Pasig River

Pasig River

Geobox River
name = Pasig River
native_name =
other_name =
other_name1 =
other_name2 =

image_size =
image_caption = A tourist looks down as dusk settles on the Pasig River from the walls of Intramuros, with Roxas bridge in the background.
country = flagicon|Philippines Philippines
region = National Capital Region
region1 =Calabarzon
district =
district1 =
city =
city1 =
length =
length_round = 0
watershed = 570
watershed_round = 1
discharge_location = Manila Bay
discharge =
discharge_round =
discharge_max =
discharge_max_round =
discharge_min =
discharge1_location =
discharge1 =
source_name = Laguna de Bay
source_location =
source_district =
source_region = Calabarzon
source_state =
source_lat_d = 14
source_lat_m = 23
source_lat_s =
source_lat_NS = N
source_long_d = 121
source_long_m = 15
source_long_s =
source_long_EW = E
source_elevation =
source_length =
mouth_name =
mouth_location = Manila
mouth_district =
mouth_region =
mouth_country =
mouth_lat_d =
mouth_lat_m =
mouth_lat_s =
mouth_lat_NS =
mouth_long_d =
mouth_long_m =
mouth_long_s =
mouth_long_EW =
mouth_elevation = 0
tributary_left = Pateros-Taguig River
tributary_left1 = San Juan River
tributary_right = Marikina River
tributary_right1 =
free_name =
free_value =

map_size =
map_caption = Drainage map of the Pasig-Marikina River system
The Pasig River (called "Ilog Pasig" in Filipino) is a river in the Philippines and connects Laguna de Bay (via the Napindan Channel) into Manila Bay. It stretches for convert|25|km|mi|1 and divides Metro Manila into two. Its major tributaries are the Marikina River and San Juan River.

The Pasig River is technically a tidal estuary in that the flow direction depends upon the water level difference between Manila Bay and Laguna de Bay. During the dry season, the water level in Laguna de Bay is low and the flow direction of the Pasig River depends on the tides. During the wet season, when the water level of Laguna de Bay is high, flow is normally from Laguna de Bay towards Manila Bay.

The Pasig River used to be an important transport route in Spanish Manila. However, due to negligence and industrial development, the river has become very polluted and is considered dead (unable to sustain life) by ecologists.

The Pasig River Rehabilitation Commission (PRRC) was established to oversee rehabilitation efforts for the river. Supporting the PRRC are private sector organizations i.e. Clean and Green Foundation, Inc. who implemented the "Piso para sa Pasig" (Filipino: "A peso for the Pasig") campaign.


Pasig River winds generally north-westward for some convert|25|km|mi|1 from the Laguna de Bay, the largest lake in the Philippines, to Manila Bay, in the southern part of the island of Luzon. From the lake, the river runs between Taguig City, and Taytay, Rizal, before entering Pasig City. This portion of Pasig River is known as the Napindan River. From its confluence with its Marikina River tributary, the river then forms the common border between Makati City to the south and Pasig City, then Mandaluyong City to the north. The river then sharply turns northeast forming the border between Mandaluyong and Manila before turning again westward, joining its other major tributary San Juan River, and then following a sinuous path through the center of Manila before emptying into the bay. The whole river and most portions of its tributaries lie entirely within Metro Manila, the metropolitan region of the capital. Isla de Convalescencia, the only island dividing the Pasig River, can be found in Manila and it is where the Hospicio de San Jose is located.

Tributaries and canals

One major river that drains Laguna de Bay is the Taguig River, which enters into Taguig before becoming the Pateros River and forming the common border between the municipality of Pateros and Makati City. Pateros River then enters the same confluence where the Napindan River and Marikina River meet. The Marikina River is the larger of the two major tributaries of Pasig River and it flows southwards from the mountains of Rizal and cuts through the Marikina Valley. The San Juan River drains the plateau on which Quezon City stands; its major tributary is the Diliman Creek.

Within the city of Manila, there are various "esteros" or canals that criss-cross through the city and connect with Tullahan River in the north and Parañaque River to the south.


There are a total of 13 bridges that cross the river. Crossing the Napindan Channel in Pasig City is the Bambang Bridge. Downstream is the C-5 Road Bridge connecting the cities of Makati and Pasig. The Guadalupe Bridge between Makati and Mandaluyong carries Epifanio de los Santos Avenue, the major highway of Metro Manila, as well as the Blue Line (Line 3) of the Metro Rail Transit (MRT). The Makati-Mandaluyong Boundary Bridge is another bridge that connects the two cities downstream and forms the end of Makati Avenue.

