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Philippines: Almost 100 beneficiaries from Pasay receive safer homes

29 July 2014 - 12:45am
Source: Government of the Philippines Country: Philippines

Pasay City – After many years of living dangerously along the Tripa de Gallina creek in this city, Gildo Cajuntoy and his family will now have their own home, safe from floods and fires common in informal settlements.

The Cajuntoy Family is one of the 98 informal settler- families (ISFs) from Brgy. 156, Tripa de Gallina, Pasay who was awarded with a new housing unit on Friday, July 25, through the government’s Oplan Lumikas para Iwas Kalamidad At Sakit (LIKAS) project.

The Cajuntoys and the other families were relocated to safer homes in Trece Martires, Cavite.

Oplan LIKAS, spearheaded by the Department of the Interior and Local Government Unit (DILG), resettles ISFs residing on top of or within the three-meter easement of a waterway.

The goal is to relocate families in danger and high risk zones to safe and humane housing close to their sources of livelihood and also to lessen flooding in Metro Manila.

Called “Voluntary Pre-Emptive Evacuation” by DILG, the project is supported by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), Department of Public Works and Highways ( DPWH), Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), Department of Health (DOH), Department of Education (DepEd), National Housing Authority (NHA), Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA), Social Housing Finance Corporation (SHFC), and local government units (LGUs).

Brgy. 156, located along the 920-meter long Tripa de Gallina creek, was identified by the LGU as one of the city’s 42 danger zones. The soil in the area was becoming loose and houses were starting to lean.

DENR was in charge of the demarcation of the area while DPWH, MMDA, and Pasig River Rehabilitation Commission (PRRC) dismantled the structures.

The Relocation Action Center was bustling with activity as the 98 ISFs lined up to get their documents evaluated. They received an entry pass from NHA and Resettlement and Development Services Department, food assistance from the LGU, a medical kit from DOH, the P18,000 Interim Shelter Fund from DSWD. Their biometrics were also processed by MMDA and DSWD.

Present in the event were DILG Secretary Manuel Roxas III, NHA General Manager Chito Cruz, DSWD Assistant Secretary Javier Jimenez, Mayor Tony Calixto, Representative Emi Calixto-Rubiano, and barangay officials.

Mayor Calixto, Rep. Calixto-Rubiano, and Brgy 156 Chairman Serrano all expressed their gratitude for the project.

They emphasized that the participation of their constituents was crucial in making the project a success.

Rep. Calixto-Rubiano also mentioned that President Benigno S. Aquino expressed his concern for the safety of the residents of the city especially for those living along the city waterways who are always in danger during typhoons and storms.

Assec. Jimenez said that more than 1,000 families here have already received financial assistance from DSWD since the project began last year.

According to Sec. Roxas, this was clear proof that the Aquino administration was fulfilling its promises.

“Sa ilalim ng pamahalaan ni Pangulong Aquino, maari nang muling mangarap. Ngayong gabi, halos 100 pamilya ang makakatulog nang mahimbing, malayo sa kapahamakan (Under the administration of President Aquino, it is now possible to dream. Tonight, almost 100 families will be able to sleep soundly, far from danger),” Sec. Roxas said.

Headed by Sec. Roxas, the officials then proceeded to inspect the voluntary dismantling of houses by the ISFs.

Afterwards, the families bid goodbye as they travelled in vans to Cavite, carrying their belongings to a new way of life.

Cajuntoy said that after so many years of suffering in their homes – always fearful of fires, storms, and floods – they would now get to live in a place they can call their own.

“Ngayon, mayroon na kaming minimithing tirahan. May maipapamana na po kami sa aming mga anak (We now own our dream house. Finally, we have something to pass down to our children),” Cajuntoy stated

Philippines: NFA-Kalinga assures rice supply for lean & typhoon months

28 July 2014 - 5:55am
Source: Government of the Philippines Country: Philippines

By: Larry Lopez

TABUK CITY, Kalinga, July 28 (PIA) - -The National Food Authority (NFA) provincial office has stocked sufficient rice in time for the lean and typhoon months this year.

Provincial Manager Antonio Macato reported that NFA-Kalinga has more than 19,000 bags buffer supply for its mandate to provide ready and cheap rice that includes other social commitments for disaster relief. According to Macato, NFA-Kalinga maintains about 80 “bigasan ng bayan” outlets in the different municipalities.

“Bigasan ng bayan” outlets are operated by accredited small private rice retailers established in strategic barangays throughout the province to assure access of quality cheap rice to low-income families.

