Urban Drought pp 183-208 | Cite as

Drought and Urbanization: The Case of the Philippines

  • Emma PorioEmail author
  • Jessica Dator-Bercilla
  • Gemma Narisma
  • Faye Cruz
  • Antonia Yulo-Loyzaga
Part of the Disaster Risk Reduction book series (DRR)


The Philippines is highly vulnerable to drought, resulting in severe impacts on crop productivity, water availability, and food security. This chapter explores water security in the country by examining the effects of drought on risk governance and its social impacts on the 1997–1998 and 2015–2016 El Niño episodes in Metro Manila, Iloilo City, and Cebu City. During these periods, widespread dryness occurred in both urban and rural areas, as rainfall was reduced by more than 50%. This decrease in rainfall affects most especially the urban poor as they experience acutely the dwindling supply of potable water, increasing costs of water, and compromised access to hygiene and sanitation services. Consequently, droughts have become a major concern for risk governance in major urban centers. Science-informed and contextually driven local climate adaptation plans (LCAP) seem to be the most appropriate response to mitigate and adapt to the effects of drought brought about by El Niño.


Drought El Niño Water security Water governance Risk governance 


  1. Albert RG (2001) Assessing the impact of the Asian Financial Crisis and El Niño on Poverty in the Philippines by Jose Ramon G. Albert.
  2. Codilla M (2015) Cebu is high risk area for El Niño: Acosta.
  3. Climate Prediction Center (2016) Cold & warm episodes by season. Retrieved 14 Oct 2017.
  4. Department of Interior and Local Government (2016) LGUs can tap calamity funds, other available funds to combat El Nino.
  5. Engility Corporation and Strata Consulting and Environmental Law Institute (2013) An assessment of water security Iloilo Tigum-Aganan, Watershed, Washington, USAID, DCGoogle Scholar
  6. Goddard Earth Sciences Data and Information Services Center (2016) TRMM (TMPA) Precipitation L3 1 day 0.25 degree x 0.25 degree V7, Edited by Andrey Savtchenko, Goddard Earth Sciences Data and Information Services Center (GES DISC). Accessed 30 June 2017, 10.5067/TRMM/TMPA/DAY/7.
  7. Hilario F, de Guzman R, Ortega D, Hayman P, Alexander B (2009) El Niño Southern Oscillation in the Philippines: impacts, forecasts, and risk management. Philippine J Dev 36(1):9–34Google Scholar
  8. Iloilo City Climate Change Technical Working Group (2014) Local Climate Change Action Plan 2014-2018, Iloilo City, April 2014Google Scholar
  9. Iloilo City Government (2016) Iloilo City Ecological Profile.
  10. Iloilo City Urban Poor Association Office (2015) Updated numbers of informal settlers coloniesGoogle Scholar
  11. Israel D (2016) Cebu City in state of emergency due to water crisis.cnn. Retrieved 10 May 2017, from
  12. Jose AM (2002) ENSO impacts in the Philippines: examples of ENSO-society interactions [online] in Hilario et al (2009).
  13. Macasero R (2016) Cebu City declares state of calamity due to water shortage. Rappler. Retrieved 10 May 2017, from
  14. Mahmood R et al (2014) Land cover changes and their biogeophysical effects on climate. Int J Climatol 34(4):929–953. Scholar
  15. Malayang B III (2004) A model of water governance in the Philippines. In Rola AC, Francisco HA, Liguton JPT (eds) Winning the water war: watersheds, water policies and water Institutions. Philippine Institute for Development Studies, Makati City, Philippines, pp 59–83Google Scholar
  16. Manila Water Company Inc. (2015) Manila water sets plans in motion to mitigate El Nino Effects.
  17. Maynilad, Manila Water in JV to Address Cebu Water Crisis—The Manila Times Online (2016) The Manila Times Online. Retrieved 10 May 2017, from
  18. National Water Resources Board (2015) NRWB holds press conference on preparation for El Nino impacts in water supply, NWRB, Manila, July 2015.