The easternmost bridge in Manila is the Lambingan Bridge in the district of Sta. Ana, followed by the Padre Zamora (Pandacan) Bridge between Pandacan and Santa Mesa, which also carries the southern line of the Philippine National Railways (PNR). The Mabini Bridge (formerly Nagtahan Bridge) provides a crossing for the Nagtahan Avenue, part of the C-2 Road. Ayala Bridge carries Ayala Boulevard and connects Isla de Convalescencia to both banks. Further downstream are the Quezon Bridge, the LRT Yellow Line (Line 1) bridge, McArthur Bridge, and the Jones Bridge. The last bridge near the mouth of Pasig River is the Roxas Bridge, formerly known as the Del Pan Bridge.


Pasig River's location and the subsequent growth of Manila and the surrounding settlements has made the river a focal point for development and historical events. The foremost landmark on the banks of the river is the walled district of Intramuros, located near the mouth of the river on its southern bank and was built by the Spanish colonial government in the 16th century. Further upstream is the Hospicio de San Jose, an orphanage located on Pasig's sole island, the Isla de Convalescencia. On the northern bank stands Malacañang Palace, the official residence of the President of the Philippines.Also on Pasig River's northern bank and within the Manila district of Sta. Mesa is the main campus of the Polytechnic University of the Philippines.

In Makati City, along the southern bank of Pasig, is the Sta. Ana Racetrack and the Rockwell Commercial Center, a high-end office and commercial area containing the Power Plant Mall. At the confluence of Pasig River and Marikina River is the Napindan Hydraulic Control Structure, which regulates the flow of water from the Napindan Channel.


The Pasig River's main watershed is concentrated in the plains between Manila Bay and Laguna de Bay. The watershed of the Marikina River tributary mostly occupies the Marikina Valley, which was formed by the Marikina Fault Line. The Manggahan Floodway is an artificially constructed waterway that aims to reduce the flooding in the Marikina Valley during the rainy season, by bringing excess water to the Laguna de Bay.

Tidal flows

Pasig River is technically considered as a tidal estuary. Towards the end of the summer or dry season (April and May), the water level in Laguna de Bay reaches to a minimum of 10.5 meters. During times of high tide, the water level in the lake may drop below that of Manila Bay's resulting into a reverse flow of seawater from the bay into the lake. This also results into increased pollution and salinity levels in Laguna de Bay at this time of the year. [ [ (Laguna de Bay) Lake Elevation] - Laguna Lake Development Authority]


The Pasig River is vulnerable to flooding in times of very heavy rainfall and the Marikina River tributary is the main source of the floodwater. The Manggahan Floodway was constructed to divert excess floodwater from the Marikina River into the Laguna de Bay, which then serves as a temporary reservoir. By design, the Manggahan Floodway is capable of handling 2,400 cubic meters per second of water flow, although the actual flow is about 2,000 cubic meters per second. To complement the floodway, the Napindan Hydraulic Control System (NHCS) was built in 1983 at the confluence of the Marikina River and the Napindan Channel to regulate the flow of water between Pasig River and the lake. [ [ Laguna de Bay Masterplan] - Laguna Lake Development Authority]


Before the mass urbanization of Manila, the Pasig River served as an important means of transport and functioned as the city's lifeline and center of economic activity. The early Muslim settlements were established along the banks of this river and when the Spanish established Manila as the capital of their colonial properties in the Far East, they built the walled city of Intramuros on the southern bank of Pasig River near the mouth.

Pollution increase

After World War II, massive population growth, infrastructure construction, and the dispersal of economic activities to Manila's suburbs left the river abandoned. The banks ofthe river attracted informal settlers and remaining factories dumped their wastes into the river, making it effectively as a huge sewer system. [ Pasig River Rehabilitation Program ] ]

The increasing pollution in the river was first noticed in the 1930s when it was observed that fish migration from Laguna de Bay diminished. People ceased using the river's water for laundry in the 1960s and ferry transport declined. By the 1970s, the river started to give offensive smells and in the 1980s, fishing in the river became nonviable. Pasig River was considered biologically dead in the 1990s.

Rehabilitation efforts

Efforts to revive the river began in December 1989 with the help of Danish authorities. The Pasig River Rehabilitation Program (PRRP) was established, with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources as the main agency with the coordination of the Danish International Development Assistance (DANIDA). [ "A dying river comes back to life"] - Santelices, Menchit. Philippine Information Agency.]

In 1999, President Joseph Estrada signed Executive Order No. 54 establishing the Pasig River Rehabilitation Commission (PRRC) to replace the old PRRP with additional expanded powers such as managing of wastes and resettling of squatters.


See also

* 1968 Casiguran earthquake
* Laguna de Bay
* Manila Bay
* Marikina River
* Pasig River Rehabilitation Commission
* Pasig River Ferry Service
* San Juan River

External links

* [ Philippine Information Agency article on Pasig River]
* [ Pasig River Rehabilitation Commission]

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