News & Insights

July is National Disaster Resilience Month!

“Studies, research, and experience have shown that it is 90% less expensive to address hazards before they become disasters, so we must manage them on time to save lives, infrastructure, and buildings.”

- Architect Felino Palafox, Jr.

There are 10 man-made and eight natural disasters, and the Philippines is highly vulnerable to these and to the impacts of climate change like sea level rise, stronger typhoons, extreme rainfall, longer droughts, and water stress, among others. Moreover, being situated in a region within the Pacific Ring of Fire and Typhoon Belt makes our country exposed to earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, storm surges, and an average of 20 typhoons annually.

Through Executive Order Number 29 signed on June 28, 2017, every July, the country observes National Disaster Resilience Month (NDRM) across all provinces, cities, and municipalities through the conduct of activities relative to building disaster resilience.

This July, Palafox Associates is one with the Philippine community in observing the NDRM. This year, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) kicked off the campaign with the theme, “Sambayanang Pilipino, Nagkakaisa Tungo sa Katatagan at Maunlad na Kinabukasan,” which advocates unity toward resilience and sustainable development. 

At Palafox, we believe that all cities must strive to be livable, sustainable, and resilient. This calls for comprehensive development planning that aims to build resilient cities and communities and address the impacts of climate change and disaster risk. Through our engagement with different cities and municipalities, our team ensures the mainstreaming of climate change and disaster risk in our development plans.

Palafox recently conducted the Climate and Disaster Risk Assessment (CDRA) workshop for the City of Ilagan, Isabela. With the leadership of Mayor Josemarie Diaz, more than 150 participants — department heads, barangay captains and representatives, and other stakeholders — took part in the workshop. 

Climate Change Impact Chain Analysis Workshop with the City of Ilagan

One of the workshop’s main objectives was to assess the city’s exposure to major hazards, which are flooding, landslide, and drought. Through this activity, participants also identified the impacts of climate change through the formulation of a Climate Change Impact Chain Analysis. The recommendations formulated during the workshop include the following:

  • Establishment and improvement of Early Warning Systems (EWS)
  • Riverbank protection
  • Slope protection
  • Reforestation projects 
  • Drainage Network Masterplan and management
  • Riverfront development (esplanade, linear parks, and open spaces)
  • Resettlement for highly exposed communities
  • Agricultural assistance for crop production
  • Expansion of irrigation systems
  • Water supply provision and regulation for all barangays

Participants sharing their output during the workshop