The deterioration of Laguna de Bay's waters in the Philippines has been attributed to the urban expansion of Metro Manila but very little scientific evidence have been put forward to prove this. Laguna de Bay is Metro Manila's primary resource shed, thus the marginalization of the lake's
resources as urban population grows and expands. The Philippine Government's “legalistic approach” proves inappropriate in containing the unplanned and unregulated urban expansion as a means of preserving the lake's water quality. Therefore, there is a need to conduct a scientific
study wherein the results can be used as an input to policy making and environmental management. This paper provides scientific evidence of the relationship between the water quality of Laguna de Bay, its sub-basins and the expansion of urban areas within Laguna de Bay. The paper also evaluates
the “legal boundaries” of Metro Manila vis-à-vis the “boundary of urban sprawl” to provide a realistic framework for policy formulation and environmental management in Laguna de Bay.
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