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  Tuesday, 09 July 2013  

IN FOCUS: Dealing with disasters and climate change

A disaster-prone country like the Philippines cannot afford to be complacent. Filipinos know very well the negative impact of calamitous events like supertyphoons, earthquakes, and volcanic eruptions. As the new PIDS President Gilberto M. Llanto notes, at least 60 percent of the total land area of the country is exposed to multiple hazards and, as a result, 74 percent of the population is rendered vulnerable. There were 268 disaster events in the country over the last three decades, placing the Philippines at 8th place in the World Bank’s Natural Disaster Hotspot list of countries most exposed to multiple hazards. Among the Southeast Asian nations, the Philippines has the highest multiple climate hazard index—a measure that averages five standardized climate-related hazards, particularly typhoons, floods, droughts, landslides, and inundation, over a given period—notes PIDS Senior Fellow Danilo C. Israel.

Research is important to allow policymakers and frontline agencies to manage the harmful effects of disasters, climate change, and climate variability, as well as to assist affected groups more effectively. For instance, in 2004, PIDS Senior Research Fellow Celia M. Reyes and her team, together with collaborators from the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration and Leyte State University, began a four-year project funded by the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research on enhancing the preparedness of small farmers to climate anomalies associated with El Niño and La Niña. The project sought to increase their understanding of seasonal climate forecasts (SCF) as a tool for coming up with more informed farm production decisions. Advance information in the form of SCF has the potential to not only mitigate the adverse consequences associated with harsh climate variability but also improve their decisionmaking that could lead to increased farm profits.

Find out more about disasters and climate change from PIDS studies. Understand the economic impact of natural calamities on farm output and food security. Get a grasp of how much it costs to neglect disaster preparedness, and how cooperation and local government involvement could help mitigate the effects. You may access these studies via the SocioEconomic Research Portal for the Philippines by simply typing ‘disasters’ and ‘climate change’ in the Search box.

  1. Impacts of Natural Disasters on Agriculture, Food Security, and Natural Resources and Environment in the Philippines
  2. Typhoons, Floods, and Droughts: Regional Occurrence and Value of Damages to Rice Farming in the Philippines
  3. Forecasting Natural Hazards and Disasters in Selected Southeast Asian Countries: The Need for Cooperative Action
  4. Examination of Intense Climate-related Disasters in the Asia-Pacific
  5. Mainstreaming Disaster Risk Management in Local Governments
  6. Weather and Climate-related Disasters: the Cost of Inaction
  7. Coping with Climate Variability and Change
  8. Assessing Rainfall Variability in Philippine Study Sites: The Rainman Application



DRN 2013 Vol. XXXI No 2: Trade Liberalization and Trade Performance in Asia: 1974-2008
by Marissa Maricosa A. Paderon

The main feature of this issue examined the effects of trade liberalization in developing countries. It underscored that attaining surplus in the balance of trade cannot be achieved through trade policy alone. Supply-side factors, external shocks and crises, and political factors play a huge role in attaining surplus of balance of trade. Also, except for China and the newly industrialized economies, most of the Asian countries experienced slower if not negative growth, and their trade deficit worsened. An example is Nepal, which had a negative trade balance after 1995.

The other articles highlighted important policy issues discussed in PIDS seminars:

  • Comprehensive approach to competition policy needed
  • Break ‘iron triangle’ in infra projects, gov’t urged
  • Deepen assistance to 4Ps, says PIDS senior research fellow
  • What the Philippines needs to achieve sustained, inclusive growth
    Click here for the full article



State think tank names new president

State think tank Philippine Institute for Development Studies (PIDS) has a new president. Dr. Gilberto M. Llanto officially took his oath of office on July 4 at the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA), Pasig City, with Socioeconomic Planning Secretary and NEDA Director-General Arsenio Balisacan administering the oath.

Dr. Llanto takes over from Dr. Josef T. Yap, who served PIDS for two consecutive terms from 2005 to 2013.

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PASCN to hold 17th general Assembly and Annual Symposium in Xavier University,
Cagayan De Oro City

The Philippine APEC Study Center Network`s 17th General Assembly and Annual Symposium are set to kick-off on June 28 at the Little Theatre, Xavier University, Cagayan de Oro City.

The symposium, which has the theme `Resiliency of Local Economies to Natural Disasters`, is being organized by Xavier University-Ateneo de Cagayan in partnership with PASCN and will be held from 8:00 am to 12 noon. It intends to highlight the capacities and initiatives of local governments and the economic sector in reducing the risks associated with natural disasters and in improving their adaptation and recovery. The passage of Republic Act 9729, also known as the Climate Change Act of 2009, established the legal and institutional framework for climate change governance and mainstreaming climate resilience into government mandates across sectors.

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© 2013 Philippine Institute for Development Studies.