The Philippines is highly exposed and vulnerable to natural hazards. As a result, the country has an extensive disaster risk database that consists of different hazard and risk maps to be used as reference in creating development plans. However, some communities are in relatively low risk zones, such as those in Puerto Princesa City, Palawan (with many inhabitants of the city believing it to be safe). This study seeks to ascertain how disaster risk is understood in coastal areas that are only slightly susceptible to natural hazards, in order to provide strategies to improve disaster risk governance. The study validated national data on coastal disaster risk through a topographical survey, questionnaire surveys, and group interviews (in March 2016 and 2017) to understand whether residents knew the risks they are exposed to. The research found that national data reflects local conditions but community members do not have a clear understanding of the risks, particularly coastal hazards. Moreover, the research found that there has been a recent disaster event, though it was not properly archived and transmitted to the next generation. Thus, there is a need to raise awareness to correctly explain and transmit knowledge about potential hazards even in communities that have relatively lower disaster risk.
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