) adopted General Comment No. 15 on the right to water, wherein it states that, the human right to water is indispensable for leading a life in human dignity, and is a prerequisite for the realization of other human rights. This reinforced the right of everyone to reliable, reasonably priced, physically accessible, and sufficient water for domestic uses.
In Metro Manila, the designated utility for WSS service provision was unable to cope with the demand for efficient and quality service. Only 65% of the service area have access to water supply; furthermore, supply was intermittent where only 10% of the service area have access for an average of 16 hours each day (Fabella 2006). For this reason, the privatization of the WSS utility in Metro Manila was impelled by its failure to provide adequate service to the largest urban center in the Philippines. This was acknowledged as the largest water privatization project and would become a model for its kind in the coming decades. Private sector investment and financing through public-private partnership (PPP) for infrastructure development was used as a tool to improve the efficiency and service delivery to its users.
It is for these reasons that the research aims to understand the fundamental impacts of the partnership between the government, private sector, and communities in providing improved WSS service in the selected communities in Quezon City. Specifically, the research focused on assessing the potential role of the community in enhancing water and sanitation service provision in the selected communities in Quezon City. From the research’s main objective, the research sought to examine the role of the community in ensuring the sustainable operation of the privatized WSS utility. The selected communities include densely populated barangays in Quezon City, which are Barangays Bagong Silangan, Pansol, Payatas, and UP Campus.
As a result of the privatized service, the communities in the concession area benefitted from: improved access to safe and better quality water; income saving from affordable cost of water per cubic meter; time savings from queuing is now used for income-earning activities; improved health and hygiene practices; and increased participation of women in the community. The privatization of the water utility resulted in the establishment of various forms and levels of partnerships. First, the partnership between the public and private, represented by the MWSS and the Maynilad and Manila Water; and second, the partnership between private and community, as represented by the CBOs / associations / community leaders. The local organizations, as co-owners, partners, and key solution to WSS service provision are granted the localized monitoring
responsibility within their communities. Another form of partnership between public and private that emerged include the relationship between the concessionaires and the local government as represented by barangay. Through coordination with the barangay, the households are formally endorsed for piped connection, provision of financial support for the installation, construction of drainage and desludging service is more organized, capacity building, and information and education campaigns are undertaken.
The research contributes to the understanding that adequate consideration to the unique nature of communities and soliciting of participation from communities is vital to the success of any development project. More importantly, the cooperation and mobilization of active local organizations as partners assisted in motivating the community members to actively take part in the development initiative.


This research is about the development of a Geographical Information System or GIS for improving rural accessibility in the Philippines. It suggest that a GIS can be used as a tool for the planning of the rural road network in a way that is both equitable and inclusive, by ensuring the accuracy of road network and relevant thematic data, using empirical evidence as basis for criteria formulation, and applying multi-criteria evaluation (MCE) for the identification of priorities.The analysis of recent data in the Philippine context, on road density, distance to the main urban center and condition of households engaged in agriculture involved a rudimentary application of predictive modelling techniques, and provided context and input into the development of a GIS. This process is seen as part of a cycle that adds insight incrementally and allows methodologies and tools to evolve and translate into improvements in the system of rural road management as well as conditions in rural areas.Evidence from the analyses show that road density and distance of a particular locale to the main urban or business center are associated with poverty incidence, especially when development at the center is significant, while in rural communities, poor access to road infrastructure and lack of mobility are significant factors that influence the likelihood of being poor.The findings are also consistent with other studies which indicate that significant reduction in the proportion of poor over the long-term can be achieved by addressing a combination of factors wherein roads play a central role.It is, therefore important that responsible government agencies and local government units (LGUs) together have control over the state of the road network, which begins with accurately mapping and reporting on the extent, make and condition of existing links.Using conclusions drawn from the analysis, a GIS-based tool was designed to capture attributes that are significant in the reduced likelihood of poverty. GIS processing tool were used to combine values and assign weights to different data layers in order to come up with a decision-making map, in a process known as multi-criteria evaluation or MCE. A second set of criteria was then prepared for the prioritization of interventions that combines area priority, road hierarchy, and surface condition as considerations. More equitable planning is achieved by placing greater importance to areas with high poverty incidence and providing a layer weight that adequately reflects the importance of poverty reduction in the overall development strategy. Such an approach is important in creating conditions that favor the chances of the poor.In actual applications, this procedure may be performed by the relevant government personnel that comprise the planning committee or technical working group (TWG) for the infrastructure sector.The process demonstrated shows that a prioritization system involving MCE and supported by empirical evidence allows strategies and specific project choices to be objectively studied and weighed against each other, thus ensuring the chances are favorable in achieving inclusive development.