Macato explained under the provincial office’s rice allocation program, not more than 6,000 bags of rice are distributed monthly to all the outlets at a weekly allocation of eight bags per outlet. To regulate its distribution, NFA releases only what has been sold during the week to sustain the eight-bag standard rice allocation per outlet.

NFA retailers sell rice at P28-32/kg but retailers in far barangays are allowed to charge add-on cost at a rate approved by the barangay or municipality, to defray transportation expense.

For its disaster allocation, Macato reported there is ready supply that could be withdrawn through the local social welfare and development institution any time during typhoons. (JDP/LL-PIA CAR,Kalinga)

Philippines: NDRRMC Update SitRep No. 1 Effects of Earthquake in Hinundayan, Southern Leyte

28 July 2014 - 2:56am
Source: Government of the Philippines Country: Philippines preview

1. Situation Overview

  • An earthquake of tectonic origin with 5.4 magnitude (Ms) occurred in region VIII at about 7.57am

Philippines: Philippine militants kill 21 Muslims marking Eid: military

28 July 2014 - 2:50am
Source: Agence France-Presse Country: Philippines

07/28/2014 12:44 GMT

MANILA, July 28, 2014 (AFP) - Islamic militants on Monday massacred 21 people, including one child, who were travelling to a village feast in the southern Philippines to mark the end of Ramadan, the military said.

About 50 Abu Sayyaf gunmen opened fire on two vehicles in the remote town of Talipao on Jolo island, killing 21 people and wounding 11 others, regional military spokeswoman Marine Captain Rowena Muyuela told AFP.

"These were villagers who were travelling to a designated area to celebrate Hari Raya," she said, referring to the Muslim feast, also known as Eid al-Fitr, that ends Islam's holy fasting month of Ramadan.

A three-year-old boy and six policemen were among those killed in the attack, she said, while four other children were among the 11 wounded.

Muyuela said the militants appeared to have targeted the policemen, also local Muslims, who were aboard the convoy and travelling to the festivities in their personal capacities.

The shooting was the deadliest this year by the Al-Qaeda-linked Abu Sayyaf, which was founded in the 1990s with seed money from Osama bin Laden's Al-Qaeda network.

The group is blamed for the worst terrorist attacks in the Philippines' recent history.

These include the 2004 bombing of a ferry that left more than 100 dead, abductions of foreign missionaries and tourists, and beheadings mostly of local people.

Muyuela said a "military pursuit operation" was under way to catch the suspects, but soldiers had not caught up with them.

Jolo is one of the Abu Sayyaf's main strongholds, where militants are able to hide with relatives in the remote jungles of the mainly Muslim populated island.

The Abu Sayyaf is believed to be holding several hostages, including foreigners, on Jolo. Foreigners are warned not to travel to Jolo and nearby islands because of the threat of Abu Sayyaf kidnapping.

The Abu Sayyaf is just one of a number of guerrilla groups and warlords operating in the southern Philippines.

Fifty-eight people in the southern province of Maguindanao were killed in 2009 allegedly on the orders of a powerful political clan in what has been considered to be the worst case of election-related violence in the Philippines.

The attack was allegedly ordered by Andal Ampatuan Snr, a Muslim local political leader, and his sons to stop a rival from running against one of the family members for the governorship of the poor farming province.

More than a hundred suspects, including leaders of the Ampatuan clan, are already detained and many are on trial for the mass murder.

But dozens of suspects still remain at large while the slow pace of the trial has raised fears that witnesses could be intimidated or targeted by those who carried out the killings.


© 1994-2014 Agence France-Presse

Philippines: Sixteen dead in Philippine militant ambush: military

28 July 2014 - 2:50am
Source: Agence France-Presse Country: Philippines

07/28/2014 06:41 GMT

MANILA, July 28, 2014 (AFP) - Sixteen people, including children, were killed when Islamic militants opened fire on two vehicles in a remote southern Philippine town on Monday, the military said.

Abu Sayyaf gunmen opened fire on the vehicles in Talipao town before dawn in what appeared to be an ambush related to a clan feud, said local marine commander Brigadier-General Martin Pinto.

"There were civilians as well as children among the 16 dead," he told reporters, without giving more details immediately about those who died.

A number of policemen were riding aboard the two vehicles, he added, although he did not say if they were among the dead.

The Abu Sayyaf was founded in the 1990s with seed money from Osama bin Laden's Al-Qaeda network, and is blamed for the worst terrorist attacks in the Philippines' recent history.

