Economic competition on a global scale brought about by the movement towards globalization has also contributed immense pressures on the environment. This is also argued in the context that sustainable development among poor nations had been a difficult task, given the tendency of these countries to undertake exploitive economic activities (mostly through extractive industries such as mining, forestry and agriculture). The depletion of their natural resources have only given these underdeveloped countries temporary economic activities which would disappear as soon as their resources have been depleted. It is often perceived that free trade and globalization only benefits those whio have the financial leverage, and at the expense of those who do not.
Among the Third World countries facing such problems in terms of environmental degradation and growing economic pressures in the face of an ever-increasing population is the Philippines. A prime example of the high price the country has to face in its struggle for economic survival is the plight of the Pasig river.
The Pasig River is the main river system in Metro Manila. Technically an estuary channel, its 25-kilometer stretch connects the large lake known as Laguna de Bay to Manila Bay. Laguna Lake is one of the largest freshwater lakes in the world had for centuries been a source of food, raw materials and the site of various economic activities. ...
In the wet season when water elevation in the lake is higher than that of Manila Bay, the natural channel flow is from the lake emptying into the sea. The river is an invaluable ecosystem linking the lake and the sea. It is among the Philippines' numerous irreplaceable natural resources. Fish have spawned and their fries and fingerlings have been nurtured by the mineral-rich contents of this estuarine channel.
Settlements have long occupied portions of the Pasig River even before the Spaniards colonized the Philippines. It served as the main highway among settlements located along its banks and functioned as the umbilical cord to other settlements within the interior locations both near and distant from Laguna de Bay.
Like many rivers all over the world, the Pasig River has suffered from abuse and neglect. The Pasig River and its tributaries have long been pressed into service and these have taken their toll on the river. The once pristine and sparkling waters which provided clean drinking water to the elegant Spanish villas lining its banks has now been transformed into a virtual waste basin for an economically struggling industrial center that serves as the heart of a nation. More than 300 factories and 10,000 households have replaced the dainty native huts and romantic Spanish villas of old. The sweet and quenching waters have become a reeking soup of industrial and domestic wastes. The once abundant fish and plant life have been replace by only the toughest of scavengers, both animal and human alike.
It is estimated that 330 tons of domestic and industrial wastes are discharged into the river every day. This