  19. NEDA (2017) Statement of socio-economic planning secretary Emmanuel Esguerra on the status of the roadmap to address the impact of El Nino (RAIN).
  20. NFHM (2016) Final report of the national fact finding and humanitarian mission to Kidapawan City North Cotabato, Philippines, April 4–6, 2016. Drought/Final%20%20-20NFHM%20report.%20Mindanao%20drought%20report.pdfGoogle Scholar
  21. Padua R, Laude P (2010) Quezon City, Caloocan Move to Conserve Water.
  22. Patankar A et al (2013) Impacts of extreme weather events and implications for adaptation planning for coastal cities. APN Sci Bull 3:16–75Google Scholar
  23. Pereira RA, Lopez ED (2004) Characterizing the spatial pattern changes of urban heat islands in Metro Manila using remote sensing techniques. Philippine Eng J 25(1):15–34Google Scholar
  24. Pielke RA Sr et al (2007) An overview of regional land-use and land-cover impacts on rainfall. Tellus B 59(3):587–601. Scholar
  25. Pielke RA Sr et al (2011) Land use/land cover changes and climate: modeling analysis and observational evidence. Wiley Interdisc Rev Clim Change 2(6):828–850. Scholar
  26. Porio E (2009) Urban transition, poverty and development in the Philippines.
  27. Porio E (2017a) Risk and resilience: interrogating prosperity, inequality and climate-disaster impacts in Metro Manila. Conference Proceedings, Philippine Institute of Development StudiesGoogle Scholar
  28. Porio E (2017b) Citizen participation, environmental security and risk governance: integrating climate change adaptation and mitigation and disaster risk reduction and management (CCAM-DRRM) in Metro Cebu. Assessment report submitted to Misereor Foundation (Aachen, Germany) and the PagTambayayong, Foundation for Mutual Aid, IncGoogle Scholar
  29. Porio E (2017c) Prosperity and inequality in Metro Manila: reflections on housing the poor, climate risk and governance of cities. In: Wungaeo C, Rehbein B, Wungaeo S (eds) Globalization and democracy in Southeast Asia: challenges, responses and alternative futures. Palgrave-Macmillan, LondonGoogle Scholar
  30. Porio E, Lao M (2010) A qualitative assessment of the effects of an IFC project on the reduction of poverty through a water concessionaire in Metro Manila. A report submitted by the Institute of Philippine Culture to the International Finance Corporation (IFC)Google Scholar
  31. Ranada P (2015) 355,500 homes in NCR face water disruption starting September, Rappler, Metro Manila.
  32. Rodolfo K (2014) On the geological hazards that threaten existing and proposed reclamations of Manila Bay. Philippine Sci Lett 7(1):2014Google Scholar
  33. Salinger MJ, Shrestha ML, Ailikun, Dong W, McGregor JL, Wang S (2014) Climate in Asia and the Pacific: climate variability and change. In: Manton M, Stevenson LA (eds) Climate in Asia and the Pacific, pp 17–57. Springer, Netherlands. Scholar
  34. Satterthwaite D, Doodman D (2013). Towards resilience and transformation of cities. In: Environment and urbanization, vol 25, issue 1Google Scholar
  35. Tabios G III (2010) Water governance in the Philippines and some thoughts on governance. Retrieved from
  36. UNESCAP and RIMES (2015) El Nino 2015/2016 impact outlook and policy implications. UNESCAP, Advisory Note, Dec 2015Google Scholar
  37. Winsemius HB et al (2015) Disaster risk, climate change, and poverty: assessing the global exposure of poor people to floods and droughts. Policy Research Working Paper 7480, World Bank, Washington, DCGoogle Scholar
  38. World Bank Group (2017) Philippines urbanization review: fostering competitive, sustainable and inclusive cities. The World Bank Group, Washington, DCCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Emma Porio
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Jessica Dator-Bercilla
    • 2
    • 3
  • Gemma Narisma
    • 1
    • 2
  • Faye Cruz
    • 2
  • Antonia Yulo-Loyzaga
    • 2
  1. 1.Ateneo de Manila UniversityQuezon CityPhilippines
  2. 2.Manila ObservatoryQuezon CityPhilippines
  3. 3.Christian AidLondonIndia

Personalised recommendations