Philippines: Policy-makers Tackle Integrated Flood Risk Management and Urban Resilience

June 3, 2014

MANILA, JUNE 2, 2014 – Over 70 delegates from East Asia, South Asia and Africa are convening for the Third East Asia regional workshop on Flood Risk Management and Urban Resilience, on June 3 to 5, 2014 at the Discovery Suites, in Ortigas Center, Pasig City. Delegates include officials from national and local governments, development partners, and experts from around 10 countries across these regions.

This knowledge-sharing forum, organized by the Philippine Department of Public Works, Metropolitan Manila Development Authority, and the World Bank, is designed to bring together decision-makers and government officials to discuss solutions for effective management of disaster risks in their cities.

 “The Philippines faces serious flood risks. Like the many other megacities in the region, Metropolitan Manila has suffered from severe flooding events especially over the last five years, bringing the entire metropolis into a halt, causing hardship to the population and disrupting economic activities,” said Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Secretary Rogelio Singson. “In response, the Philippine Government has formulated the Metro Manila Flood Risk Management Masterplan, an integrated and strategic approach to flood risk management that will guide our decisions and investments over the next 25 years. A plan that considers the risks and vulnerabilities in a comprehensive way, and designs the most cost-effective combination of measures to prepare for, protect from and respond to flood disasters is a crucial step for cities seeking long-lasting and sustainable solutions.”

Through case studies about national and city-level projects, the event will highlight practical and operational knowledge and lessons learned from the Philippines and other countries around the world, including Bangladesh, China, Indonesia, Japan, Senegal and Thailand.

The participants will also visit a number of project sites to learn about innovative approaches in flood control and disaster prevention adopted in Metro Manila. The gathering will help establish a community of leaders, practitioners and experts interested in promoting an integrated approach to flood risk management.

“As a knowledge Bank, we provide global knowledge and facilitate exchange between countries to learn from each other about their challenges as well as solutions that are available to them,” said World Bank Country Director Motoo Konishi. “Workshops like this facilitate global knowledge transfer, and help countries apply disaster and climate resilience principles in real-life development programs.”

Floods are the most frequent type of natural disasters, causing widespread devastation, economic damages and loss of human lives. In the past 30 years, the East Asia and Pacific region accounted for about 40 percent of the total number of floods worldwide. From 2000 to 2011, floods and storms in the region caused an estimated US$23 billion in losses. In just the last five years, mega flood-events affected cities and countries around the world, including Bangkok, Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Jakarta, Manila, Tacloban, Mumbai, Ulaanbaatar, Vientiane and Dakar.

In addition to the tragic loss of lives and economic losses, floods have long-term consequences such as loss of educational opportunities, disease and reduced nutrition, which can erode development goals.

“The impacts of floods hit the vulnerable segments of the population the hardest, disrupting their lives, and pushing them into debt and poverty. This is the reason why the World Bank considers disasters and urban flooding in particular to be a serious development challenge,” said Mr. Konishi.

The workshop is part of the East Asia regional program implemented by the World Bank with support from the Government of Republic of Korea and the Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery (GFDRR). Building on the results of the first and second regional workshops, the Third Flood Risk Management and Urban Resilience Workshop is organized in collaboration with DPWH in the Philippines.

Invited to participate in the Workshop are:

· Hon. Rogelio Singson, Secretary, Department of Public Works and Highways
· Hon. Mayor Maribel Eusebio, City of Pasig
· Hon. Jose Fabian Cadiz, Vice-Mayor of Marikina City
· Dr. Mahar Lagmay, Department of Science and Technology
· Mr. Motoo Konishi, Country Director, World Bank in the Philippines
· Mr. Ousmane Dione, Sector Manager, Sustainable Development, World Bank in the Philippines




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