Agency-driven post-disaster recovery: A comparative study of three Typhoon Washi resettlement communities in the Philippines

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This paper evaluates three agency-driven resettlement communities following the devastation caused by Typhoon Washi in Cagayan de Oro City, Philippines. Our study draws insights from primary data collection using questionnaires, semi-structured interviews, and field work observations in the resettlement communities and from the analysis of secondary data such as government documents and media reports. While the national and local governments as well as non-government organizations worked together in reconstruction and recovery, Typhoon Washi survivors at the three relocation sites still suffer from the effects of privation and displacement more than two years after the disaster. Moreover, the agency-driven reconstruction programs at the three resettlement sites—one was established and managed by the city government, another by the National Housing Authority regional office, and the third by an academic institution—resulted in disparate outcomes, not only in the physical infrastructures and provision of basic utilities, but in the attitudes of the residents towards the recovery process. We identify two opposing tendencies arising from said attitudes, and we propose a singular measure to address the opposing tendencies that can possibly lead to transformative recovery.