Press Release
September 17, 2013

Legarda: P378-Billion Lost Due to Natural Disasters

Senator Loren Legarda today warned that unless the Philippines takes concerted effort against climate change, such would continue to threaten the Philippine economy, and the lives of millions of Filipinos.

"According to the International Disaster Database (IDD) maintained by the Center for Research on the Epidemiology of Disasters (CRED), the Philippines lost US $ 8.809 billion, roughly Php378 billion in damages due to natural disasters from 1900 to 2013," Legarda said.

She also noted that Typhoon Pablo accounted for almost 19% of this number after it recorded economic damages worth US $ 1.6 billion, or about Php68 billion.

"The tragedy of Pablo happened because of the absence of an effective disaster risk strategy. For example, had the barangay captain of Barangay Andap received and understood the geo-hazard map, he would have never relocated his constituents in the barangay hall. He might have never built it in the first place," Legarda, who chairs the Senate Committees on Climate Change and Environment, said.

"It is about time that the we push for the full implementation of our environmental laws, build climate-resilient infrastructure and sustainable long-term programs through an effective communication campaign," she added.

Legarda, who authored landmark environmental laws such as the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act, the Philippine Climate Change Act of 2009 and the Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Act of 2010, called for constant vigilance as heavy rains continuously plague the country with threats of poverty, environmental degradation, and economic paralysis.

"The fact that five of the most devastating disasters in the Philippines for the last century have occurred in the last five years can only mean one thing: the necessity to act now," she noted.

Table 3. Top Ten Natural Disasters in the Philippines,
Based on Economic Damages, 1900- 2013 (in US$ Thousands)

Disaster Date Economic
Storm 4 December 2012


Flood 4 September 1995 700,300
Storm 29 September 2009 585,379
Storm 12 November 1990 388,500
Earthquake (seismic activity) 16 July 1990 369,600
Storm 21 September 2011 344,173
Storm 21 June 2008 284,694
Storm 18 October 2010 275,745
Storm 3 November 1995 244,000
Storm 21 October 1988 240,500

Source: Center for Research on the Epidemiology of Disasters

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