Forecast-based Financing (FbF) in the Philippines

Closing the Gap between Disaster Risk Reduction and Emergency Relief

Since 2017 the Philippines Red Cross (PRC) and the German Red Cross (GRC) have engaged disaster management and forecasting officials at the national, regional, provincial, and municipal to develop two EAPs, one for cyclones and one for floods. This process has included consultation workshops, technical studies (for example on SSK), training, simulations, and advocacy for FbF.

The project seeks to reduce the humanitarian consequences of typhoons and floods in high risk areas and to ensure faster recovery in affected areas (with a particular focus on reducing loss of life and damage to livelihoods and shelter).


Key facts

Start/end date     

August 2017 – December 2022

Hazards covered    

Typhoons | Floods | Droughts (under development)

Regions covered    

19 provinces: Cagayan, Isabela, Aurora, Camarines Norte, Camarines Sur, Catanduanes, Albay, Sorsogon, Masbate, North Samar, East Samar, West Samar, Leyte, south Leyte, Cebu, Surigao del Norte, Surigao del Sur, Davao Oriental and Davao de Oro

4 river basins (Cagayan, Bicol, Panay, Agusan) in 8 Provinces: Cagayan, Isabela, Camarines Sur, Albay, Capiz, Augsan del Norte, Augsan del Sur and Davao de Oro

Early action sectors     

Shelter | Agriculture | Livestock

Agriculture | Livestock | Small businesses (urban)

Anticipatory Action Protocols/Plans in place    

Typhoon EAP approved in November 2019

Flood EAP under review


The Typhoon protocol was tested for 200 households during typhoon Tisoy (int’l name kammuri) in December 2019, with funding from the imminent DREF.
Small activation for drought in May 2019, with funding from the FbF project. Cash transferred to 210 beneficiaries.

Population reached during activation

2000 beneficiaries per activation

Key actors/implementing partners   

The Philippines Red Cross, with technical support from the German Red Cross, the Finnish Red Cross, The Red Cross Red Crescent Climate Centre, the International Federation of the Red Cross, and the 510 initiative of the Netherlands Red Cross works closely with the provincial and municipal Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Offices.

Anticipation in practice: Project description

Floods and cyclones are a major source of damage and destruction in the Philippines. PRC’s protocols for cyclones and floods cover a total of twenty-two provinces and are complimentary in that less severe typhoons may not trigger the typhoon protocol but may cause severe flooding.

High winds, storm surges, and floods associated with typhoons destroy houses and crops and disrupt fishing patterns. These disruptions to people’s lives and livelihoods can lead to negative coping strategies, such as migrating to find jobs away from their family, reducing food consumption, taking out loans, or pulling children out of school. The Typhoon EAP, which was approved in November 2019, covers 19 provinces and aims to mitigate loss of income for farmers and fishermen and reduce damage to houses through the following actions:

  • Evacuating livestock to safe locations close to human evacuation shelters and the provision of food and water for the animals for three days. Ensuring animal safety protects this important livelihood and can encourage people to evacuate themselves rather than staying behind to tend to their animals.
  • Strengthening houses to ensure people have homes to return to when the storm is over and spend less time and money on repairs.
  • Early harvesting of mature food crops and abaca trees (an important crop whose fiber is sold to make a variety of commercial goods, and whose production is the main livelihood in Catanduanes island).

The Typhoon protocol is triggered when a cyclone is forecast to destroy at least 10% of houses in at least three municipalities and has a maximum lead time of three days. In order to calculate the predicted impact, a statistical model combines the windspeed forecast with data on damages caused by past storms and housing types.

Floods in the Philippines destroy crops and damage aquaculture operations. In urban settings, flood waters can interrupt small business activities and destroy merchandise. As with typhoons, these disruptions in livelihoods can lead to negative coping strategies. The Flood EAP currently under review aims to reduce the economic impacts of extreme floods by supporting the following:

  • Early harvesting of mature corn and rice and other high-value crops to prevent livelihood losses.
  • Harvesting mature fish from aquaculture operations to prevent loss of livelihood.
  • Evacuating livestock and key assets for the reasons listed above (under typhoon).

Relocating small business in urban settings to ensure that business owners do not lose their merchandise in the flood waters and to allow them to continue sales and maintain their income.

The trigger is reached when the two-day rainfall forecast predicts that 50 percent of crops in a municipality of the Cagayan, Bicol, or Agusan basins will be affected by flooding. The maximum lead time to complete these activities is two days.

The actions in both protocols are supported by cash-for-work activities in which PRC hires farmers and fishermen to assist with the early actions (shelter strengthening, building temporary structures for animals, harvesting crops), thereby providing additional community members with a source of cash to prepare their families for the typhoon or to offset losses. The project is now working to address drought in a third EAP, following a drought test activation on a smaller scale in 2019.

The Philippines Red Cross coordinates with key government institutions such as Office of Civil Defense, PAGASA (met department), Department of Interior and Local Government, provincial DRRM offices, and the Department of Agriculture through a national Technical Working Group and provincial technical committees. Since the project began, PRC and partners have organized five simulation exercises and three National Dialog Platforms. It also hosted the Asia Pacific Regional Dialog Platform in 2019.

Lessons Learnt

The FbF innovates the LGUs in practicing its capacity to adapt the fundamental principle of whole of society approach in dealing with disaster risk reduction and management. This brings the high risk and most vulnerable as the center and pillar of emergency preparation with logistical support from the LGU and to maximize the local institutional resources. This also initiates discussion on government financial process in consequence of emergency situation including project procurement management planning.

Antonio Espana Provincial DRR and Management Officer, Camarines Norte

Management Program of the Chapter. It made us realize that there are more efficient and effective ways in reducing the risk brought about by disasters through this project. It gave the chapter an opportunity to have more partnership and engagements with the LGUs than our regular services. It gave us the chance to share the knowledge to communities that there are lots of ways for preparedness and response to disasters, and one of which is the FbF. An early action that mitigates its impacts to lives, livelihoods, and economy.

Catherine Kara Ross Mylene Y. Buis Former Chapter Administrator, PRC Davap Oriental Chapter


Damien Riquet

FbF Project Coordinator