These include the 2004 bombing of a ferry that left more than 100 dead, abductions of foreign missionaries and tourists, and beheadings mostly of local people.

The Abu Sayyaf is believed to be holding several hostages, including foreigners, in the jungles of Jolo, one of its remote strongholds in the south of the Philippines with mostly Muslim populations.

Pinto said the attack in Talipao appeared to be an offshoot of a local feud between two Muslim clans, one of them related to Abu Sayyaf members.

The blood feuds, usually involving land disputes or previous unresolved murders, at times last decades.


© 1994-2014 Agence France-Presse

Philippines: MGB-7 urges LGUs to undertake preemptive evacuation efforts

28 July 2014 - 12:33am
Source: Government of the Philippines Country: Philippines

CEBU CITY, July 25 (PIA) --- The Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB-7) of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR-7) called on local government officials to undertake the necessary preemptive evacuation efforts in low-lying, landslide and flood-prone areas that had been identified in the four provinces in Central Visayas. MGB 7 Regional Director Loreto B. Alburo said that these communities should be prepared always or even “overprepared” to ensure their safety since the province always experiences heavy rains due to the successive bad weather. Alburo made the appeal following a warning from the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) that heavy rains areexpected as the typhoon has already entered the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR). “The high flooding susceptibility is due to proximity to perennial river creek system, poor drainage facility, inherently low lying area, proximity to coastal area, heavily silted river or creek, and encroachment along natural drainage channels,” he added. Flooding occurs when the level of a body of water rises until it overflows its natural or artificial confines and submerges land in the surrounding area due to intense and prolonged precipitation and other geologic factors. “It is very important that local chief executives should give more attention of areas that are found to be highly susceptible to flooding and landslides which have been known to them as indicated in the geohazards threat advisory issued to them,” Alburo stressed. He also urged local chief executives to get hold of the geohazard maps, and implement the necessary measures to reduce the impact of landslides and flooding within their areas of responsibility. He warned that the volume of water brought by Henry might aggravate soil conditions that have been either saturated by rains or loosened by trees uprooted by “Glenda”, thereby causing landslides. Meanwhile, in Cebu City, 19 barangays are highly susceptible landslides, namely, Lusaran, Binaliw, Guba, Budlaan, Malubog, Buot-Taup, Busay, Sirao, Taptap, Tagbao, Tabunan, Pung-ol Sibugay,Sudlon II, Sudlon I, Sinsin, Buhisan, Pamutan, Sapangdaku, and Adlaon. Barangays Tagjaguimit, Alpaco, Balirong, Mayana, Naalad, and Cogon in City of Naga.; 11 barangays in Balamban: Hingatmonan, Lamesa, Luca, Ginatilan, Cabasiangan, Matun-og, Cansomoroy, Gaas, Magsaysay, Cabagdalan, and Duangan. Five barangays in Toledo City: Tungkay, Pangamihan, Bagacay, Loay and Don Andres Soriano; Lamac in Pinamungahan; Five barangays in Asturias:Agbanga, Baye, Bairan, Kanluangan and Sak-sak. All mountain barangays in Talisay City; Brgy. Doldol, Purok 3 in Dumanjug; and Cansalonoy in Ronda. In Bohol, those portions of those areas which have been affected by the quake are advised to take the necessary precautions and to implement proactive evacuation are Tagbilaran City, Baclayon, Corella, Cortes, Alburquerque, Panglao, Dauis, Loon, Calape, Catigbian, Balilihan, Batuan, Sagbayan, and Carmen. Alburo said the assessment reveals that there are five barangays in Cebu City that are considered to be most hazardous to flooding and these are Kasambagan, Kinasang-an, Labangon, Mabolo, Bonbon, and Cebu City downtown areas and along the Guadalupe River; and seven barangays in Mandaue City to include Subangdaku, Mantuyong, Umapad, Opao, Alang-alang, Guizo, and Pakna-an. In Negros Oriental, five barangays in Guihulngan City, namely, Humayhumay, Imelda, Mabunga, Sandayao, and Tacpao have high susceptibility to landslides. There are 12 barangays with moderate to high susceptibility to landslide and these are Bakid, Banwaque, Calamba, Calupa-an, Linantuyan, Mabunga, Maniak, Plagatasanon, Planas, Trinidad, Binobohan, and Villegas. In La Libertad, nine barangays with high landslide susceptibility are Aniniaw, Aya, Biga-a, Guihob, Kansumandig, Mambutod, Managondong, Pangca, and Pitogo. Barangay Mandapaton has moderate to high susceptibility to landslide. Eleven barangays with moderate susceptibility to landslide are Manluminsag, Busilak, Cantopa, Elecia (Talostos), Eli, Manghulyawon, Martilo, Nasungon, San Jose, Solongon, and Tala-on. Around nine barangays in Bayawan City, namely Banga, Maninihon, Poblacion, Villareal, Nangka, Suba, Ubos, Pagatban and Kalumbuyan are flood-prone areas. Also in Siaton, barangays Poblacion II, Poblacion III, Poblacion IV, and San Jose were flood-prone areas; and barangays Calicugan, Maloh, Cabangahan, Giliga-on, Bonawan and Apoloy area landslides-prone areas. In Basay, the flood-prone areas are barangays near Tyabanan, Pagatban, and Basay rivers. A total of eight barangays in Dumaguete City are flood-prone areas, namely, Candau-ay, Cadawinonan, Tabuctubig, Batinguel, Poblacion, Junob, Poblacion 2, and Bagakay. In Siquijor, six barangays have been assessed to be highly susceptible to landslides and flooding and these are Libo in Enrique Villanueva; Bintangan, and Helen, in Larena; and Cang-isad, Luyang, and Sabang, in Siquijor. (mbcn/HFG/PIA7/ with reports from Eddie Llamedo/DENR-7)

