This study provides insights on selected socioeconomic factors that influence community vulnerability to climate change variability and extremes in the Philippines, with particular focus on data generated from the vulnerability assessment conducted in Bayawan City, Negros Oriental, Philippines. The city government of Bayawan has invested financial resources in physical infrastructure and environmental mitigating measures, and has established a working system for disaster preparedness, rescue and relief. Current socio-economic conditions, however, hamper the ability of some members of the coastal communities in this city to effectively adapt to immediate and long term risks posed by climate change without external support from the local government and other organizations. Despite yearly risks from flooding and effects of strong typhoons that threatened their health, lives and properties, families that are landless, marginalized and impoverished continued to settle illegally on river easements and other public lands along the coasts. The pattern is to evacuate the area when exposure to risks is high, and then returning to the land after a disaster event passes. In many other areas in the Philippines, marginalized, resource poor families have few options but to settle illegally in disaster prone public lands in coastal and upland areas where they are exposed to hazards and risks associated with climate change. With limited access to sustainable, alternative livelihoods and economic means, their capacity to adapt to climate variability and extremes is low. Climate change vulnerability assessment studies should, therefore, should incorporate systematic approaches to assess the prevailing socio-economic conditions of communities, particularly with respect to the interrelated problems of 'landlessness', lack of alternative livelihood, and poverty which constrain their adaptive capacity.