The Novaliches-Lagro Growth Area (NLGA) in Quezon City is characterized by the presence of large shopping malls along its main transport corridor. The research documented the transportation problem issues and concerns in the area through stakeholder consultations and field survey and supported by characterizatioin of its traffic condition. Traffic congestion during peak hours, air pollution from motor vehicles and inefficient public transportation, were identified as the main problems and concerns in the area. To address these, the local government is focused mainly on traffic management and enforcement. There is a need to augment these strategies, which is the focal point of this study.

The study developed an approach to engage malls in addressing transport problems through travel demand management (TDM) strategies. These measures were presented to mall managers in NLGA and were asked to rate their acceptance in supporting the implementation of these strategies. Multiple criteria decision analysis was used to rank selected TDM using these criteria: effectiveness, ease of implementation, and acceptance of mall developers on the TDM option. Results showed that public transport terminal improvements, rail transport and mall connectivity, bicycle-friendly malls, and, pedestrian accessibility improvements are recommend TDM measures for addressing traffic congestion in the NLGA. The research also recommends that this simple approach, developed in the study can be applied by other cities in order to come up with TDM strategies that can help address urban transport concerns in their areas.


Flooding is one of the biggest problems facing unplanned settlements in the hazard areas, especially along rivers in most developing cities, even during years of normal rainfall. There is always much discussion of needed action when flooding occurs, but as soon as the rains stop, the incidents are forgotten. Most households affected by flooding are poor and flooding cause’s loss of their properties and lives. Poorer groups may be faulted for settling on sites at risk to flooding, but this is usually happening because there is no affordable land for them in safer places close to the city centre where they depend on their livelihood. However, in settlements being located in hazard areas such as flood prone areas, there is more exposure and vulnerability to flood hazards. There is a need to manage hazard areas prone to flooding along rivers to reduce exposure of people and their properties to flood risks.
This research focuses on reviewing adopted policies on land use and river easement, together with past implementation and ongoing strategies in mitigating flood impacts on settlements in flood prone areas starting from 1992 to 2015. The study employs a case study strategy with literature review, observations, interviews, mapping and photo documentation as the main data collection protocols.
Study findings reveal that land use policies adopted by Marikina City such as increase of river easement to 96 meters was a good approach in preventing development activities along the Marikina river, however this policy was not fully implemented hence settlements developed within the easement areas which are flood prone. The converted agriculture land in Tumana and Malanday which the City government is proposing to be used as resettlement sites in the future will lead to increase in the number of people exposed to flood hazard since the mentioned areas are very highly susceptible to flood.
Marikina City government has implemented structural and non structural measures in the studied barangays; however there are challenges such as solid wastes thrown to the river and drainage channels and failure of households to implement the stilt house design because they cannot afford it.
To address the situation, it is recommended that Marikina City government should consider re-zoning of land uses to avoid future increase in exposure to flood. There are must be a link to flood disaster funds with reconstruction programs for assisting the residents to have flood proof houses. This can go together with masonry programs while encouraging self help for residents to build flood proof houses on their own. Enforcement of river easement through public awareness, as well as implementation of solid waste management programs in solving problems of drainage and river blockages which are among causes of flood in case study areas are necessary.