Philippines: Trees for climate change mitigation

28 July 2014 - 12:28am
Source: Government of the Philippines Country: Philippines

By: Leandria P. Pagunsan

DUMAGUETE CITY, July 25 (PIA) -- Trees are very important in sustainng ecological balance in order to mitigate the bad impacts of climate change. This was the statement of Professor Renee Paalan of the Biology Department, Silliman University during a Kapihan sa PIA forum on Renewable Energy vis-a-vis Climate Change held at Bethel Guest House recently. Paalan emphasized on the importance of trees in preventing floods and soil erosion as well as source of watershed in our forest areas. The professor explained that water stored in the barks and stems of trees are the source of watershed that supplies our water consumption. Citing the importance of trees, Paalan said that flood prone areas in Negros Oriental must be planted with trees that have well spreading roots such as the Acacia because it can absorb plenty of water. Paalan also said that fig trees like the Dalakit, Labnog, Mansinitas and the like are natural protectors that grow in river banks. “Let the trees live where they are grown because that is their natural habitat. They are there for a purpose, and that is to protect” said the biology professor.
Paalan said that portions of Negros Oriental's forest cover in Mt. Canlaon declared as critical area have been massively converted to vegetable production. Another protected area, the Cuernos de Negros with Balinsasayao Twin Lakes and geothermal reserved area have parts that are also converted to agriculture. Morever, Paalan said that Siaton, Sta. Catalina and Bayawan City have no more primary forest, what is left there now are only patches of the original forest. According to her the estimated forest cover left in the province now is only 1.2% from the original of 3 to 4%, and Cuernos de Negros area greatly contributes to the 1.2% forest cover left. The Biology professor also stressed that ecological importance of forest remnants should be sustained because these are habitat for natural vegetation of forest trees that can help prevent the occurence of extreme climatic conditions. Paalan in her closing statement urged everyone to contribute in caring for the environment by planting trees in our respective areas and most especially to put spirituality in the science of protecting the environment. (mbcn/lpp/PIA-7/Negros Oriental)

Philippines: 30 families in island town in Cebu evacuated due to sinkhole

28 July 2014 - 12:21am
Source: Government of the Philippines Country: Philippines

By: Rachelle M. Nessia

CEBU, July 26 (PIA) --- The local government of Sta. Fe town evacuated 30 families in Sitio Dapdap, Brgy. Langub in Kinatarkan Island, Sta. Fe in Bantayan Island after a sinkhole appeared in the area.

According to Sta. Fe Mayor Jose Esgana, the sinkhole measures 40x40 feet and was discovered this morning.

Kinatarkan Island is an hour away by boat from the mainland town of Sta. Fe.

The 30 affected families have been evacuated to a safe area 300 to 500 meters away from the sinkhole within Brgy. Langub.

In an official statement, the Cebu Capitol Public Information Office said the discovery of the sinkhole has been reported to the Mines and Geosciences Bureau and Office of Civil Defense-7 for proper action.

The Provincial Disaster and Risk Reduction Management Office, headed by Baltz Tribunalo, has also sent a team to said town to help the affected families in coordination with the municipal officials.

