4.1.1. What Were the Main Goals and Did Any of the Goals Conflict in a Way that Attainment of One Would Negatively Affect Others?
The central planning document for the recovery in Tacloban, the TRRP, served as, “the roadmap that identifies the immediate actions and operational strategies that will lead Tacloban and its people towards recovery, rehabilitation, and sustainable development after Typhoon Yolanda” [88
]. The TRRP consists of five sectoral plans: Shelter (i.e., provision of new housing), social services (i.e., restoration of health, education, social welfare, and peace and order), economic (i.e., increase of productivity, diversity, business security, and food security), physical infrastructure (i.e., resilient repair and rehabilitation of infrastructure), and environment (i.e., coastal protection, water resources, waste management, land use planning, and early warning systems).
A six-month consultative planning process orchestrated by the Tacloban Recovery and Sustainable Development Group (TRSDG) defined the recovery goals. The TRSDG, led by the City government (chaired by the Mayor) in partnership with the UN-Habitat (co-chair), engaged government agencies and other stakeholders through planning workshops and meetings. The core planning team established coordinators and secretariats for each of the five TRRP sectors. A central aspect focused on planned construction of new housing and relocation of 40% of the City residents, with a focus on poor residents who had lived in informal settlements on the coast, mostly to North Tacloban (CG9, HA2). Improved safety and reduced typhoon and storm surge disaster risk for residents were the primary goals and expected gains of the relocations (CG9, CG14, HA2).
The potential losses, or the “negative impacts”, which could have resulted from recovery interventions, are not reflected in the TRRP document itself, demanding an analysis of empirical data to understand the extent to which losses were anticipated in the planning process. Various losses, some of which were not anticipated beforehand, were identified by interview informants who now had a retrospective view of the post-disaster decision-making processes. The, still ongoing, relocation of tens of thousands of people required building thousands of new homes, mostly in North Tacloban. While many households gained new and improved permanent housing away from danger, several infrastructure challenges emerged, most significantly, the lack of piped water (CG1, CG3, CG5, CG14, LG1, NG2). City government tankers deliver water to relocation sites daily, although some residents must purchase from privatised sources to meet their needs (HA2). Limited sewerage and poor solid waste management affect some relocation sites, leading to flooding and sanitation concerns (INGO6, HA2).
The lack of basic service provision is due to long-standing political differences between city and provincial governments that have budgetary authority over the water-supply project, disagreements over responsibilities of basic services provision (CG9), and on “failure of bidding” to find suitable project contractors (INGO6, CG5).
By late 2016, three years after Yolanda, only some 1,500 families had been relocated. President Duterte’s administration ordered an immediate acceleration, and by 2017, 10,000 families had been relocated. Some felt this rushed process ignored the original prioritisation of beneficiaries (INGO1), led to poorer housing quality (LG1), and overlooked important social preparation, which may have facilitated community acceptance of relocation (CG12, CG13, CG14). Further, the scattering of pre-Yolanda communities among relocation sites led to the loss of social networks and cohesion (CG12, CG14, R1).
Despite the range of desired goals across different sectors outlined in the TRRP, the City’s priority has been the physical safety and reduced exposure to typhoon and storm surge risk of its residents. Large-scale housing construction for the resettlement of coastal communities was seen as the primary means to achieve this goal. All other goals were expected to support or feed into achieving the primary goal. However, coordination of different goals and sectors appears to have been superficial and the reality was that different actors responsible for specific goals pursued their own needs and priorities. While the City Mayor and a few individuals overseeing each of the sectors were responsible for ensuring no conflicts or negative consequences occurred during the recovery process, exactly how potential conflicts were anticipated, evaluated, or prevented is not clear. Avoidable losses of the large-scale housing construction and resettlement, largely due to poor coordination and conflicting interests, have emerged as a result.
4.1.2. Do DRR Measures Conflict with Goals of Economic Growth and Development and, if So, How Are These Conflicts Addressed?
The City’s purchase of large agricultural lands—which were previously envisioned as an Eastern Visayas Agri-Industrial Growth Center (CG14)—and rezoning them as relocation sites has displaced farmers who had previously inhabited these areas (CG9). This has pushed some farmers out of their agricultural livelihoods and reduced local agricultural outputs (CG1, CG6, CG10), leading to concerns over future food security (IGO1, INGO6, CG10). These losses resulting from TRRP initiatives suggest that goals did conflict, for instance, the goals of increasing food security and providing new houses.
The lack of livelihood opportunities was an issue for the resettled (CG1, CG3, CG5, CG12, R1, NG1, NGO1, INGO5, RG2). Many families intended for relocation had long relied on fishing for their livelihoods. Moving to North Tacloban, far from coastal fishing areas, created a barrier to accessing that livelihood opportunity. While provision of alternative livelihoods and other economic opportunities was outlined as a major goal of the recovery plan, some felt this was insufficiently considered in the relocation plans (CG10). Pre-existing livelihood programmes, rather than adapting to the new post-Yolanda needs, simply expanded without careful feasibility assessment (CG18, RG2). Also, training programmes, such as on carpentry skills, provided people with skills and income in the short-term, while their local area was being developed (NGO1, CG3), but did not necessarily lead to further employment opportunities (R1). In another case, trainings on farming livelihoods were conducted, but the limited land available curtailed its viability as a livelihood option (INGO5). Although regular cluster meetings were held to ensure livelihood security in the relocation sites, there was limited consultation with community members on the types of livelihood trainings to be given (INGO5). Overall, the alternative livelihoods were deemed inappropriate, ineffective, and unsustainable by both residents and local and city officials (CG5, LG2). This led some people, mainly men, to travel regularly back to San Jose—the fishing area—or to abandon their new units altogether by moving back to the coast in favour of access to jobs in the fishing industry (CG14). Future plans for an industrial economic zone in the North could have attracted some people to the area, but as the plans for relocation moved ahead first, there continues to be issues with employment (CG10).