Natural disasters exert a lot of pressure on development and they pose threat
on achieving Millennium Development Goals. Developing countries around the globe
are said to be more vulnerable to natural disasters because they fail to adequately
withstand the impacts of disasters (UNDP 2004). Member states of the Association of
South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) are said to be at risk from several disasters.
However, flood risk is noticed to be the most recurring in the region due to monsoon
and cyclone seasons associated with all ASEAN member states. Other than
unfavourable topography, a large proportion of people in the region live in along the
coastal low land or deltas at risk of flooding.
Philippines has been declared to be vulnerable to natural disasters. This is due
to its’ location and geographical landscape. Consequently, resources meant to finance
basic services are instead diverted to address effects of disaster events. Valenzuela
City which is the case study is inherently susceptible to flooding. The city had for the
time immemorial been affected by flood disasters. However, so many interventions
have been put in place by Local Government Unit (LGU) to minimise disaster risks
but still 15% of the City is described to be under the threat of flood risks (CDIA
2014). Reflecting on the past efforts in risk reduction, the study explored areas in
which Valenzuela City would improve the use of its’ land resources in response to the
directive of mainstreaming disaster risk reduction in land use planning.
The paradigm shift to mainstream risk reduction in land use planning is a
regional issue that brought about various regional agreements which the Philippines is
part hence influenced legal and institutional framework on disaster risk reduction.
Coupled with decentralisation planning system of the Philippines, LGUs have a
responsibility to sustainably use its’ land resources though which disaster risks would
be reduced.
Mainstreaming risk reduction in land use planning calls for carrying out risk
reduction to determine characteristics of the risks in a locality. This would help to
come up with interventions either structural or non-structural that would help
counteract disaster risks hence minimising vulnerability and exposure to hazards.
However, it is generally emphasised to enshrine the notion of risk reduction in the
City Vision so as to account for sustainable development.
In an attempt to realise the study objective as mentioned above, key
informants from the political and technical component of the local planning system
(DILG 2005) were interviewed. Comprehensive Land Use Plan (CLUP), Zoning
Ordinance (ZO) and Disaster Profile documents were reviewed along side with
analysis of spatial data.
Valenzuela City was reported to be prone to flood risks especially in District
‘I’ which found on the low laying altitude. High tide, Heavy Rainfall and Typhoon
were mentioned as sources of flooding in the city. However, poor land use planning
and indiscriminate damping of solid waste in water ways both within and beyond the
city was noticed to have induced flood in Valenzuela City. Despite persistence of
floods, it was claimed that in the recent past the city had less severe floods than a few
decades ago. Nonetheless, in some instances floods were regarded to be more severe
than in the past due to changes in the climatic conditions
The findings reviewed that the City Vision was too general and mostly
promoted infrastructure and technology advancement leaving out the aspect of
meaningful land use planning. It was equally depicted in the city CLUP and ZO that
there has been a lot of provisions on disaster risk reduction though not
comprehensive. These include but not limited to protection of fishponds, dredging of
water ways, relocation of informal settlers, recognition of flood layer, creation of
easements etc. Respondents expressed concern that a number of these provisions are
difficult to implement due social economic and legal implications. Despite
achievements in Programs Projects and Activities on risk reduction, spatial analysis
indicated that it was not the citys’ priority to reduce disaster risks through land use
planning. Regarding availability of disaster risks the city was endowed with both
experiential and technical information on flooding. However, this data had not been
adequately used in land used planning.
Generally, the city had a lot of challenges in land use planning based risk
reduction. This demands revisiting the vision to make it more risk reduction oriented.
Land use planning options should take into account risk assessment results hence need
to overhaul CLUP, expropriation of land, attaching time frame to CLUP and ZO
provisions, creating of ‘No built Zone’ and shifting of industrial zone to flood prone
areas. Upgrading disaster risk information is essential to have a risk profile that would
aid decision making in the use of land resources. Urbanisation issues such as solid
waste and informal settlement management should be tackled at a regional scale
because of their spatial coverage. Finally, enhancing capacity building and reducing
vulnerability of people has to be addressed further to complement risk reduction
interventions in land use planning.