Philippines

Photo: UNOCHA/Martin San Diego

Total number of IDPs, 31 December 2020 (IDMC)

Photo credits: UNOCHA/Gemma Cortes


National Frameworks

The Government of the Philippine’s response to internal displacement in both disaster and conflict situations is governed by the 2010 Philippines Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Act. The 2011-2028 National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Plan (NDRRMP) further sets out roles and responsibilities according to four pillars of activity, each led by a different government entity: i) Disaster Prevention and Mitigation; ii) Disaster Preparedness, iii) Disaster Response, and iv) Disaster Rehabilitation and Recovery.

The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council, chaired by the Secretary of the Department of National Defense, coordinates and monitors implementation of all four pillars. Notably, the NDRRMP includes multiple references to internal displacement with respect to pre-emptive evacuations, assistance and access to services during displacement, early recovery activities associated with reintegration, and as part of rehabilitation and recovery activities.

Philippines also provides a particularly good example of strong government ownership of displacement data. The Disaster Response Operations Monitoring and Information Centre (DROMIC) is one of the most reliable national systems in Asia for data on displacement associated with both disasters and conflict.

National Practices

Community Participation in Evacuation Planning in Metropolitan Manila

Between August 2017 and June 2018, three of metropolitan Manila’s most vulnerable cities (Navotas, Pateros and Quezon) partnered with the International Organization for Migration (IOM) on a pilot project to strengthen community-based preparedness in the event of a major earthquake, locally referred to as “the Big One.” Ultimately engaging hundreds of local residents, the project focused on mass evacuation and camp management in vulnerable urban barangays (sub-districts or the smallest administrative division in the Philippines) facing significant earthquake and flood hazards. The European Commission’s Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO) funded the project. Read more

Disaster Displacement Data from Preparedness to Recovery -

While many countries collect disaster displacement data during the immediate aftermath of a disaster, the Government of the Philippines has begun collecting data on potential displacement as part of its disaster preparedness activities. In 2018, the Department of Social Welfare and Development launched the pilot Disaster Vulnerability Assessment and Profiling Project (DVAPP) supported by IOM to initiate data collection and analysis on displacement risk as an integral component of disaster preparedness activities. Relying on DROMIC’s Predictive Analytics for Humanitarian Response and IOM’s Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM), DSWD identified hazard-prone, geographically isolated areas in northern Luzon that face high levels of disaster displacement risk. The DVAPP project worked closely with local authorities to register some 65,000 vulnerable families using IOM’s Biometric Registration and Verification System (BRaVe) as part of its disaster preparedness activities. Read more

Practical Solutions for Protecting IDPs’ Right to Vote

The Philippines does not have an IDP law or policy that specifies how electoral laws should be applied to reflect displacement contexts, although comprehensive IDP bills have been drafted by members of Congress. To ensure it fulfils its constitutional responsibilities for election-related matters, the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) was obliged to find practical solutions that enable internally displaced Filipinos to exercise their right to vote. With important village elections scheduled for the following month, COMELEC wanted to ensure that IDPs could select their leaders. Working with the Commission on Human Rights’ IDP unit in its regional Mindinao office, COMELEC organized election facilities at the sports stadium to allow IDPs to vote some 5-7 km from their usual place of residence. Read more

Scoping and technical mission to the Philippines: Profiling the islands of Basilan, Sulu and Tawi-tawi

Over the last decades, the Philippines have been experiencing both disaster- and conflict-induced displacement. The recently ratified Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM, including the three southern islands of Basilan, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi) has among the highest number of internally displaced people (IDPs) due to conflict and violence. Due to clan feuds and clashes between government forces and non-state armed groups, the capacity of both the government and humanitarian actors to monitor the humanitarian situation on the ground in this region is limited. Thus, UNHCR Philippines together with the Ministry of Social Services (MSS) and the Ministry of the Interior Local Government (MILG) conducted a joint profiling exercise to better understand the humanitarian and long-term needs of both IDPs and displacement-affected host populations, in the islands of Basilan, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi where displacement is recurring or protracted, and consequently requested JIPS’ technical support for the profiling exercise. Read more

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