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At 08:12 on 15th October 2013 an earthquake with a magnitude of 7.2 occurred in Region VII of the Philippines,
the epicentre of which was located in the eastern part of Bohol Province. According to governmental data a total
of 3,158,009 individuals have been affected by the earthquake. The Department for Social Welfare and
Development (DSWD) and the National Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council (NDRRMC) recorded a
total of 54,646 houses having sustained damage as a result of the earthquake and aftershocks.

Through a stand-by partnership with the Global Shelter Cluster, REACH deployed a team to the Philippines on
October in order to facilitate a rapid shelter assessment in Bohol, the province most affected by the
earthquake according to government data. The assessment aims to contribute to an adequate and timely shelter
response for populations affected by the impact of the earthquake in Bohol province. To achieve this objective,
the assessment team was tasked with the collection, analysis and dissemination of data on key indicators for the
shelter as well as other sectors of humanitarian assistance over a geographic are of twelve municipalities.

An interim assessment report was released on 11th
November presenting initial findings for three out of the
twelve targeted municipalities. This final report presents in more details the methodology as well as the findings
for the overall assessment, which was funded through a global grant from the European Community
Humanitarian Office.


This section describes the methodology that was developed and implemented during the rapid shelter sector assessment in Bohol province. The assessment methodology below outlines (a) the multi-stage sampling strategy designed specifically and used for the assessment, including final sample size by municipality; (b) the data collection process, including an overview data collection methods and tools; (c) the representativeness and limitations of the data collected; and (d) and a demographic overview of the assessed population.

Key findings: 

 The level of total and major damage is significant less than initial estimates. Only a small proportion of shelters were identified by enumerators as being totally destroyed. Partially damaged shelters account for half of the overall shelter damage resulting from the earthquake across all municipalities, with the highest proportion of partially damaged shelters reported in municipalities which are not currently considered as high priority in the response. As a result, there is a need for broader based support rather than targeting shelter assistance based on the highest level of shelter damage.
 Masonry and mixed timber-masonry type of housing sustained more major and partial damage than timber-based houses and huts. Shelter actors should promote a ‘build back better’ approach with households who decide to build a different type of shelter or to repair masonry and timber-masonry mix houses to make them more resilient. More generally, the shelter response should aim to help affected households to reduce the risk and mitigate the impact of future disasters through the provision of technical support and capacity building on Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) applied in shelter design and construction.
 While half of the assessed households reported sleeping inside their house at the time of the assessment, a quarter was sleeping outside with the majority located in the municipalities where the highest level of shelter destruction and damage were reported. Households sleeping outside their houses are predominantly resorting to makeshift shelter and a third are sleeping under tents. In order to meet emergency shelter needs, a transitional shelter programming should be implemented and this is further confirmed by findings on the type of assistance identified by households for shelter recovery.
 The main reasons cited by households reporting sleeping outside is the fear of aftershock, even in municipalities where the lowest level of shelter damage were reported. The psycho-social impact of the earthquake on the population cannot be understated as this was the strongest earthquake to hit Bohol in nearly 25 years. There is a need to investigate further in order to identify and ensure psycho-social assistance is available for households who may require this type support.
 The vast majority of households had not begun the process of repairing or rebuilding or relocating at the time of assessment. This lag in the process, along with the lack of households able to recover with their own resources, suggests a low capacity for self-recovery. Households identified designs, materials, and labour as primary needs in terms of shelter assistance. Particular attention should be given to the specific needs of vulnerable households, including female-headed households, in terms of shelter assistance.
 The three main coping strategies of affected populations are first to engage in alternative livelihoods, second to sale household’s assets and third to borrow from family and/or friends. While alternative livelihoods and support from relatives and close relations are common and positive coping strategies for households in disaster settings, the sale of assets to address immediate emergency needs will undermine the longer term capacity of households to recover fully from the impact of the earthquake. Coping strategies of affected populations should be further explored in order to inform the shelter response, notably to address households’ most urgent needs and to mitigate the risk of shelter assistance being diverted from its intended purpose.

Assessment Report: 
Assessment Questionnaire: 
Publicly Available
Assessment Data: 
Publicly Available
Assessment Date(s): 
23 Nov 2013
Report completed
Population Type(s): 
All affected population
Leading/Coordinating Organization(s): 
REACH Initiative
Philippines: Earthquake - Oct 2013