Most Filipinos believe homes vulnerable to disaster: survey

A new Harvard survey finds a populace inured to catastrophe

Thunderstorm in Manila. MilletStudio/Shutterstock

Most Filipinos think their homes in the Philippines are susceptible to catastrophe, according to the Inquirer, citing a survey recently released by the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative (HHI).

Around 69 percent of respondents expressed a belief that their habitats “were at most risk during a disaster”, more than any other asset, according to the survey conducted in 2017 for the initiative’s Program on Resilient Communities (PRC).

The sample consisted of 4,368 respondents, representing all economic segments of society.

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Harvard researchers attributed Filipinos’ concern over residential properties to “their experience with disasters, as most of the population have experienced significant damage to property, assets and have been displaced from their homes due to a disaster.”

Around 42 percent of respondents reported that their houses had been partially destroyed before, while 16 percent claimed having been displaced for at least a week, the Inquirer noted.

“Undeniably, the Philippines has numerous vulnerable populations. A quarter of the population are living below the national poverty level, and there are huge numbers of informal settlements in coastal/flood prone areas, especially in Metro Manila,” the HHI PRC said.

Only three percent of homes in the Philippines had some form of home insurance, leaving the rest at the mercy of losses and damage, the study further found.