Paul Esgana, Sta. Fe Administrator, told Philippine Information Agency that they have erected a 200-meter perimeter fence around the sinkhole. (PIA-Cebu)

Philippines: Disaster response groups plant trees in San Roque watershed area

28 July 2014 - 12:15am
Source: Government of the Philippines Country: Philippines

By: Elsha Marie B. Soriano

SAN MANUEL, Pangasinan July 27 (PIA) – Despite monsoon rains last Wednesday, disaster response groups in the province climbed the San Roque Watershed Area to plant seedlings in observance of the National Disaster Consciousness Month.

Some 1,000 molave seedlings provided by the San Roque Power Corporation (SRPC) were planted by at least 120 personnel, employees and volunteers from member agencies and organizations of the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council.

The tree planting activity, now on its fourth year, is a project of the provincial government in partnership with SRPC that aims to mitigate flooding in the province and prevent soil erosion.

Tom Valdez, SRPC vice president for community affairs, said tree planting is very important that it will not only serve as an aid in absorbing emitted carbon dioxide but also helps in stabilizing the soil to prevent flooding in low lying areas.

PDRRMC member agencies that participated include the Philippine National Police (PNP), Task Force Kalikasan, Philippine National Red Cross, Philippine Information Agency (PIA), Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP), Pangasinan Electric Cooperative (PANELCO), Provincial of Environment and National Resources Office (PENRO) and provincial government employees. (MCA/EMBS/PIA-1, Pangasinan)

Philippines: Pagibig assures aid for Glenda victims in Bicol

28 July 2014 - 12:06am
Source: Government of the Philippines Country: Philippines

By: Sally Atento-Altea

LEGAZPI CITY, July 28 (PIA) – Processing of calamity loans is ongoing for eligible members of Pag-ibig Fund in the Bicol region residing in provinces declared under state of calamity due to typhoon Glenda.

Maria Luisa Rivero, Pagibig Legazpi Marketing and Sales Division chief, assured the availability of funds and services to accommodate the increasing number of Pagibig members coming in their office to file their loan applications.

“Pagibig is now accepting applications for calamity loans along with multi-purpose and housing loans although we’re still working on full recovery of our system since our internet connection is also affected by the typhoon," Rivero said.

Albay, Camarines Sur, Camarines Norte and Sorsogon are the provinces in the region declared under state of emergency.

Rivero said under the Pag-ibig calamity loan program, members with at least 24 monthly contributions and with updated contribution five months before availment may borrow up to 80 percent of their total savings.

“This time, annual interest rate has been lowered from 10.75% to 5.95%. The loan is payable within 24 months after a three month grace period,” she said.

Rivero added that members with existing loans may still file for new calamity loan applications.

“Members with existing Pag-IBIG multi-purpose or calamity loans may still file for new calamity loan applications, provided that it has not incurred arrears and that the sum of all loans, including the new one being applied for, does not exceed 80 percent of his total accumulated savings,”she explained.

To further accommodate immediate loan applications Rivero said Pagibig will be having temporary assistance desks at various provinces until August 15.

She said the deadline of loan applications is on October 3 or 90 days from the date of declaration.

Rivero added that members with existing housing loans may also for file insurance claims against allied perils if the property covered by the loan was damaged by the typhoon.

The amount of which will depend on the extent of damage to the property.

Rivero also cited the Modified Pag-ibig II or MP2 program which is solely a savings scheme designed to provide Pag-IBIG I members with another savings option that would grant them with a yield higher than those given under the Pag-IBIG I membership program.

“We are also inviting our Pagibig I members or our regular members to avail of our MP2 program wherein they can save a minimum of P500.00 added to their monthly contribution. They can withdraw it after five years, tax free and with dividend rates higher than Pagibig I contributions,” she said.

“Moreover MP2 program is just for savings and not for loan purposes,” Rivero added.(MAL/SAA-PIA5/Albay)

Philippines: DOLE provides emergency employment to ‘Glenda’ victims in Central Luzon

28 July 2014 - 12:04am
Source: Government of the Philippines Country: Philippines

By: Carlo Lorenzo J. Datu

CITY OF SAN FERNANDO, Pampanga, July 28 (PIA) -- Around 1,130 families in Central Luzon, who were displaced by typhoon ‘Glenda’ two weeks ago, currently benefit from the emergency employment given by Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE).

“Under our Tulong Panghanapbuhay para sa Ating Disadvantaged Workers (TUPAD), the head or member of an affected family performs community works for 5 to 10 days in exchange for a minimum wage rate of P336 per day,” DOLE Regional Director Ana Dione explained.

