The pandemic and the associated actions to contain it have resulted in almost an economic standstill. The enhanced community quarantine in Luzon island affected 57 million people, more than half of the country’s total population of 110 million. The Luzon mainland contributes 73% of the country’s GDP. Metro Manila, located within Luzon hosts 14 million people and is the center of economic activity, accounting for the largest share of the country’s GDP at 36%. Other parts of the Philippines have adopted similar measures, prompting almost all citizens to stay at home in a bid to stem the tide of transmission, save lives and avoid pressure on the country’s health system.
Initial estimates indicate that the pandemic has resulted in Php 60.25 Billion (USD 1.2 B) in foregone revenues from tourism in 60 days; 2.2 million displaced workers, and temporary retrenchment by some 25% of firms surveyed.1 The National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) has estimated that the pandemic will severely affect the country’s growth prospects, forecasted to be between 2.0 to 3.4 % in 2020.
For industries, services, enterprises, and communities built around natural resources, the impacts could be more severe. The country’s poor are mainly in rural areas, there are millions of people living and deriving their livelihoods from upland agriculture, agroforestry, fisheries, and other similar activities. What was once a promising booming industry of ecotourism, together with its associated service sector; has come to a halt. Mobility restrictions have resulted in farmers not able to sell their products and limiting access to essential goods and services. Experience indicates that recovery from economic shocks is accompanied by significant natural resource loss, such as destructive forest harvesting, illegal fishing as negative coping mechanisms of communities. The combination of these factors could, therefore, compromise the gains already achieved in protecting critical habitats and providing sustainable alternative livelihoods for communities. Recognizing that pandemics arise from the illegal wildlife trade, increased human-wildlife interaction due to the degradation of habitats, among others - it is important that recovery efforts protect these gains and prevent occurrence of future zoonotic diseases.
The country’s economic managers have begun to develop the protocols for gradual easing up the quarantine when it ends on May 31, 2020. The NEDA is also leading the Anticipatory and Forward Planning, which aims to identify the priority policy actions, strategies, and projects to support the “New Normal”, which are planned along sectoral lines. The government has prepared a document called “We Recover as One”, a technical paper that is meant to provide some guidance for developing the recovery programme. Some lawmakers have submitted proposals for an economic stimulus package aimed to help businesses and workers affected by the pandemic through subsidies, loans, and regulatory relief for certain enterprises, among others. The proposed package is worth Php 1.4 Trillion (USD 28 Billion). Agencies of government have also begun the task of realigning their 2021 budgets to address recovery needs and lay the foundations for long term resilience building.
The anticipated reset of the development plan and fiscal policies, public and private investments, and economic stimulus packages provide an excellent opportunity to incorporate nature based solutions. Already, agency champions from Climate Change Commission (CCC), Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), and NEDA have been advocating for greater emphasis on environmental sustainability, increased spending for ENR programmes, and strengthening of policies. However, these voices need to be heard in the mainstream discussions and should underpin the entire recovery programme. What is needed is support to the agencies to better articulate these strategies, identify specific entry points, and work with stakeholders to secure support.
For the duration of the contract, the Consultant shall work in close coordination with DENR, through Undersecretary Annaliza Teh, overall in charge of the Climate Change Service, as well as UNDP, specifically the Climate Action Team, and the BRH.
The Consultant will need to familiarize him/herself with UNDP’s COVID Offer 2.0 and explore opportunities to reflect strategic visions, as relevant for the Philippines, into the recovery work. In this regard, the Consultant also needs to proactively seek support from, and work with, Advisors from relevant units in New York and Bangkok.
Considering the COVID-19 pandemic and declaration of State of Public Health Emergency in the Philippines, all work of the Consultant shall be done within the guidelines and protocols set by the government. During the quarantine period, the Consultant shall NOT ENGAGE in any meetings or activities OUTSIDE THEIR HOMES. Coordination/meetings shall be done through phone or online communication until such time that the quarantine is lifted.
The cost of the contract shall cover professional services only, including other related costs such as communications, and others; and should be included in the Consultant’s offer. Cost of workshops and meetings shall be borne by DENR.
