A Tide that Does Not Lift All Boats

The Surge of Remittances in Post-Disaster Recovery in Tacloban City, Philippines

Author: Yvonne Su and Ladylyn Mangada


For the last forty years, remittances have been a lifeline for some Filipinos in times of crisis as well as everyday life. So, it was no surprise when the media and nongovernmental organizations credited the Philippine diaspora with playing a significant role in post-disaster recovery after Typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda struck in 2013. While remittances poured in after this disaster, they were differently experienced, had different impacts, and led to uneven post-disaster outcomes. This article highlights the class-based inequalities that structure access to and mobilization of remittances after post-disaster recovery. We compare the experiences of middle and lower class households in three communities heavily affected by Haiyan in Tacloban City, Philippines, to investigate who benefited and who was excluded from remittances in this post-disaster recovery. The findings of the case study shed light on wider issues of poverty, class, and vulnerability in the Philippines.

Countries: Philippines

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© Duncan McCargo