Among those they work on include sandbagging, dredging, street cleaning, waterways cleaning and de-clogging, and repair of school buildings and other public infrastructures.

Bataan has the most number of beneficiaries with 525 followed by Bulacan- 323 and Zambales- 290.

All recipients were given personal protective equipment and were provided social protection benefits under Red Cross insurance.

“At times like this, we cannot simply sit in our comfort zones and wait for things to happen. Labor Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz made it clear in her instructions that we need to provide our timely emergency employment assistance for our calamity-stricken families, particularly the male households. TUPAD will benefit them and their communities,” Dione stressed. (CLJD-PIA 3)

Philippines: Typhoon Glenda updates, as of July 25, 2014 – 7:00PM

27 July 2014 - 11:56pm
Source: Government of the Philippines Country: Philippines preview

Philippines: Helping Typhoon-Affected Families in the Philippines Return Home

25 July 2014 - 4:56pm
Source: US Agency for International Development Country: Philippines

Typhoon Rammasun—known in the Philippines as Typhoon Glenda—barreled across the Philippines’ Luzon Island in mid-July 2014, leaving 98 people dead and damaging or destroying more than 118,200 houses. When forecasters predicted that the storm would strike the coastal community of Casiguran in Sorsogon Province, the local disaster committee set out to notify residents, spreading the word using radios, phones, television messages, and printed warnings. Thanks to this early warning system, nearly 10,000 people—more than 30 percent of the municipality’s 30,100 residents—evacuated before the storm hit, sheltering in pre-identified evacuation centers, such as the local school gym.

Leonardo and Norma Guasa, along with their seven children—ranging in age from 20-year-old Crisanto to one-year-old Lanie—were among those who sheltered in the gym. When they returned home after the storm passed, they found that the typhoon had blown away the walls and roof of their family house. Though Typhoon Rammasun did not result in any deaths or injuries in Casiguran, thanks to the proactive evacuations, more than 3,380 homes in the community were damaged or destroyed.

To help Casiguran rebuild, USAID partnered with World Vision International to distribute 600 shelter kits—containing galvanized iron sheets, plywood, nails, blankets, mosquito nets, and plastic mats—to support families like the Guasas to return home. In addition to response programs like this one, USAID also works across the Philippines to reduce risks before disasters strike by strengthening warning systems, mapping and reducing community vulnerabilities, creating response plans, and providing trainings and relief supplies. Casiguran is a great example of how preparedness programs like these can minimize damage when disaster hits. While preparedness and planning before Typhoon Rammasun saved lives, the Guasas expressed gratitude that USAID and World Vision International were helping the community recover and rebuild after the storm ended.

Philippines: Rebuilding storm-resilient shelters in Haiyan-stricken areas

25 July 2014 - 6:32am
Source: International Committee of the Red Cross Country: Philippines

Haiyan, the world’s most powerful typhoon to make landfall, not only destroyed lives and livelihoods but left millions of houses in central Philippines in ruins. More than eight months after the typhoon battered the country, rebuilding efforts are well underway. Helene Plennevaux heads the ICRC's sub-delegation in Guiuan. In this audio slide show she tells us how the ICRC and the Philippine Red Cross are building storm-resilient shelters for thousands of families along the southern coast of Samar Island.

Philippines: Typhoon Glenda Update: Broadening Response Networks in the Philippines

25 July 2014 - 1:21am
Source: Direct Relief Country: Philippines

In the wake of Typhoon Glenda (also known as Rammasun), which barreled through the Philippines last week, Direct Relief continues to strengthen its network of health partners throughout the island nation.

Nearly 100 were killed by the storm, with more than 300 injured and thousands of houses damaged, displacing more than 500,000 people, according to the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council.

Staff were on the ground in Cebu conducting relief efforts for Typhoon Haiyan when the storm hit. The team was quickly connected with Health Director of Region 5, Dr. Gloria Balboa, to fully assess injuries, damages to health centers, and medical supply needs in the area hardest-hit by the storm.

She reported that a total of 106 patients were brought to two hospitals - the Bicol Regional Training and Teaching Hospital and the Ziga District Hospital in Tabaco, where the eye of the storm hit.

Direct Relief staff visited the two sites and found the infrastructure to be fairly intact, with some damages to hospital rooms. A donation of basic antibiotics was provided to help hospital staff care for the needs of the slight influx of patients.

