PH must make social protection programs more adaptive to climate change, disasters
State think tank Philippine Institute for Development Studies (PIDS) said that with the Philippines’ vulnerability to disasters, the government should make social protection programs adaptive to climate change and disasters.
According to a study by PIDS, there is a need to unify the country’s social protection, climate change adaptation, and disaster risk reduction efforts.
This, according to authors Connie Bayudan-Dacuycuy and Lora Kryz Baje, PIDS senior research fellow and research analyst, respectively, is because climate change and natural disasters can undermine the social protection programs of the government.
Furthermore, the authors explained that “without adequate social protection in place, households may adopt adverse coping mechanisms in the face of slow-onset climatic shifts, such as changing eating patterns that may result to poor nutrition, pulling children out of school, or engaging them into child labor.”
They also argued that climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction alone are insufficient in addressing the said vulnerabilities.
At present, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) plays a big role in providing social protection programs to the poor, vulnerable, and disadvantaged, as well as protective services during crisis situations.
However, the study urged the Climate Change Commission (CCC, in-charge of climate change adaptation), the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC, in-charge of disaster risk reduction), and the Office of Civil Defense (OCD, implementing arm of the NDRRMC), to work together to “build the resilience of the poor and the vulnerable”.
PIDS said that to do this, the government should first review its existing social protection programs and identify those that can be integrated with climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction.