On September 28, 1939, the National Assembly approved Bill No. 1206 as Com-monwealth Act No. 502, otherwise known as the Charter of Quezon City. Signed by President Quezon on October 12, 1939, the law defined the boundaries of the City and gave it an area of 7,000 hectares carved out of the towns of Caloocan, San Juan, Marikina, Pasig, and Mandaluyong, all in Rizal Province.
The City’s territorial boundaries were revised four (4) times since its creation on October 12, 1939. Originally, Quezon City had only about 7,000 hectares extending from La Loma to Marikina River and from Pasong Tamo River down to (and including) Wack Wack Golf Club in Mandaluyong. The final amendment was made on June 16, 1956 by virtue of RA 1575 with the City’s area, 15,106 hectares. This is the present official territorial boundary of Quezon City. However, graphical plots made on this present boundary of the City gave an area of 16,112 hectares, about a thousand hectares more than its officially declared land area.
The original physical plan of the City was prepared in 1940 by Harry T. Frost, an architectural adviser of the Commonwealth. He reflected a big quadrangle in the heart of the City from which four (4) avenues radiated toward the outskirts with rotundas placed on the four (4) corners, the largest being a 26–hectare elliptical center, now known as the Quezon Memorial Circle.
The enactment of Republic Act No. 333 on July 17, 1948, made Quezon City the capital of the Philippines. The Act created the Capital City Planning Commission which was tasked to prepare the general development plan and supervise the improvements to be done in the Capital City.
Quezon City was formally inaugurated as the national capital of the Philippines on October 12, 1949. President Quirino laid the cornerstone of the proposed Capitol Building at Constitution Hills. The Welcome Arch (now Mabuhay Rotunda) at the boundary of Manila and Quezon City was built;
For twenty-seven (27) years, Quezon City held the distinct status of being the nation’s capital. However,
on June 24, 1976, then President Marcos issued Presidential Decree (PD) 940, which effectively conferred back the role of the nation’s capital to the City of Manila and mandated the area prescribed under PD 824 as Metropolitan Manila, now known as the National Capital Region (NCR), to be the permanent seat of na¬tional government.
Indeed, even as Quezon City is no longer the nation’s capital city, it has proved to be a vast and teeming city with a steadily increasing income and occupation of one-third of Metro Manila’s total land area. It now serves as the Philippines’ government center with the legislature and other important government offices located in its area. All of these are reminiscent of the same noble dream that brought forth the creation of the City.
Official census results of the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) in 2010 showed that the City had a population of 2,761,720 which is the largest comprising nearly one-fourth (23.19%) of Metro Manila’s population of 11,855,975. The City also ranks first among the thirty-three (33) highly urbanized cities with the largest population in the country.
For the period 2000-2010, the City registered an annual population growth rate of 2.42%, higher than the NCR’s rate of 1.79%, as well as, the national growth rate of 2.04%.
At the barangay level, Barangay Commonwealth in District II remained to be the most populated with 186,543 residents. Next were barangays Batasan Hills, Payatas and Holy Spirit all located in District II. On the other hand, Barangay Quirino 3A in District III was considered to be the least populated with only 1,180 persons.
While Barangay Commonwealth was noted to be the largest in population count, the fastest growth rate was noted in Barangay Mangga with an annual growth rate of 10.18%. Barangays. Sauyo and Bagong Silangan followed next with 9.55% and 9.18%, respectively.
Quezon City is situated on the northeast portion of Metro Manila. It is bounded on the north by Caloocan City and San Jose del Monte City in Bulacan Province, on the east by San Mateo and Marikina, on the south by Pasig and Mandaluyong, San Juan and Manila, and on the west by Valenzuela, Caloocan and Manila. Its northeastern and eastern boundaries are defined by the Novaliches Watershed and the Marikina River. With an area of 16,112.58 hectares (based on 1995 GIS graphical plot), it is the largest among the sixteen (16) cities and one (1) municipality in the region and is almost one-fourth the size of Metro Manila.
Available modes of transport in Quezon City are purely land-based. The 2006 data of the MMDA-Traffic Operation Center revealed that private transport dominates with 82.49% of the total volume while public utility vehicles (i.e., buses, jeepneys and taxis) comprised 13.72% and industrial/commercial vehicles (i.e., trucks, vans) at 3.79%.
The Light Rail Transit (LRT) systems operate along EDSA and Aurora Boulevard. Metro Rail Transit (MRT) 3 also known as the Blue Line is located along EDSA and serves from North Avenue to Taft Avenue (with 5 stations within QC) while LRT 2 or the Purple Line on Aurora Blvd operates from Santolan, Pasig City to Rizal Avenue in Manila (with 7 stations in QC). An extension of the LRT Line 1 (Orange Line) now operates from Monumento in Caloocan City to Muñoz via EDSA. It is proposed to be linked with the MRT 3 via a common terminal. Another MRT project (MRT 7) is also set to be constructed from North Avenue to San Jose del Monte City in Bulacan.
Situated on the Guadalupe Plateau, the City’s topography is largely rolling with alternating ridges and lowlands. The southern part of the City has a low grade terrain while the northern half is undulating which culminates at the Novaliches Reservoir or La Mesa Dam where the water supply for most of the region is impounded.
In the 2011 land use map, residential developments occupy about 41.57%. This include low cost or socialized housing sites and informal settlements. Commercial land use and special urban development use are distributed in various growth centers, non-growth centers and special development areas.
The allocation for commercial land use is 8.13% and 4.03 for Special Urban Development use. Industrial land use has a share of 5.53%; institutional land use has an allocation of 6.90%. Parts of the institutional areas are designated as Special Urban Development areas like the UP TechnoHub and the QC Central Business District in East and North Triangles. Parks and open space land use is given 16.25% of the city’s land area with 14% coming from La Mesa Dam Reservoir.
The West Marikina Fault of the Marikina Valley Fault System (MVFS) affects Quezon City. It runs along the City’s eastern boundary from the down slope area east of Violago Parkwoods in the northeast southwards to Northview Subdivision; Capitol Park Homes; Loyola Grand Villas; Industrial Valley Subdivision; St. Ignatius to Green Meadows Subdivision in Ugong Norte in the southeast.
Like the rest of Metro Manila, Quezon City gets its water from the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS) through its private distribution concessionaires: Maynilad Water Services, Inc. (MWSI) and Manila Water Co. (MWC). The west half of the city is served by MWSI and the east by the MWC.
As of 2009, the total number of MERALCO customers was pegged at 512,225 of which 461,645 of the metered connections or 90.1% were residential, 49,082 or 9.6% commercial, 1,110 or 0.2% industrial and 418 were for streetlights.
With the liberalization of the telecommunication industry, more firms are now offering telephone services in the City. As of December 2010, there were five (5) telephone companies that provided phone services in the city, i.e. PLDT, Bayantel, Digitel, Multimedia and Eastern Telecommunications Services, Inc.
Cellular mobile phones are now offered by Globe, Smart, Bayantel and Digitel while broadband services are now available through PLDT, Bayantel Digitel Smart and Globe.
Parcel delivery, money order, domestic and international express mails made possible through modern telecommunications and delivery system.
In broadcast media, the city is a home base to eleven (11) local television networks, the ABS-CBN, GMA, and TV 5 among others, and six (6) cable TV, seven (7) AM radio stations, and four (4) FM radio stations. All major newspapers and magazines and publications are easily available even in the remotest corners of the city.
The Waste Analysis and Characterization Study (WACS) conducted by the Environment Protection and Waste Management Department (EPWMD) showed that each person in the City produced 0.88 kg. of solid waste each day translated to 2,638.82 tons of solid waste generated daily.
More than fifty percent (54%) of the solid waste are biodegradable, 20% are recyclable and 26% which are residual waste will go to the sanitary landfill.
The City employs a Package Clean-Up Collection System wherein private contractors are given the full responsibility to administer and directly carry out in their specific assigned area the actual collection, cleaning and disposal of solid wastes from various sources. They are also responsible for street sweeping and information, education and communication campaign.
In addition to the City-contracted haulers, there are barangays doing garbage collection using their own dump trucks. Commercial establishments, on the other hand, are responsible for the disposal of their own of their own wastes.
With the closure of the Payatas Controlled Disposal Facility in December 2010, the City now disposes its garbage in a 3.2-hectare sanitary landfill located near the Payatas Controlled Facility owned and operated by IPM-ESI which started its operations in January 2011. Average volume disposed at Payatas was measured at 1,320.90 tons/day while waste diverted is at 1,317.92 tons/day.
The post closure care of the old dumpsite is being undertaken to ensure its safety to human health and the environment. At present, there are eighty-seven (87) wells drilled in the old dumpsite to continue the city’s Biogas Emission Reduction Project in cooperation with the Italian group, PANGEA Green Energy. The project involves extraction, collection, flaring and conversion to energy of biogas that earns Certified Emission Reduction (CER) or Carbon Credits, revenues which can be used for sustainable development projects.
The City has been recognized and awarded for Best Solid Waste Management Practices: 2008 Galing Pook Award, 2012 Certificate of Recognition for sustained good performance in the implementation of RA 9003 through segregation at source, deployment of dedicated units, as well as, the establishment and operationalization of Material Recovery Facilities, 2014 “Meralco Luminaries” Award (Best in Innovation in Environment Advocacy Carbon for Reduction Initiation and Wastes Energy Biogas Plant in Payatas).