According to an analysis published by climate risk specialist, the Cross Dependency Initiative (XDI), a good number of provinces in the Philippines are among the most vulnerable in the world to the impacts of climate change fueled weather extremes.
Pangasinan, Pampanga, Nueva Ecija, Cagayan, and Tarlac were identified as most-at-risk provinces based on their aggregate damage ratio (ADR), based on an XDI analysis.
ADR looks at the total amount of damage to a province’s built environment from extreme weather events and climate impacts such as flooding, forest fires and sea level rise.
Metro Manila, Bulacan, Isabela, Davao del Sur and Leyte were also among the most vulnerable provinces to climate change, while 17 other provinces were included in the list of top 100 most-at-risk areas in terms of average damage ratio.
According to XDI, average damage ratio provides insight into area that may have fewer properties but may be subjected to greater or more widespread damage. In 2022, the Philippines was found to have the highest disaster risk among 193 countries.
The analysis also found that Southeast Asia experiences the greatest escalation in damage from 1990 to 2050. Sulu, Tawi-Tawi, and Camiguin are among the areas experiencing the highest percentage increases in damage.
Our experience with natural and climate change induced disasters confirms most assessments that the Philippines is truly among the most vulnerable in the world, and there is no evidence that the situation is going to improve. In fact, chances are it will even worsen.
With that in mind, our towns and cities have to continue building defenses and increasing resiliency so we can survive these looming threats and find ways to recover quickly so we can still thrive.*