Risk Analysis of the MANATUTI River System, Metro Manila, Philippines: An Urban Landscape Approach

Despite the wealth of data about disasters in Metro Manila, no dedicated study has holistically examined the risks associated with the Malabon-Navotas-Tullahan-Tinajeros river system (MANATUTI), especially in an urban landscape perspective. A pilot risk assessment of the river system was conducted using the integrated risk management, landscape, and urban resilience 190 approaches. Document analyses, key informant interviews, focus group discussions, and field visits were done to identify and analyze the hazards that pose threats to the communities along MANATUTI, especially the urban poor, and how vulnerabilities aggravate and capacities mitigate these risks, especially in the socio-economic, environmental, infrastructural, institutional, and governance aspects of the river system. Communities in the river system face severe risk to compound hazards such as flooding exacerbated by ground subsidence, sea-level rise, and storm surge, fire and liquefaction resulting from earthquake, and public health outbreaks made favorable by increasing temperature, environmental pollution, and congestion, among others. These are worsened by extreme poverty and the powerlessness of the greater population and the highly fragmented urban planning and risk management efforts in the landscape. Nevertheless, the inclination of the communities toward collaboration and transformation, alongside expansive rooms for improved governance, are important capacities that may enhance their resilience to disaster. A formal, well-supported, landscape-wide, inter-community governing institution that practices equitable distribution of responsibilities and resources is deemed essential to realize a comprehensive and effective disaster risk reduction and management in the river system in the face of rapidly changing climate and environment.


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