Policy Brief: Investment case for anticipatory action through adaptive and shock responsive social protection in the Philippines

Despite the significant progress in reducing poverty, the persistent threat of natural disasters, compounded by the country’s vulnerability, continues to jeopardize these gains in the Philippines. Many households in disaster-prone areas hover precariously close to the poverty line, and the devastating impact of disasters on their assets, income, and well-being exacerbates this vulnerability. Anticipatory Action and adaptive and shock-responsive social protection emerge as critical approaches to mitigate the effects of disasters. Specifically, anticipatory cash transfers have shown promise in reducing asset and income losses for affected households. However, the effectiveness of such measures hinges on strengthening the existing social protection systems, improving data collection and coordination, and addressing policy gaps, such as the absence of clear cost-sharing rules and concerns over local government capacities. This investment case study has shown that the government has various effective and financially viable Anticipatory Action programming options at its disposal to reduce potential losses from natural disasters. While the choice of which options will be implemented in response to future emergencies lies with the government and the responding agencies, any effective and timely response will depend on the preparations and strengthening activities that will be carried out at the policy, program, and administrative levels over the coming years.

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