Philippines Typhoon Appeal 2006

15 December 2006

Typhoon Impacts
The Philippines was hit by three extreme weather disturbances (typhoons) in a span of 10 weeks from 25 September to 1 December 2006, then another lower order typhoon on 9 December.  These events triggered landslides, flash floods, mudslides, widespread flooding and together with the associated high winds, caused destruction and damage to homes, community buildings, communications, infrastructure, roads, bridges, agricultural crops and fishing farms. 

Typhoon Reming (also called Durian), which hit on 30 November, was the most destructive, severely affecting the provinces of Albay, Catanduanes, and Camarines Sur in southeastern Luzon Island, although significant damage was also recorded in Mindoro Oriental, Marinduque, Batangas, Laguna, Mindoro Occidental and Romblon provinces.  Most of the severely affected areas are coastal and farming municipalities and towns located around the periphery of Mt. Mayon Volcano.

Over a thousand lives are estimated to have been lost, and over 180,000 houses have been totally destroyed by Reming alone. While not scientifically verified, it is clear that the cumulative impact of these events has contributed to the scale of devastation inflicted by Typhoon Reming.  As of 12 December, close to eight million people were affected to varying degrees.  Cumulative economic losses are estimated at US$ 300 million[1].  Estimated damages arising from earlier disasters before the four deadly typhoons is $439million.[2]  Overall estimated losses to the country for 2006 amount to $1,614 million.

On average, the Philippines faces about 20 typhoons annually, with five of them expected to cause major damages to life and property. These very facts warrant special attention of the international humanitarian community and hence this Appeal which addresses the cumulative impact of the four devastating typhoons that hit the country over a period of three months, two of which were category 4 super typhoons with maximum sustained winds of more than 200 km/h.

A total of 62 of the country’s 79 provinces were affected by the typhoons’ impact.  No doubt, the estimated volume of cumulative damages to housing ($867 million), infrastructure ($127 million), agriculture ($119 million) and school buildings ($62 million) bears a clear testimony to the gravity of impact.[3]  Total estimated losses from these typhoons amount to $1,175 million. Recovery from such massive losses will require sustained and collaborative measures. Community-based approaches will be critical to these projects.

Typhoons remain the largest killers in the Philippines[4], followed by earthquakes, volcanoes and floods. Typhoon deaths alone in the country total 28,812 with $5,653 million in damages in the 20th century (World Bank and National Disaster Coordination Council (NDCC), 2004). 

 

Government’s Initiatives
The growing awareness of Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) in the country has led NDCC to gradually shift from a culture of reaction to one of pro-activeness. This is evidenced by its current four-point Action Plan for Disaster Preparedness:

  1. upgrading the Philippine Atmospheric and Geosciences Services Administration and the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology forecasting ability;
  2. public information campaign on disaster preparedness;
  3. capacity building for local government units in vulnerable areas; and
  4. developing mechanisms for public-private sector partnership in relief and rehabilitation. DRR has also been incorporated in the country’s Medium Term Philippine Development Plan as one of the priority concerns in the Government’s 10-Point Action Plan for Effective Governance.


The international community has supported this proactive approach to DRR. The Philippine government embarked on a series of risk reduction exercises comprising multi-hazard mapping, rapid risk assessment, development of early warning systems, contingency planning and Information Education Campaign (IEC) campaigns with assistance from such entities as the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Australian Agency for International Development (AUSAID).[5]Further, training of medical first responders within the context of this undertaking is also being done with UNDP support. Currently, this effort is concentrated in the country’s Eastern Seaboard facing the Pacific Ocean, considered to be most vulnerable to extreme climatic events and tsunamis. Other donor-funded initiatives like the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA)-assisted Metro Manila Earthquake Impact Reduction Study provide results, which are extremely helpful in planning and implementing earthquake risk reduction actions in the Metropolis. JICA is also supporting the government develop flood and landslides maps for Biliran, Leyte and Southern Leyte, while German Technical Cooperation (GTZ) contributed to the mapping undertaking after the first Leyte landslide in 2003.

 

Cumulative Impact
The typhoons that swept through triggered landslides, flash floods, mudslides, widespread flooding and together with the associated high winds caused destruction and damage to homes, community buildings, communications, infrastructure, roads, bridges, agricultural crops and fishing farms.  Typhoon Reming (Durian) was the most destructive, severely affecting the provinces of Albay, Catanduanes, and Camarines Sur in southeastern Luzon Island, although significant damage was also recorded in Mindoro Oriental, Marinduque, Batangas, Laguna, Mindoro Occidental and Romblon provinces.  Most of the severely affected areas are coastal and farming municipalities and towns located around the periphery of Mt. Mayon Volcano.  Succeeding typhoons hit the same area after the eruption.  Communities have been continuously battered even before they could start recovering from the impact of the previous disasters. 

