March 8, 2017



Philippine Launch of the Socioeconomic Resilience Assessment Methodology and the Global Report “Unbreakable: Building Resilience of the Poor in the Face of Natural Disasters”

Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto M. Pernia

Delivered by: Undersecretary Adoracion Navarro

National Economic and Development Authority

March 7, 2017

Discovery Suites Manila, Ortigas Center, Pasig City


World Bank Philippine Country Director Mara Warwick; development partners, representatives from LGUs, private sector and civil society partners, co-workers in government, ladies and gentlemen, good morning, magandang umaga

By now, you may have already learned that the NEDA Board chaired by the President has approved the Philippine Development Plan 2017 – 2022 last February 20 and some of you may have already downloaded a copy from the NEDA website. I am pleased to inform you that the Plan was well received and supported – in terms of both its substance and the process by which it was crafted.  The Plan lays down the foundation for a more inclusive growth, a high-trust society and a globally competitive knowledge economy, which will enable Filipinos to realize their aspirations of a matatag, maginhawa, at panatag na buhay.

One of the foundations for attaining these goals is the building of safe and resilient communities. It is a desire that is articulated in our long term vision called AmBisyon Natin 2040. Filipinos value economic stability. Filipinos want to be resilient to disasters and other types of shocks that could wipe out their assets and income.

Disasters have lasting impacts on the economy and on the lives of people. The cumulative impact of past disasters to the economy is estimated at 0.5-0.6 percent of GDP annually, which may reduce economic growth by 0.3 to 0.4 percentage points. Catastrophe risk modeling shows that the long-term average losses from disasters amount to about PhP206 billion per year. Following disasters, we also see increases in school drop-out rates, mental and psychological issues, outbreak of communicable diseases, and malnutrition. These have long-term effects as they reinforce inter-generational transmission of poverty.

Now it is important to remind ourselves that while we are exposed to natural hazards, we can actually avoid disasters. What turns potential hazards into disasters is poor planning. Thus, we need to get better at disaster prevention, preparedness, and mitigation.

Because of the country’s vulnerability to various risks associated with natural hazards, we need to equip ourselves with the appropriate tools for reducing disaster risks and coping with disasters should they happen. Such capability is crucial to prevent people from falling into poverty and to enable the economy to grow steadily.

I am proud to say to you that it is in this context that the World Bank and the NEDA are co-developing the Socioeconomic Resilience Assessment Methodology, which is based on the analytical framework of the new World Bank report called “Unbreakable.”

The Philippines is the first among the 117 countries to customize the socioeconomic resilience methodology. We have created an Inter-agency Technical Working Group (TWG) in October 2015 to work on this Methodology.

This tool will be used to identify the appropriate geographic focus of interventions and policy and investment priorities aimed at reducing losses and managing the socioeconomic and fiscal impacts of disasters. Wherever applicable, the results of the resilience assessment will be used to update the Philippine Development Plan.

Today, in this event, an online pilot version of the tool will be presented. We encourage you to try it out. Give us feedback and inputs because we need to work together. I cannot overemphasize the need for us to work together in facing the challenge of disaster risk reduction and management. Let us all share in this goal of making our communities well-informed of natural hazards and better prepared for disasters. Let us reflect on this goal by witnessing this launch of the Global Report “Unbreakable” and the Socioeconomic Resilience Assessment Methodology. And let me warmly thank the World Bank for partnering with us in this endeavor. 

Thank you and once again, good morning.