Studies for Sustainable Flood Mgmt. (WB-P145391)

  • Philippines
Geographic location where the impacts of the investment may be experienced.
Financial Institutions
  • World Bank (WB)
International, regional and national development finance institutions. Many of these banks have a public interest mission, such as poverty reduction.
Project Status
Stage of the project cycle. Stages vary by development bank and can include: pending, approval, implementation, and closed or completed.
Bank Risk Rating
Environmental and social categorization assessed by the development bank as a measure of the planned project’s environmental and social impacts. A higher risk rating may require more due diligence to limit or avoid harm to people and the environment. For example, "A" or "B" are risk categories where "A" represents the highest amount of risk. Results will include projects that specifically recorded a rating, all other projects are marked ‘U’ for "Undisclosed."
Voting Date
Dec 31, 2015
Date when project documentation and funding is reviewed by the Board for consideration and approval. Some development banks will state a "board date" or "decision date." When funding approval is obtained, the legal documents are accepted and signed, the implementation phase begins.
A public entity (government or state-owned) provided with funds or financial support to manage and/or implement a project.
  • Water and Sanitation
The service or industry focus of the investment. A project can have several sectors.
Potential Rights Impacts
  • Cultural Rights
  • Healthy Environment
  • Housing & Property
  • Indigenous Peoples
  • Right to Health
  • Right to Water
Only for projects receiving a detailed analysis, a broad category of human and environmental rights and frequently at-risk populations.
Investment Type(s)
The categories of the bank investment: loan, grant, guarantee, technical assistance, advisory services, equity and fund.
Project Cost (USD)
$ 7.00 million
Value listed on project documents at time of disclosure. If necessary, this amount is converted to USD ($) on the date of disclosure. Please review updated project documents for more information.
Primary Source

Original disclosure @ WB website

Updated in EWS Feb 26, 2018

Disclosed by Bank Feb 3, 2014

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Project Description
If provided by the financial institution, the Early Warning System Team writes a short summary describing the purported development objective of the project and project components. Review the complete project documentation for a detailed description.

The proposed development objective is to prepare priority projects that aim to improve flood management and resilience in the Greater Metro Manila Area. The Philippine Government recently approved the Metro Manila Flood Management Master Plan, which consists of a large program of priority infrastructure designed to safely manage and control major flood events in the Greater Metro Manila Area that comprises Metro Manila and Laguna de Bay and its shore areas. The Flood Management Master Plan for the Greater Metro Manila Area (hereafter the Master Plan) has since been prepared, with World Bank assistance. This project will finance two components of the Metro Manila Flood Management Master Plan.

COMPONENT A: Preparation of feasibility and design studies for priority flood management infrastructure.

Among the key priority interventions that have been identified in the Master Plan are feasibility and design studies that will be prepared for: (i) a high dam in the upper Marikina River catchment area to reduce the peak flows entering the city during typhoon events; and (ii) land raising along the western shore of Laguna de Bay to protect the population against high water levels in the lake. Land raising is expected to occur within five cities/municipalities: Taguig, Paranaque, Pateros, Muntinlupa, and Pasig.

The feasibility studies will review, as needed, the various options for flood management improvements in the study areas, including a quick assessment of related social and resettlement impacts in terms of magnitude, costs, and risks, to be followed immediately by design studies and preparation of tender documents of the selected option.

The Bank states that within these feasibility studies there is a particular "need for very detailed social and resettlement (also called 'rehousing' in the Philippines) studies as some 300,000 people, often informal settlers, are living in the flood plain of the Laguna Lake study area. Most of these people would have to move out of the flood plain to allow land reclamation to take place, but it is envisaged that the majority will return to live on the reclaimed land in multi-story social housing units."

COMPONENT B: Project management and administration for operational and fixed costs of the project.

The project location is the Greater Metro Manila Area, in particular a dam site in the upper catchment area of the Marikina River and the western shore of Laguna de Bay.

As stated, this project is part of the larger Master Plan, which includes proposals and plans to reduce flooding from river systems and for urban drainage. Seeing that this project is only a component of the larger plan, it is difficult to fully understand the scope and cumulative impacts the entire Master Plan will have in the greater Manila Metro Area. The Project Information Document states that the Government of Philippines has already started on other smaller projects within the Plan, such as dredging and modernization of pumping stations, but further information on these projects has not been given. Moreover, the Bank notes that Environmental and Social Impact Assessments (ESIA) conducted for this project "will carefully assess the environment and social impacts of the priority investments, including impacts from ancillary facilities as well as cumulative impacts," suggesting that the Bank may be invested in other projects within the Master Plan that will cumulatively have great impacts and possibly be considered Category A projects. Due to the uncertainty in plans for this project and additional projects within the area, this project will have to be revisited once more information is given and more plans within the larger Master Plan are known.

Early Warning System Project Analysis
For a project with severe or irreversible impacts to local community and natural resources, the Early Warning System Team may conduct a thorough analysis regarding its potential impacts to human and environmental rights.


This project supports the research and creation of studies and engineering designs of the two priority investments identified in the Metro Manila Flood Master Plan, i.e. a high dam in the upper Marikina River catchment area and the raising of low-lying areas along the western shores of Laguna Lake, and the conduct of environmental and social assessments for these priority investments, including resettlement studies. It is considered Category A by the World Bank as these studies are expected to lead to investments expected to have positive but also potentially adverse environmental and social impacts, including resettlement of mostly informal settlers, if not managed adequately.


Environmental Assessment OP/BP 4.01
This has been triggered as the Bank states the feasibility studies are expected to lead to investments expected to have positive but also potentially adverse environmental and social impacts, including resettlement of mostly informal settlers, if not managed adequately.

Natural Habitats OP/BP 4.04
The Bank states that natural habitats and other ecologically sensitive areas may be affected by the priority investments are being assessed as part of this project's feasibility studies.

Forests OP/BP 4.36
Bank documentation states that impacts on forests and forest-dependent communities in and around the proposed dam site have yet to be confirmed. As such, this safeguard has been triggered to ensure this is specifically addressed within the ESIA.

Physical Cultural Resources OP/BP 4.11
This safeguard was triggered because according to the Bank, it still needs to confirm impacts of priority investments on physical cultural resources.

Indigenous Peoples OP/BP 4.10
This safeguard was triggered as specific impacts to indigenous people are not yet known and according to the Bank, will be assessed within the feasibility studies as part of this project.

Involuntary Resettlement OP/BP 4.12
Bank documentation state that within the Laguna de Bay study area there are 300,000 people, often informal settlers, are living in the flood plain that would have to move out of the flood plain to allow land reclamation to take place.

Safety of Dams OP/BP 4.37
This has been triggered as one of the priority investments being assessed by the project feasibility and design studies is a high dam in the upper Marikina River catchment area.

People Affected By This Project
People Affected By This Project refers to the communities of people likely to be affected positively or negatively by a project.

Our Risk Assessment


Although the Bank does not specify any adverse impacts to health, the World Commission on Dams states that, "[e]nvironmental change and social disruption resulting from large dams and associated infrastructure developments such as irrigation schemes can have significant adverse health outcomes for local populations and downstream communities." Issues include river pollution, vector-borne diseases, and accumulation of high levels of mercury in reservoir fish from mining or its transformation into methyl mercury by bacteria feeding on rotting biomass in reservoirs.

The Bank also acknowledges that this project would displace thousands of people from the flood plain of the Laguna Lake study area. In a study of impacts associated with development-induced displacement and resettlement (DIDR), Michael Cernea identified eight impoverishment risks posed by DIDR. Of these eight risks he calls out serious declines in health and stress and psychological trauma. A report by International Accountability Project also states, people displaced by development are known to be at increased risk of suffering life-threatening diseases, epidemics, and loss of physical and mental health, yet they commonly have less access to hospitals and health clinics.

Moreover, as this project is part of a larger master plan, it's important to acknowledge the potential cumulative impacts that can occur in the project area, especially within the feasibility studies phase.

Some questions community members and local NGOs should consider asking:

  • Do you have reasons to believe that your health and/or your access to health services could be affected as a result of the planned investment project?
  • What mechanisms for complaints (legal or other) are available if you feel that your right to health has been affected?


According to the Bank, part of this project is the conduct of environmental and social impact assessments (ESIA) in order to assess impacts and identify mitigation measures. The Bank notes that the project would be located within natural habitats, including forests, and ecologically sensitive areas. Within the appraisal stage safeguards data sheet, the Bank states that two ESIA's will be conducted (one for the large dam and another for the land raising) and that these will be conducted by the DHPW with technical assistance and support from qualified consultants to ensure that the Bank's and the National Government's environmental and social safeguard policies are being followed and complied with. These assessments will be used in the creation of an Environmental and Social Management Plan which, according to the Bank, will include a monitoring and reporting program. Additionally, the Bank states that the project will not support activities that would significantly convert or degrade critical natural habitats consistent with the policy.

Some questions community members and local NGOs should consider asking:

  • Do you feel that your natural environment (air, water, land, animals and plants) will change with the investment project?
  • During project planning and operation, where will solid waste, hazardous waste, and other waste products be disposed of and what impacts is this likely to have on the local environment?
  • What means do you have to seek compensation if the environmental impact of the proposed planning and operations become a problem for local communities and/or the local ecosystem?


