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Keywords:

  • climate change;
  • disaster risk management;
  • disasters;
  • extreme weather events;
  • natural hazards;
  • the Philippines

Being an archipelagic nation, the Philippines is susceptible and vulnerable to the ill-effects of weather-related hazards. Extreme weather events, which include tropical cyclones, monsoon rains and dry spells, have triggered hazards (such as floods and landslides) that have turned into disasters. Financial resources that were meant for development and social services have had to be diverted in response, addressing the destruction caused by calamities that beset different regions of the country. Changing climatic patterns and weather-related occurrences over the past five years (2004–08) may serve as an indicator of what climate change will mean for the country. Early recognition of this possibility and the implementation of appropriate action and measures, through disaster risk management, are important if loss of life and property is to be minimised, if not totally eradicated. This is a matter of urgent concern given the geographical location and geological characteristics of the Philippines.