Duration of Work
To undertake the tasks and deliver the expected outputs, the consultant shall be engaged for a period of 60 working days. Effectivity of the engagement will be upon signing of the contract and will be valid until all outputs have been delivered and accepted. The target start-of-work date is 6 July 2020 and the expected completion date is 30 October 2020.
The position is Manila-based for accessibility and availability to allow for discussions/reporting on progress of activities as may be required by UNDP and DENR.
The Consultant will not be required to report to the office regularly but the status report on the outputs shall be expected from time to time.
Scope of Price Proposal and Schedule of Payments
The proposed contract price is based on a lump sum amount. Payment will be made in installments based on the following milestones/outputs:
Target Completion Date
Upon submission and acceptance of workplan
8 July 2020
Policy briefing notes and presentation materials on
incorporating nature-based solutions in response and recovery programmes
20 July 2020
Report on participation in stakeholder discussions on the policy briefing notes
10 August 2020
Programmes for immediate response for affected NRM dependent households, including description of
mechanisms for implementation, budget estimates and responsibilities of agencies, other actors
25 August 2020
Recommendations for addressing future threats of pandemics, and strengthening environmental and NR resilience
15 September 2020
Programme proposals for DENR COVID 19 Recovery and Resilience
15 October 2020
Final Report and recommendations
30 October 2020
The objective of this assignment is to provide technical assistance to the DENR, working with other agencies and stakeholders, to develop a green recovery strategy for COVID 19.
The work shall be divided into two phases:
Phase 1 – Prepare policy briefing notes and response strategies
Prepare a compelling argument for greening the recovery programme, incorporating the climate lens such that it is more resilient over the long term. This should argue the long term economic and financial costs of not doing so. Separate briefing papers shall be prepared for CCC, DENR, NEDA, and supporters from DOF, emphasizing their nuanced roles in recovery and resilience building.
This paper shall be used by DENR in the discussions, coupled with major presentations to interagency Committees, members of Congress, and other stakeholders, such as MSMEs, industry associations, banking associations, and others.
Assist DENR in the formulation of response strategies that addresses immediate employment, livelihood, for affected NRM dependent households. This could include:
- Work for nature programmes
- River clean up
- Coastal protection and forest warden enrolment schemes
Review various initiatives at recovery and resilience building and identify entry points for incorporating low carbon and green dimensions. This would include strategies for addressing pre-COVID threats and transitioning immediate livelihood and employment to more long term opportunities for natural resources dependent communities, designed towards resilience building. This can include, updating of the Philippine Development Plan (PDP), preparation of 2021, and three-year budget forward estimates, fiscal stimulus packages, agency policies, programmes, and budgets.
Prepare recommendations towards addressing threats of future pandemics, strengthening environmental resilience and sustainability in the following:
- 2021 budget proposal of DENR
- 3-year forward budget of DENR (2022-2024)
- Updating of PDP
- Strengthening environmental recovery and resilience criteria in the proposed economic stimulus package
These will serve as a basis for developing specific proposals for green and low carbon resilient recovery.
Phase 2 – Assist DENR to prepare programme proposals for its COVID 19 Recovery and Resilience Programme
- Based on the recommendations above for 2021 budget, support DENR in articulating the program design, implementation arrangements, budget proposal and indicators for monitoring progress and results;
- Provide technical inputs in the consultations to discuss and finalize the proposals;
- Assist DENR in documenting the response and recovery programmes.
This work shall be guided by the principle of ensuring long term sustainability and resilience, reconfiguring the existing programmes to address the environmental root causes of zoonotic diseases such as COVID 19, and reducing vulnerabilities of livelihoods, employment and economic activities built around natural capital.
Expected Outputs and Deliverables
Estimated Duration to Complete
Target Due Dates
1. Policy briefing notes and presentation materials on incorporating nature-based
solutions in response and recovery programmes
20 July 2020
2. Report on participation in
stakeholder discussions on the policy briefing notes
10 August 2020
3. Programmes for immediate response for affected NRM dependent households, including description of mechanisms for implementation, budget estimates and responsibilities of agencies, other actors, and indicators for monitoring progress and results
25 August 2020
4. Recommendations for addressing future threats of pandemics, and strengthening environmental and NR resilience
15 September 2020
5. Programme proposals for DENR COVID 19 Recovery and Resilience
15 October 2020
6. Final Report and recommendations
30 October 2020