The Bank notes that specific impacts affecting cultural resources are not yet known, but will be determined and analyzed within the ESIA. The ESIA, the Bank states, will research options to determine any possible cause of disturbance and negative impacts to historical areas, architectural land marks, and other cultural property, which may need to be mitigated. It additionally mentions that, if construction is not planned accordingly, structural damage could occur to old structures during the construction phase due to vibrations and excavation of adjacent areas.

Some questions community members and local NGOs should consider asking:

  • Do you have reasons to believe the planned investment project could affect the cultural resources of your community?
  • Does this project have a chance-finds procedure in case cultural artifacts are encountered during operations?
  • Do you have reasons to believe that your ability to participate in cultural life could change as a result of the planned investment project?


Although the Bank does not identify that the two priority projects (the large dam and land raising) would cause adverse impacts to peoples right to water, it's critical that this be analyzed due to potential cumulative impacts from other projects to be implemented as part of the Metro Manila Flood Management Master Plan. Also, the Bank states that there is uncertainty of plans within this project, specifically as to whether land raising or another method will be selected for flood control as part of component A.

Moreover, scholars have recognized that reservoirs created by dams, in the same way that they trap river sediment, also trap most of the nutrients carried by the river and result in oxygen depletion in the water. Water that is "'poor in dissolved oxygen can 'suffocate' aquatic organisms and make water unfit to drink. Dissolved oxygen, furthermore, is vital to enable bacteria to break down organic detritus and pollution." While feasibility studies are underway, it will be important to analyze how these priority projects, in conjunction with other planned projects, could affect access to water and water quality.

Some questions community members and local NGOs should consider asking:

  • Does the proposed project have a policy or program to ensure that its activities do not affect communities' and individuals' right to water?
  • What mechanisms for complaint (legal or other) are available if you feel that your right to water has been affected?


The Bank states that the Metro Manila area does not have ancestral domains and/or Indigenous Peoples (IP) communities. However, a study done in early 2000s for another project found that there are IP communities in the upland areas of 8 local government units of Rizal Province. The Bank additionally states that initial investigations show no settlements in and around the proposed reservoir area of the Marikina Dam, but that the area is part of the ancestral domain of the indigenous Dumagat-Remontados people. It later states the project could also affect the Remontados in the uplands of Antipolo City and Rodriguez Rizal.

Bank documents also state the ESIA will confirm the project impacts on forests and forest-dependent communities, particularly in and around the proposed dam site. If the forest policy is triggered, the ESMP will include measures to address impacts on forests, forest health, and forest-dependent communities.

In regards to the proposed land raising, the Bank notes that there are no IP communities within the five cities/municipalities in the project area, which are Taguig, Paranaque, Pateros, Muntinlupa, and Pasig. However, the Bank states that further screening of this will be carried out by the social and environment consultants early on during the implementation of the studies and if the screening confirms their presence in and around the proposed reservoir area, and area for land raising along the western shore of Laguna de Bay, social assessment to comply with the policy will be incorporated in the ESIA and an Indigenous Peoples (IP) Framework and/or IP Plan will be developed, as needed.

In a 2012 report, the Asia Legal Resource Centre (ALRC) made a formal request to the Human Rights Council to look into violations of indigenous peoples rights in the Philippines during the 21st session of the Human Rights Council. The ALRC claims that indigenous communities have been continually denied the right to due process within the Philippine legal system and that often times there is a lack of investigation and follow up to complaints issued concerning indigenous rights violations. The report also notes that although section 5 of the 1987 Constitution clearly guarantees the protection of indigenous people's ancestral lands, to 'ensure their economic, social, and cultural well-being' in practice, when the indigenous people take action to protect their communities and ancestral lands, they face threats, attacks and extrajudicial killings.

Given this alleged history of continued violations of indigenous rights, it's important to ensure that proper screening and consultation does occur as part of this feasibility study. Additionally, if an Indigenous Peoples (IP) Framework and/or IP Plan are created per findings within the ESIA, all consultation and complaints should be properly recorded and responded to.

Some questions community members and local NGOs should consider asking:

  • Did the company seek to obtain free, prior, and informed consent of indigenous or other peoples living in the investment project area?
  • Have you (as peoples) been consulted about the investment project? Was the consultation done in good faith?
  • During the consultation process, was consideration given to your traditional decision-making processes?
  • Do the land or other sites affected by the investment project have cultural significance for your community?
  • Have your traditional practices or knowledge been affected since the beginning of the investment project?


