Laguna de Bay: A vision for the future


Second of two parts

Laguna Lake Water Transport System and beyond. The development of an efficient and environment-friendly mass transport system is proposed to service various growth areas around Laguna Lake. These growth areas, where the ferry stations are proposed are Binangonan, Taytay, and Angono in Rizal province, Taguig City, and San Pedro and Santa Rosa in Laguna province.

These stations have linear and perpendicular connections. Linear linkages refer to ferry service routes that stop at consecutive stations, while perpendicular linkages cross to other stations while bypassing others.

It is anticipated that economic and population growth will soon disperse to the eastern side of Laguna Lake. To this effect, accessibility and efficient transport becomes an essential. Thus, several additional stations are proposed that will service the southern and eastern areas of Laguna and the central northern areas of Rizal. This expansion will comprise the second phase of the Laguna Lake Water Transport System. The identification of these suitable areas for service expansion and the designation for additional ferry terminals are based on their demographic, economic, and tourism trends. These proposed stations are located in Cubayao, Calamba City, Los Baños, Bay, Santa Cruz, Sinoloan in Laguna, and Jalajala, and Tanay in Rizal. Similarly, they will all have similar linear and perpendicular connections.

Eventually, the Laguna Lake Water Transport System will be integrated with the current Pasig River Transport System, thus expanding water transport from Manila to as far as eastern Laguna and Rizal. Furthermore, there is also potential to integrate the proposed Manila Bay Water Transport System to the integrated Laguna Lake-Pasig River Transport System, ultimately tapping the potentials of water transport for increased accessibility, efficient flow of people, goods, and service, and the strengthened linkages from various LGUs. Further feasibility studies and planning will be recommended.

Inter-land and inter-water transport linkages
In the larger regional perspective, it is anticipated that the prioritized ports in the western section of Laguna Lake as well as the proposed port expansion in the northern, southern, and eastern areas will act as gateways to farther regions and significant access points. For example, the role of Siniloan Station in the eastern portion of Laguna Bay will become crucial as stronger land access is prioritized to link the eastern coast of Luzon to Laguna Bay. Cargo megaships that traverse from far away across the Pacific Ocean may call port to the eastern coast of Quezon province, where cargo and goods travel through land to reach Siniloan Point and are distributed elsewhere after sailing within designated routes within Laguna Lake.

Numerous plans have already called for the connection of Manila Bay to the Pacific Ocean, which also traverses several stations such as those located in Binangonan, Taytay, Angono, and the proposed expanded station of Tanay within the Laguna Lake Water Transport System. These stations become tributary gateways to the southern areas of Laguna Lake. Allowing a north-south linkage reverses the stigma of Laguna Lake being a blockade of access for the southern coastal towns of Laguna Lake to reach Rizal province and other northern areas beyond.

Other proposed ferry stations that have gateway potentials include Santa Rosa, Calamba City, and Santa Cruz. These gateways connect the southern stations of Laguna Lake overland to terminus coastal areas. Each route also has certain dominating land use characteristics. The western corridor linkage from Santa Rosa City station to Nasugbu, Batangas, is a more tourism-dominating route, passing by the tourist destinations of Tagaytay while ending at the beach town of Nasugbu. On the southern section, the Calamba to Batangas City corridor highlights commercial and institutional development as its main development thrust. Another route, with Calamba City as its main ferry station as well, crosses Taal Lake to Taal town proper, and potentially as far as Puerto Gallera in Mindoro. The Santa Cruz to Mauban, Quezon on the other hand, looks at opening an additional access linkage of the Laguna Lake region to the Pacific coast. Overall, all ferry stations will play significant roles for these development corridors to ensue.

Laguna Lakefront Urban Development and Water Supply for Metro Manila, Laguna, Rizal and Quezon
During and after typhoon Ondoy, Laguna Lakeshore was flooded for more than 65 days. From more than 80,000 hectares, the footprint of the lake expanded to 115,000 hectares, an area much larger than the land areas of Metro Manila or Singapore. This excess water could have been stored or collected to supply water to Metro Manila. The holding capacity of Laguna Lake could be increased tremendously by deepening, desilting and dredging the lake. With dikes around the lake and our proposal to integrate the water reservoir underneath the walkways, promenade and parks, we could have huge volumes of water supply and a world-class urban waterfront development more than 200 kilometers long. An urban land for lakeshore waterfront urban development can be planned, designed and developed similar to the lakeshore cities around Lake Michigan like Chicago and other cities, or around Geneva Lake like Geneva and other European cities.

A call for immediate action
Twenty-one rivers, the Manggahan floodway, and other waterways flow into Laguna Lake. It is now both very critical and imperative that it should be dredged and desilted to make it deeper and increase its holding capacity for rainwater and floodwater to avoid further disastrous floods in Metro Manila, Laguna and Rizal and to create green islands or eco-islands out of the dredging and silting. These are two of the 23 major recommendations we put forward to the previous and current administrations, which includes desilting, dredging and creation of green islands.

Apologies to Mr. Palafox, who submitted this article with the byline “By Architect-Urban Planner Felino A. Palafox, Jr.” which we could not use because it is too long and awkward for his column logo.


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1 Comment

  1. Hindi ba ibinasura ng bugok na Noynoy yang de-silting contract ni GMA? Nagbabalak na namang gawin ang dapat ay tapos na?