Social interventions must be targeted at city levels in view of the growing number of poor in the Philippines who are at risk from more disasters and climate risks. Such interventions should be preventive rather than reactive.
THE Asian Development Bank emphasized the need for targeted social interventions at the city level in view of the growing number of poor people in the Philippines who are at risk from more disasters and climate risks.
Kristoffer B. Berse, public administration and governance professor at the University of the Philippines, said in a report on advancing inclusive urban development that social protection, health, and education interventions must be localized to address deprivation and disasters.
“Such would require a closer investigation of the actual condition of certain cities, starting with those that have relatively high poverty incidence, poor social protection, and multiple exposure to natural hazards, as discussed previously,” Business World quoted his report dated Feb. 23.
The report showed that the urban poor are vulnerable to rain-induced landslides, floods, and liquefaction — an earthquake risk that could damage properties.
Berse said that some cities need more aid than others, including those that have a bigger percentage of urban poor that need social assistance.
“However, there are also cities who may have a lower share of urban poor but are in a more challenging situation due to their high exposure to certain natural hazards and other sectoral limitations,” he said.
These areas, he said, would need social protection that are linked with disaster risk reduction.
Public health insurance
Berse recommended that the public health insurance system be promoted as social protection in areas vulnerable to disaster.
Cities with large numbers of workers in agri-fisheries should also be targeted for more disaster risk protection, while public health facilities should be built in areas with more poverty and higher hazard risks.
‘Preventive not reactive’
Asian Institute of Management economist John Paolo R. Rivera said that interventions should be preventive instead of reactive. Resources also need to be available so that plans are done seamlessly, he said.
“(It) has to be systemic in such a way that unintended consequences of such interventions are mitigated. For example, housing should be accompanied by job opportunities,” Rivera added.
Berse added that city-level data is limited, which would mean that challenges experienced by the poor outside main city centers remain unassessed.
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