Large dams (dams higher than 15 meters) have been associated with adverse social impacts resulting from involuntary displacement. The World Commission on Large Dams reports that the construction of large dams has resulted in the involuntary displacement of between 40-80 million people worldwide. This estimate refers only to physical displacement, and does not include communities that have suffered livelihood displacement. The WCLD notes that [w]hile not all large dams have involved physical displacement it would be much rarer to find a river whose natural function is not used or appreciated by people in some fashion.

There has been a history of alleged displacement without proper resettlement or rehabilitation in the Philippines. In a study conducted by the Brookings Institution on development-induced displacement, W. Courtland Robinson states an estimated 165,000 families had been evicted nationwide in the Philippines in 1999. Additionally, he adds that in Metro Manila, the Urban Poor Associates (UPA) reported that 6,059 people had been forcibly evicted in 2000, of whom only 1,342 families had received relocation assistance. Most of these evictions were related to government infrastructure projects." As this project has the potential to at the very least temporarily physically and economically displace up to 50,000 households, it's critical that any resettlement frameworks or action plans created per these feasibility studies adequately address impacts and describe proper and fair mitigation measures.

As mentioned in Bank documentation, the priority investments [the large dam and land raising] may cause both temporary and permanent physical and economic displacement of people occupying the flood plain of the lake. It is unclear how many people would be temporarily or permanently displaced by this project and the cumulative impacts of future activities in the project area due to the Master Plan. For the priority projects being studied in this project, the Bank states that thousands of families are living in the flood plain of the Marikina River and along the western shore of Laguna Lake and that these priority projects may cause both temporary and permanent physical and economic displacement of people, many illegal, occupying the flood plains of the lake and the river housing units.

The Bank Integrated Safeguard Data Sheet states that in considering long-term impacts including future plans, proposals within the Master Plan would cause temporary displacement of up to 50,000 households, many of whom are now informally residing along the western shores of Laguna de Bay. Additionally, the Project Information Document notes that some 300,000 people are living in the flood plain area of the Laguna Lake study area and that most of these people would at a minimum, be temporarily displaced, as it is envisaged that many of them could return to live on the raised land in multi-story housing units. Within current Bank documentation, it has not been able to give a consistent number of how many people could be potentially temporarily or permanently displaced by this project or cumulative effects from future projects in the area. As the Bank states this number could be in the thousands, it's essential to make certain feasibility and design studies are properly conducted for this and other Master Plan projects and that appropriate resettlement plans are created to address this critical point.

The Bank states that a large portion of this project will involve the creation of environmental and social assessments and resettlement studies in order to identify impacts and promote mitigation measures to be incorporated into engineering designs. Some rehousing studies are already being prepared and the Bank states these will be used to guide project alignments and the Resettlement Policy Framework and/or Resettlement Action Plan that will be prepared. It continues to say that these studies will be carried out by an independent panel of experts, which include people with expertise in social, resettlement, and urban planning and development. Additionally, the Bank states that it is studying various forms of support for such people, such as voucher schemes and that these will be included within final documentation.

Some questions community members and local NGOs should consider asking:

  • Have you been informed of any potential changes that could affect your access to adequate housing?
  • Do you have reasons to believe that your access to adequate housing could change once the investment project begins?
  • Have you been consulted about the investment project? Was the consultation done in good faith?
  • Are there mechanisms through which you can file a complaint and/or obtain a remedy when your right to adequate housing has been affected?
  • Are there neighborhoods or communities adversely affected by the presence of this project?
  • Have there been any complaints of forced evictions in the context of this investment project?
  • Will households resettled for this project actually be compensated properly?
  • Will communities resettled for this project move voluntarily?
  • Will the resettlement area provide access to similar sources of livelihood as previous locations?
  • How will appropriate compensation for lost trees, facilities and other assets be determined?
Investment Description
Here you can find a list of individual development financial institutions that finance the project.

According to Bank documentation, the total estimated cost for the implementation of the Master Plan is about Peso 352 billion (US$8.7 billion) over the next 20-25 years. The two components funded by this project are expected to be US$7 million. Financing will come from the Philippines Free-standing Trust Program, a mutual aid agreement between the World Bank and Australia Aid to co-finance activities in the Philippines "under one funding mechanism". This loan will be in the form of a Specific Investment Loan (SIL) and will be managed by the World Bank Philippines Sustainable Development Unit (EASPS). SILs support the creation, rehabilitation, and maintenance of economic, social, and institutional infrastructure. In addition, SILs may finance consultant services and management and training programs. SILs are flexible lending instruments appropriate for a broad range of projects that are designed to ensure the technical, financial, economic, environmental, and institutional viability of a specific investment.