 

Humanitarian Emergency
The immediate emergency relief needs and other life-saving activities have been programmed under a Central Emergency Response Fund(CERF) allocation of $2.5 million.  The current appeal addresses remaining emergency relief needs (expected to be completed in three months) and early recovery needs for a period of 12 months.

Continued delivery of urgent relief supplies is required in Catanduanes, Albay, and Camarines Sur where food and non-food items (NFIs) are urgently needed.  The municipalities of Sto Domingo and Bacacay in Albay province remain only accessible by sea and foot, and are likely to remain so for much of December.  Priority relief items are emergency shelter items, food (canned goods, infant milk, children’s milk), potable water, paediatric medicines, water and sanitation, NFIs (water purification tablets, 20-litre capacity jerry cans with faucets, mosquito nets, sleeping mats, blankets, cooking utensils, cooking stoves, children’s clothing, men’s and ladies wear, footwear, etc.), and 25-35 kva generator sets for hospitals. 

With destroyed homes and no clear sources of livelihood, there is a need for a combination of continued delivery of emergency relief and the provision of emergency rehabilitation assistance that promotes self-sufficiency, e.g. shelter and construction materials and schemes such as food for recovery.  It is encouraging to note that the large majority of affected people are leaving evacuation centres, but those remaining need immediate care. The number of internally displaced people remains high with 190,565 people staying in 652 designated evacuation centres. The disruption of access to safe drinking water and the breakdown of waste management represent a major threat, and the risk of outbreaks of water borne diseases is looming.

 

Response and Early Recovery
The Government of the Philippines has responded to this series of typhoon disasters efficiently and effectively through the network of Disaster Coordinating Councils, deploying all its resources to manage the impact of the disasters.  Having fully exhausted its annual National Calamity Fund of close to $20 million by the third quarter of the current year in responding to previous disasters - the Leyte Landslides, Guimaras Oil Spill and the Mt. Mayon Volcano eruption - the Government has endeavoured to explore other sources such as the legislation of a supplemental budget of close to $40 million.  However, the magnitude of the impact of the series of typhoons has overwhelmed local and national resources.  Faced with this challenge, NDCC’s immediate priorities include sustaining emergency relief operations and accepting offers of assistance and to formulate early recovery plans and their implementation for all affected areas. The President has also recognised the need to begin the early recovery process as a matter of urgency, concurrent with ongoing humanitarian assistance.

The Government has also requested the UN Resident Coordinator’s Office to coordinate and facilitate international assistance in response to the emergency. This and other actions are occurring as part of UN’s on-going emergency response.  The United Nations Country Team (UNCT) is implementing the cluster approach in the spirit of humanitarian reform

The early recovery needs assessment and the Global Cluster Working Group on Early Recovery can support the development of an early recovery framework. This includes the deployment of an inter-agency team and a participatory process involving the affected communities. Components of existing projects within the appeal will contribute significantly to both assessment and the development of the early recovery framework.

The collective effort required of the UN agencies, government and key Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) over the next 12 months is contained in the following appeal for assistance from donors. Thirteen sectors have been identified as important to the wide-ranging relief and early recovery efforts outlined here. Emergency response and early recovery projects and plans are blended into almost all of the sectors requiring assistance. Health, Education, Early Recovery and Shelter are the priorities.

The CERF provided a total of $2.5 million to support emergency relief and life-saving actions in the hardest-hit areas.  Sectors covered include emergency shelter, food and water, NFIs, health, logistics, nutrition, water, sanitation and hygiene sectors.

On the basis of data provided by the Government, and the rapid assessment, the Typhoon Appeal seeks an additional $46 million to meet the urgent relief and early recovery needs of the most vulnerable persons affected by the four typhoons over the next 12 months (from late December 2006 to end 2007).


 


 [1]All dollar figures in this document are United States dollars.  Funding for this appeal should be reported to the Financial Tracking Service (FTS, fts@un.org), which will display its requirements and funding on the CAP 2006 page.

[2]Based on figures provided by the NDCC

[3]Based on figures provided by the National Disaster Coordination Council (NDCC)

[4]“Natural Disaster Risk Management in the Philippines: Enhancing Poverty Alleviation Through Disaster Reduction” by the World Bank and National Disaster Coordinating Council, 2004)

[5] This exercise involves 27 provinces in a project dubbed as READY. 

Document History

15 December 2006

Download the Document

Related Links

FTS links
FTS Homepage
FTS Appeal Page

ReliefWeb link
Country Page