Living With Pervasive Hazards: Place-Based Approach for Identifying Vulnerability and Coping Strategies in an Island Community in Cebu, Philippines




Community-based disaster risk management, Coping strategies, Island, Philippines, Vulnerability


Studies about disasters have focused on large-scale and extreme weather events. However, slow-onset hazards such as drought-like seasons and monsoons also pose challenges since they are dynamic and experienced differently from place to place. This paper shows how difficulties in livelihood of the agricultural sector can be made evident using a place-based approach for identifying vulnerability in an island setting. A household survey was conducted to gather perceptions of hazard impacts and coping strategies for extreme weather events and pervasive hazards. Results show that the perceived impacts of hazards differ by events, and respondents cope with extreme weather events and pervasive hazards in almost the same ways. The coping strategies include diversification of livelihood and mutual help, a common tradition among Philippine villages. Community-based disaster risk management strategies through indigenous ways also enabled the island community to bridge the interventions of the national government to the local context in terms of reducing risks. In conclusion, a place-based approach adds value to the current way of assessing vulnerability as it shows that social vulnerability is more dynamic in the local context, and social bonding is crucial for coping during difficult times.

Author Biography

John Ceffrey Eligue, University of the Philippines Los Baños

John Ceffrey Ligeralde Eligue is a faculty member of the Department of Community and Environmental Resource Planning, College of Human Ecology, at the University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB). He has a bachelor of science degree in human ecology, specializing in human settlements planning, from UPLB and a master’s degree in Geography from the University of the Philippines Diliman. He has worked for various land and water use planning projects and foreign-assisted programs doing field work across the country. He currently teaches courses on human ecology, human settlements, and planning theory. 


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