As Direct Relief continues to plan long-term recovery efforts, the new relationships formed with the Region 5 hospitals will allow for better emergency preparedness going forward.

Preparedness is crucial as about 20 typhoons hit the Philippines each year and meteorologists warn that storms are likely to get more dangerous, reports Reuters.

Click here to learn more about Direct Relief’s Typhoon Haiyan relief activities.

Philippines: Doctors send aid to Yolanda victims

25 July 2014 - 12:40am
Source: Government of the Philippines Country: Philippines

By: Danilo E. Doguiles

GENERAL SANTOS CITY, July 25 (PIA) -- Members of the Philippine Society of Otolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery (PSOHNS) here recently handed to the Socksargen Federation of Fishing and Allied Industries, Inc (SFFAII) some P269,000 as financial aid to victims of typhoon Yolanda.

The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) 12 on Saturday hosted a ceremony at the East Asia Royale Hotel to acknowledge the contributions of the donor organization and facilitate the hand-over of checks from the PSOHNS to SFFAII.

SFFAII, the umbrella organization of fisheries associations in Region 12, has been tasked to handle funds for the rehabilitation of the Yolanda-devastated communities under the AHON (Tagalog for “rise”) Program.

Dr. Howard Enriquez, president of PSOHNS, said, “As an organization, we have a social responsibility, thus through our collective efforts we were able to raise substantial amount of money from our fellows, hospitals, specialty group chapters, and pharmaceutical partners.…a portion of this will be given to your good program AHON.”

“We hope that even in small ways we can help improve the lives of the fisherfolk affected by the typhoon.”

Enriquez also mentioned that they agree with the proposal that a portion of their donation will be used to purchase chest freezers to support livelihood of affected families.

Meanwhile, Mr. Joaquin Lu, president of SFFAII, thanked all the professionals who contributed for the AHON Program.

He suggested that with the coming of more funds it would be better to build new fiberglass boats considering that these last longer and these do not require outrigger that needs more space. He also said that fiberglass boats can be safely kept in their homes.

Lu also commended the fact that AHON now considers distribution of chest freezers. This, for him, is one opportunity to add value to their produce and eventually these could command better price in the market.

AHON program is BFAR’s version of public-private-people participation since it involves various sectors, including the beneficiaries, in implementing initiatives intended to help Yolanda survivors recover and re-establish their livelihood.

BFAR Office for Special Concerns acting chief Melanie Guerra, who represented BFAR director Atty. Asis Perez, expressed the bureau’s gratitude for all the efforts exerted by PSOHNS.

“Be assured that your financial assistance will reach the persons this is intended for,” said Guerra as she cited BFAR’s ground operations mechanics in identifying beneficiaries and their needs to rebuild life and livelihood of the fisherfolk after having being hit by the ruthless disaster.

She also informed the group that BFAR has already surpassed its targeted number of boats to be distributed and it is just right to support livelihood of the affected families, thus, AHON project now also focuses on procuring chest freezers and post-harvest interventions.

Another highlight of the ceremony was the signing of the memorandum of agreement (MOA) which specifies commitments of involved parties, namely: BFAR, PSOHNS, and SFFAII who pledged to effectively deliver all forms of assistance to the target beneficiaries.

Doctors Howard Enriquez, Raymond Belmonte, and Melfred Hernandez signed for PSOHNS while Mr. Joaquin Lu signed in behalf of the private sector through SFFAII. Atty. Asis Perez was expected to sign document for BFAR.

BFAR 12 OIC Regional Director Ambutong Pautong and Rosanna Bernadette Contreras, the Executive Director of SFFAII officially witnessed the MOA signing.

The participants were given a chance to experience a glimpse of the impacts of AHON initiatives and its message of “bayanihan” and hope as they viewed the music video “Ahon”.

Said video can now be downloaded at (DEDoguiles-PIA 12 with report from OSabal-BFAR 12)

Philippines: Capiceños gear towards disaster preparedness

25 July 2014 - 12:36am
Source: Government of the Philippines Country: Philippines

By: Jemin B. Guillermo

ROXAS CITY, Capiz, July 24 (PIA6) – Capiceños are becoming more alert, prepared and cautious to mitigate the impacts of disaster.

Capiz Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PhiVolcs) head Ramil Atando said that the people here have become more proactive against disaster such as fire, flood and earthquake.

Atando said that the request for disaster orientation and conduct of drills by barangays, schools, offices both public and private, including hospitals, is an evidence that the public is vigilant about the realities brought about by calamities both natural and man-made.

