Skip to main content

Drought and Urbanization: The Case of the Philippines

Part of the Disaster Risk Reduction book series (DRR)


The Philippines is highly vulnerable to drought, resulting in severe impacts on crop productivity, water availability, and food security. This chapter explores water security in the country by examining the effects of drought on risk governance and its social impacts on the 1997–1998 and 2015–2016 El Niño episodes in Metro Manila, Iloilo City, and Cebu City. During these periods, widespread dryness occurred in both urban and rural areas, as rainfall was reduced by more than 50%. This decrease in rainfall affects most especially the urban poor as they experience acutely the dwindling supply of potable water, increasing costs of water, and compromised access to hygiene and sanitation services. Consequently, droughts have become a major concern for risk governance in major urban centers. Science-informed and contextually driven local climate adaptation plans (LCAP) seem to be the most appropriate response to mitigate and adapt to the effects of drought brought about by El Niño.


  • Drought
  • El Niño
  • Water security
  • Water governance
  • Risk governance

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Buying options

USD   29.95
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • Available as PDF
  • Read on any device
  • Instant download
  • Own it forever
USD   119.00
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • Available as EPUB and PDF
  • Read on any device
  • Instant download
  • Own it forever
Hardcover Book
USD   159.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • Durable hardcover edition
  • Dispatched in 3 to 5 business days
  • Free shipping worldwide - see info

Tax calculation will be finalised at checkout

Purchases are for personal use only

Learn about institutional subscriptions


  1. 1.

    Increases of water costs across income deciles were computed from the Family Income and Expenditure Survey (FIES) of the Philippine Statistical Authority by Justin Charles See, Coastal Cities at Risk (CCAR), Social Sector, Manila Observatory and Ateneo de Manila University. The authors are also grateful to Justin Charles See for his technical assistance in preparing this chapter.


Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Corresponding author

Correspondence to Emma Porio .

Editor information

Editors and Affiliations



See Tables 12.1, 12.2 and Figs. 12.13, 12.14.

Fig. 12.13
figure 13

Source 2010 Census of Population and Housing, Philippine Statistics Authority 2010

Percentage of urban–rural population in the Philippines (1950–2050).

Fig. 12.14
figure 14

Source Platform for Smart, Inclusive, and Sustainable City Region: Report, 2016

Current rated water supply capacity in Metro Cebu.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

Copyright information

© 2019 Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd.

About this chapter

Check for updates. Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this chapter

Porio, E., Dator-Bercilla, J., Narisma, G., Cruz, F., Yulo-Loyzaga, A. (2019). Drought and Urbanization: The Case of the Philippines. In: Ray, B., Shaw, R. (eds) Urban Drought. Disaster Risk Reduction. Springer, Singapore.

Download citation