In parallel, a US$3 million Japan Policy and Human Resources Development Fund (PHRD) grant will finance the preparation of other major interventions that are part of the Master Plan.

Private Actors Description
A Private Actor is a non-governmental body or entity that is the borrower or client of a development project, which can include corporations, private equity and banks. This describes the private actors and their roles in relation to the project, when private actor information is disclosed or has been further researched.

The borrower for this project is the Government of Philippines and implementation has been assigned to the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH).

The Bank's Appraisal Safeguards Data Sheet states the DPWH is familiar with the Bank safeguards and policies and in addition has its own Environment and Social Safeguards Division (ESSD). In a recent review of ESSD performance, the Bank indicates the need for the ESSD to put "in place a capacity building program if it is to be in charge of handling safeguard issues during the future implementation of the designs prepared under this project." Additionally, "ESSD will benefit by strengthening its capacity to manage and coordinate the safeguards principles and procedures, especially related to the preparation of the environmental and social assessment studies and for resettlement/rehousing of affected communities living in the flood plain of Laguna de Bay."


According to Human Rights Watch the human rights situation in Philippines has improved since the election of President Benigno S. Aquino III in 2010. However, the Human Rights Watch 2013 Philippines report does state that mining and energy projects continue to be a problem in that they are typically located in areas "with large indigenous populations or controlled by tribal groups." Moreover, people who speak out against these projects continue to be threatened, and there have been cases of people being killed in their opposition. One such example was organizer Maragarito J. Cabal, who was gunned down on May 9th, 2012 for opposing a hydroelectric dam in Bukidnon Province. In 2011 Aquino also authorized the use of paramilitary forces to protect mining investments.

Additionally, the report adds that extrajudicial killings have continued to occur in the Aquino administration and that the administration has also failed to keep its commitment to hold those responsible for extrajudicial killings to account. The report states that "several [of these] extrajudicial killings have recently been attributed to members of the Citizen Armed Force Geographical Units (CAFGU), which the military controls and supervises, as well as the Special CAFGU Active Auxiliary, which the army trains but companies hire to protect their operations."

Further, "since 2001, hundreds of leftist activists, journalists, environmentalists, and clergy have been killed by alleged members of the security forces. Local human rights organizations reported approximately 114 cases of extrajudicial killings since Aquino came to office [with 13 more at the writing of the Human Rights Watch report]" Despite strong evidence that military personnel have been involved, investigations have stalled. No one was convicted for political killings in 2012. While the government claims that it has managed to reduce the number of "private armies' controlled by politicians, it has resisted calls for dismantling government-backed paramilitary forces."

Private Actor 1 Private Actor 1 Role Private Actor 1 Sector Relation Private Actor 2 Private Actor 2 Role Private Actor 2 Sector
- - - - Department of Public Works and Highways - Philippines Client -

Contact Information
This section aims to support the local communities and local CSO to get to know which stakeholders are involved in a project with their roles and responsibilities. If available, there may be a complaint office for the respective bank which operates independently to receive and determine violations in policy and practice. Independent Accountability Mechanisms receive and respond to complaints. Most Independent Accountability Mechanisms offer two functions for addressing complaints: dispute resolution and compliance review.

Joop Stoutjesdijk
World Bank, Lead Irrigation Engineer

Ms. Stella Laureano
Government of Philippines -Department of Finance
Director, International Finance Group

Mr. Patrick Gatang
Department of Public Works and Highways


The Bank does identify key stakeholders of the project as the people living in high-risk areas along the western shore of the Laguna de Bay and local officials. As this project is the preliminary stage of researching and assessing potential environmental and social impacts, no consultation has yet occurred. However, the Bank states that, "there will have to be extensive formal (through workshops) and informal consultations with the affected communities, non-governmental organizations (NGO) and civil society organizations (CSO) that work with these communities, Local Government Units, government agencies, etc. to ensure that the rehousing/resettlement proposals will be understood and acceptable to all parties." The Bank additionally states, "the Bank task team in close cooperation with DPWH and other agencies will work on a public consultation and information campaign that emphasizes expectations and transparency."


The World Bank Inspection Panel is the independent complaint mechanism and fact-finding body for people who believe they are likely to be, or have been, adversely affected by a World Bank-financed project. If you submit a complaint to the Inspection Panel, they may investigate to assess whether the World Bank is following its own policies and procedures for preventing harm to people or the environment. You can contact the Inspection Panel or submit a complaint by emailing You can learn more about the Inspection Panel and how to file a complaint at:

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