Economics of Disasters and Climate Change

, Volume 2, Issue 2, pp 107–135 | Cite as

Floods and Pestilence: Diseases in Philippine Urban Areas

  • Rio YonsonEmail author
Original Paper


Do floods affect the probability for urban households to suffer from diseases? We study Cagayan de Oro, a highly-urbanized city in the Philippines that exhibits many of the common characteristics of urban areas in middle-income countries. We find that bronchitis, respiratory tract infection, influenza, chicken pox, measles, typhoid fever, diarrhea, leptospirosis, dengue, hypertension, and heart diseases are each associated with either one or a combination of the flood variables: exposure, height, or duration. We quantify their incremental incidence due to flood exposure, and provide indicative estimates on their cost implications both to the government and to the disease-affected households. In general, results reveal that flood-induced diseases cause large cost to the government as well as heavy financial burden on affected families, particularly among the economically disadvantaged. Cost estimation is undertaken for the floodplains of Cagayan de Oro City, and expanded to all urban areas in the Philippines to serve as inputs for discussions on the expansion or redesign of policies aimed at ensuring people’s safety from disasters, diseases, and impoverishment within a typical urban setting.


Floods Diseases Disasters Urban Philippines 







I thank Professor Ilan Noy and Associate Professor JC Gaillard for mentoring me well and for being my greatest support in this endeavor; Jan Feld, Paul Raschky and Stephen Knowles for their valuable feedback on my thesis chapter that comprise this paper; and, Ramon Enrico Punongbayan, Bayani Theddeaus Barcenas, Jeo Valerio, Doods Balaba, and April Ann Tigulo for data assistance, and the Philippine Climate Change Commission and the Local Government of Cagayan de Oro City for allowing me to use the Climate and Disaster Risk Exposure Database (ClimEx.db) for the floodplains of Cagayan de Oro City.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Victoria University of WellingtonWellingtonNew Zealand

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