Social Capital and Vulnerability to Extreme Climate in a Semi-urban Fishing Community in Laguna de Bay, Philippines
The study looked into the risks associated with extreme climate events in the case of a semi-urban fishing community surrounding Laguna Lake in the Philippines. A survey was undertaken to determine the economic effects (loss of assets, foregone income, and changes in consumption patterns) of strong typhoons and torrential rains on fishing households. Vulnerability, estimated as the perceived probability of lower consumption after flooding or typhoons, was used to assess the economic impact on households. Household characteristics, including social capital, that may influence consumption vulnerability, were analyzed using a binary probit regression model. Social capital, a multi-dimensional concept consisting of social networks and skills possessed and used by household members to facilitate actions, was modeled using four indicators – two associational (membership in a formal organization and usefulness of informal social networks) and two behavioral (trust and cooperativeness). Regression results revealed that fishing income and household size significantly affect vulnerability. The higher the fish catch and the smaller the household, the less vulnerable is the household to strong storms and torrential rains. Social capital indicators do not significantly affect consumption vulnerability of households.