In recent years, the Philippines has experienced numerous high impact typhoons and repeated flooding caused by "human activities such as deforestation and rapid urbanization, and possibly by climate change." The Flood Management Master Plan for the Greater Metro Manila Area, approved by the Government of Philippines in 2012, endorses a range of structural and non-structural measures to mitigate flood risks. The Master Plan will impact an estimated 160,000 households, many of them informal settlers living along the flood plains and waterways of Metro Manila and Laguna de Bay. The proposed project will "finance the design of flood protection works in the Marikina River." Bank documents state that the "project itself is meant to produce design studies." While the studies themselves will not have social or environmental impacts, they "will identify impacts related to future construction of the design interventions", including the temporary or permanent displacement of communities currently living in the flood plains of the Marikina River. The main implementing agency, the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), has been mandated to oversee the "planning, design, construction and operation and maintenance of major infrastructure including flood planning and development activities."
Location: Greater Metro Manila Area, Philippines
Resources needed: Land and natural resources in ecologically sensitive areas
Risk Assessment: Category A.
The World Bank classifies proposed projects based on the type, location, sensitivity, and scale of the project and the nature and severity of its potential environmental impacts. Category A is assigned to a project only if it is likely to have "significant adverse environmental impacts that are sensitive, diverse, or unprecedented".
APPLICABLE SOCIAL & ENVIRONMENTAL STANDARDS
Environmental Assessment OP/BP 4.01:
This safeguard is triggered because the studies "are expected to lead to investments expected to have positive but also potentially adverse environmental and social impacts, including resettlement of mostly informal settlers, if not managed adequately."
Involuntary Resettlement OP/BP 4.1:
This safeguard is triggered because "[a]lthough technical solutions are sought that do not require resettlement of people, the investments may cause temporary and permanent physical and economic displacement of people occupying the flood plain."
Physical Cultural Resources OP/BP 4.11:
This safeguard is triggered because of "any possible cause of disturbance and negative impacts to historical areas, architectural landmarks, and other cultural property, which may need to be mitigated. During construction, the landscape of the sites may also be affected and structural damage to old structures may occur due to vibrations and excavation of adjacent areas."
Natural Habitats OP/BP 4.04:
This safeguard is triggered because "natural habitats and other ecologically sensitive areas that may be affected by the priority investments."
Forests OP/BP 4.36:
This safeguard is triggered because of "project impacts on forests and forest-dependent communities, if any, in and around the river system."
Indigenous Peoples OP/BP 4.10:
This safeguard is triggered because one study found that "there are [Indigenous People's] communities in the upland areas of 8 LGUs of Rizal Province, where a section of the upper part of the Marikina River study area is located."
OUR RISK ASSESSMENT
Right to Housing and Property
Bank documents note that the Flood Management Master Plan approved by the government "has indicated that thousands of families, both formal and informal, are living in the flood plain of the Upper Marikana River." Investments resulting from the findings of the studies are likely to cause permanent and temporary displacement of affected communities. Since the risk of involuntary resettlement is high, a full environmental and social impact assessment needs to be conducted. Preparations are being made to develop a Resettlement Policy Framework (RPF) and/or Resettlement Action Plan (RAP) that are informed by a "series of rehousing studies.
Rights of Indigenous Peoples
While World Bank project documents acknowledge that previous studies confirmed the presence of indigenous people's (IP) communities in the designated study area, Bank documents now state it is "unlikely that IP communities are present." Any indigenous people's communities residing in the study's flood plain areas would likely be affected by the social and environmental impacts resulting from investments.
The Right to a Healthy Environment
The Upper Marikina River Basin has been designated a "protected landscape" since 2011. It is possible that resulting investments may affect this ecologically sensitive area. The possibility of social and environmental impacts on forests and forest dependent communities poses a potential threat to the rights of communities to live in a healthy environment.
Bank financing: World Bank, IBRD loan, Investment Project Financing. The estimated date of first grant approval is 31 December 2015. The project is also seeking funding from the Japan Policy and Human Resources Development technical assistance grants program.
Amount of bank loan or investment: $2.73 million
Total project cost: 2.73 million
Contact: Joop Stoutjesdijk
Title: Lead Irrigation Engineer
Name: Department of Finance
Contact: Ms. Stella Laureano
Title: Director, International Finance Group
Name: Department of Public Works and Highways
Contact: Mr. Patrick Gatang
Title: Director, Flood Management
Bank documents state that a Grievance Redress Mechanism, related to involuntary resettlement, will be developed in the Environmental and Social Management Plan and then presented to communities during public consultations.
Bank documents also state that a Resettlement Policy Framework (RPF) and/or Resettlement Action Plan (RAP), and an Environmental and Social Impact Assessment will be prepared and disclosed publicly in the Philippines on 31 March 2016. Further, either an Indigenous People's Framework or Indigenous Peoples' Development Plan "will be developed as needed" and also publicly disclosed on that date.
ACCOUNTABILITY MECHANISM OF WORLD BANK
The World Bank Inspection Panel is the independent complaint mechanism and fact-finding body for people who believe they are likely to be, or have been, adversely affected by a World Bank-financed project. If you submit a complaint to the Inspection Panel, they may investigate to assess whether the World Bank is following its own policies and procedures for preventing harm to people or the environment. You can contact the Inspection Panel or submit a complaint by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. You can learn more about the Inspection Panel and how to file a complaint at: http://ewebapps.worldbank.org/apps/ip/Pages/Home.aspx.