Rethinking Relocation as a Post-Disaster Rehabilitation and Recovery Strategy:
The Case of Itogon, Benguet in Northern Philippines



The Philippines is highly vulnerable to the impacts of natural hazards. In 2018, the Cordillera Administrative Region in Northern Luzon suffered the brunt of Typhoon Mangkhut (Local Name: Ompong). The torrential amount of rainfall caused massive landslides displacing communities. Disaster-induced displacement is a major development concern which entails a sustainable and resilient recovery and rehabilitation. As part of the efforts to rebuild safer communities, the government implemented policies such as No-Build Zones (NBZs) and planned the relocation of communities to move people away from hazards. These initiatives can support the re-development of safer and more resilient communities. However, such efforts in the past were often unsuccessful and actually aggravated the conditions of the a ected communities. The rehabilitation and recovery efforts for the affected areas in the region, particularly in Itogon, Benguet, raises these concerns that are contrary to the ‘building back better’ principle outlined in national and international DRRM frameworks.

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