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Adaptive Capacity and Adaptation Actions of Households for a Typhoon Event in Bula, Camarines Sur, Philippines

Climate change poses serious challenges to institutions and households in the Philippines. Thus, it is important to determine its impacts on households and the corresponding adaptation actions of government, men, and women to determine gender-sensitive measures that can enhance resilience and adaptive capacity of affected sectors.

This research work was done in Bula, Camarines Sur. Gender-disaggregated data collected through interview and focus group discussion with husbands and wives were used to determine the impact of Typhoon Nock-ten (i.e., the household’s response strategies and the willingness of men and women to pay for different adaptation options). Data on government response actions were gathered through key informant interviews with the local government staff involved in relief and rescue operations.

Gender lens was used in the analysis in order to elicit the difference between the household decision making patterns, the activities that the husbands and wives undertook, their preparedness and adaptive capacity, and their willingness-to-pay for three different adaptation options that could help them prepare for future hazards. The assistance available to households from various sources was also analyzed to determine its sensitivity to address the different needs of men, women, and children.

Results of the study show the gender differentiated roles of husbands and wives in responding to flooding associated with an extreme climatic event. Husbands generally took care of preparedness activities that require physical strength, such as reinforcing the house and taking care of belongings and properties left behind when the family took shelter in the evacuation centers. Wives were in-charge of preparing the things needed by the family while in the evacuation center, such as food and clothing.

More wives compared to husbands are willing to pay for disaster insurance, construction of rip rap along the river banks, and relocation to other safer places. Social and economic factors, such as familiarity with their present place of residence, presence of relatives and employment opportunities, are the primary factors that constrained husbands’ decision to relocate. The impact of typhoon events was found to be greater on husbands than wives largely because more husbands were generally gainfully employed, while only a few of the wives interviewed earn wages.

Gender analysis is important to take into account the gender differentiated role, needs, contributions, and impacts of extreme climate events on men and women. Mixed method of research is also recommended to ensure that both the qualitative aspects of gender relations and the quantitative valuation of men’s and women’s role, contribution, and impacts are addressed.


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