Bulacan Province

The Manila Bay Sustainable Development Master Plan (MBSDMP) is a joint undertaking of the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA), with the support of the Dutch government and their Dutch Experts Team. The aim is to guide the decision making process for interventions that will be implemented in the Manila Bay and in adjacent areas to ensure sustainable development. In support of this, the Partners for Resilience, including Cordaid Philippines, stepped in to support the various localities in the affected area – specifically the province of Bulacan.

In February 2020, community-based climate risk assessments were conducted with nine pilot barangays in the municipalities of Hagonoy, Paombong and Malolos. This was done through a photovoice workshop which enabled participants from the community, particularly women, to document their reflections on the vulnerabilities and capacities of their barangay. Through these methods, they were able to take a closer look at the realities being faced by their community as a basis for planning. These insights were shared with the MBSDMP, with the hope of integrating municipal- and city-wide assessments, and even a Climate Change Adaptation Framework (CCAF) later on.

“We need to protect our schools in the village because our kids study there. We also need to protect our fishponds where our husbands make a living, and our houses especially during high tides or typhoons. When the high tide and typhoon occur at the same time our shelter and fishponds will be destroyed, and we can lose our livelihoods.” – Corazon Atienza, Barangay Treasurer, Barangay Binacod, Paombong on solid waste management, urban-gardening and various information, education and campaign initiatives 

Other pilot projects on solid waste management, urban-gardening and various information, education, as well as campaign initiatives were also kick-started with the LGUs. Unfortunately, these efforts on climate awareness and analysis were cut short as the focus of local officials turned towards tackling the overwhelming challenge posed by the COVID-19 pandemic and the implementation of nationwide lockdowns. The municipalities turned their efforts towards infection, prevention, and control (IPC) of COVID-19, contracting local businesses in the efforts to continue building resources into the local economy.

 We had more or less 15 sewers working, and with everyone supporting through cutting and pinning, sweeping and even their children, there were another 15 – 20 individuals.  To be honest, it wasn’t just for the income. It was also knowing that we were helping other people. We were happy. We are happy to be able to provide for a lot of people through these face masks,” said sewer Cecile Tarras, Angels and Shirts Garments Inc.

As the economy slowly started re-opening in August 2020, with the lifting of the lockdowns, it became essential to investigate the impacts of the pandemic on micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in Malolos and Paombong, Bulacan. The study found that MSMEs in these areas showed a monthly revenue decline by 54.29% between the months of December to March 2020, and presented valuable recommendations for integrating long-term resilience in their COVID-19 recovery plans for both the economic sector and the larger community.


Snapshots of Bulacan in the time of Covid-19

Photos by Jose Maria Rosalia Lapira

Vulnerabilities and Capacities of Brgy. Binacod, Paombong
as photographed by Photo-Voice Participants

Bulacan COVID-19 Response

Over 1,400 households in Malolos and Paombong town in Bulacan received hygiene kits, starting last June 20 then continued on June 26 to 29, 2020, as part of the COVID-19 response of Partners for Resilience and Catholic Organization for Relief and Development Aid (Cordaid) with the Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities and the Roman Catholic Diocese of Malolos’ Commission on Social Action. Both LGUs plan to distribute more hygiene kits in the coming days. (c) Aldwin Dela Cruz/ICSC