He said that while government frontline offices in disaster preparedness such as PhiVolcs, Bureau of Fire Protection, PAGASA, among others, were the ones that used to coordinate and offer their advocacy expertise to the stakeholders, the scenario has already reversed as more requests are being received by said agencies through the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office of Capiz and the Capiz Association of Government Public Information Officers.

Atando and the rest of the members of the PDRRMO-organized speakers’s bureau are members of the Philippine Information Agency-led CAGPIO.

The PDRRMO, PIA and CAGPIO are teaming up for the climate change advocacy and disaster preparedness orientation and drill being conducted in schools, barangays and municipalities as well as government and private entities in the province.

On the other hand, PDRRMO head Esperedion Pelaez, who is also the CAGPIO president, said that disaster preparedness should take a big percentage in reducing the risks brought about by disasters such as flood, fire, earthquake, landslide, which could be summed up because of the experienced climate change.

“Climate change that resulted to many catastrophes now is already a reality that we have to embrace, however, we can mitigate its impact by taking some measures and being adaptive to it,” Pelaez stressed.

He said that the supertyphoon Yolanda experience has really contributed much to the appreciation of Capiceños of the importance of disaster preparedness through continuous information and education campaign. (JSC/JBG-PIA6)

Philippines: DSWD, LGUs to identify other needs of ‘Glenda’-affected families

25 July 2014 - 12:32am
Source: Government of the Philippines Country: Philippines

The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), through its Field Offices, continues to coordinate with social workers of local government units (LGUs) for other appropriate services that need to be provided for the families affected by Typhoon Glenda.

As of 4 a.m. today, over 60,000 food packs have been distributed as augmentation support to resources of LGUs.

On top of this, 54,059 other food items and 28,332 non-food items were also provided.

To date, the number of evacuation centers is now down to 108 from yesterday’s count of 200 providing temporary shelter to 5, 728 families or 27, 543 individuals, majority of whom come from Southern Luzon, which was hardest-hit by ‘Glenda”.

Concerned Field Offices are presently coordinating with LGUs on the possible immediate decampment of evacuation centers so that the evacuees can now go back to their homes and lead normal lives.

China - Taiwan Province: China, Taiwan, Philippines - Tropical cyclone MATMO (ECHO Daily Flash - 24 July 2014)

24 July 2014 - 10:06am
Source: European Commission Humanitarian Aid department Country: China, China - Taiwan Province, Philippines

MATMO made landfall along the coastal area of Fuqing, near Putian (Fujian Province, China) in the morning of 23 July (UTC), as a Severe Tropical Storm (China Meteorological Administration - CMA); then it moved inland, over northern Fujian and Zhejiang provinces, weakening. On 24 July at 0.00 UTC it was a Tropical Storm and its center was located near Shangrao (Jiangxi province).

On 23 July strong winds, heavy rains and storm surge affected several areas of Fujian and Zhejiang. On 23 July approx. 150 mm of rain in 24 h were observed in Funzhou and 240 mm in Luoyuan (Fujian). In the next 24 h it is forecast to continue moving north, weakening. On 24-25 July heavy rains may still affect several areas of the Chinese provinces of Fujian and Zhejiang, as well as Jiangxi, Anhui, Jiangsu, Shanghai and Shandong. As of 24 July morning, an Orange Warning for Rainstorm and a Yellow Warning for Typhoon are in effect (CMA).

In Taiwan, as of 24 July, media reported 17 people injured and power outages for more than 460 000 households, during the passage of MATMO. Media reported also a plane crash in Taiwan's Penghu islands (south-western Taiwan) on 23 July. 48 people died in the incident and another 10 were injured.

In the Philippines, MATMO (locally known as HENRY) enhanced the Southwest Monsoon, bringing moderate to heavy rain over parts of Luzon and Visayas. According to NDRMMC (as of 24 July), 683 people were affected in five municipalities of the provinces of Occidental Mindoro (Region IV-B) and Negros Occidental (Region VI).

Philippines: NDRRMC Update SitRep No.03 Effects of Typhoon "HENRY" (MATMO)

24 July 2014 - 4:32am
Source: Government of the Philippines Country: Philippines preview


  • a total of 152 families/ 683 persons were affected in 24 baranganya in 5 municipalities in the provinces of Occidental Mindoro - Region IV-B and Negros Occidental Region VI

  • Of the total number of the affected population, 10 families / 32 persons were affected in Brgy, Sablayan, Occidental Mindolo and were evacuated to Alag elementary school