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Philippines: Help continues to pour in for storm victims in Ilocos Norte

29 September 2014 - 1:14am
Source: Government of the Philippines Country: Philippines

By: Freddie G. