Natural Hazard Risk
Since 1990, the Philippines has been affected by 565 natural disaster events that have claimed the lives of nearly 70,000 Filipinos and caused an estimated $23 billion in damages. At least 60 percent of the country’s total land area is exposed to multiple hazards, and 74 percent of the population is vulnerable to their impact.
An average of 20 typhoons make landfall in the Philippines every year, and typhoons making landfall over the last decade have become stronger and more devastating. In 2013, Typhoon Yolanda, the strongest storm ever recorded at landfall, caused over 6,000 reported fatalities and damaged 1.1 million homes in nine regions. The country is also frequently affected by earthquakes and volcanic eruptions.
Climate change is exacerbating the impact of weather-related events in the Philippines. The country is witnessing longer episodes of drought and El Niño, which disrupts the volume of agricultural production and hurts GDP. Unregulated urban expansion has also aggravated flooding risk and is expected to continue in the future.
The Philippines has made strides in disaster and climate resilience over the past decade. The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Act of 2010 was a landmark legislation that shifted the Government of the Philippines’ focus from emergency relief to disaster risk reduction and prevention. The Philippine government formulated a national disaster risk management (DRM) plan to implement the requirements set out by this legislation.
To further advance the DRM agenda, national priorities include:
- Supporting risk reduction investments;
- Strengthening institutional capacity for DRM;
- Mainstreaming DRM into development planning; and,
- Better managing fiscal exposure to natural hazard impacts.
GFDRR has supported the Philippines since 2008 in enabling risk reduction activities, strengthening the country’s financial resilience, and improving post-disaster recovery. In the aftermath of 2009’s Tropical Storm Ondoy and Typhoon Pepeng, the Government of the Philippines conducted a post-disaster needs assessment (PDNA), with support from GFDRR, the World Bank, and other partners. This assessment resulted in a series of recommendations to strengthen the country’s disaster resilience.
Based on the PDNA recommendations, GFDRR provided the Philippines with technical support to implement an innovative DRM reform agenda, including a disaster risk financing strategy. The strategy included the use of a Disaster Risk Management Development Policy Loan with a Catastrophic Deferred Drawdown Option (Cat-DDO) that provides the government with up to $500 million in rapid liquidity in the aftermath of a natural disaster. The Cat-DDO was disbursed in December 2011 after Tropical Storm Sendong (Washi), and the World Bank approved a second $500 million Cat-DDO for the Philippines in December 2015. At the municipal level, the 2009 PDNA recommendations leveraged GFDRR technical expertise to develop a flood management master plan for Manila and surrounding areas to build resilience to future flood events.
Immediately after Typhoon Yolanda in 2013, GFDRR and the World Bank provided advisory services on principles and policies for reconstruction. In addition, the National Economic and Development Authority received support to develop the Reconstruction Assistance on Yolanda plan, which was created in an unprecedented five weeks after the typhoon made landfall.
GFDRR anticipates continued demand from the Philippines in the following areas:
- Strengthening risk reduction investment planning and regulations; and,
- Enhancing financial capacity to manage natural disaster risk.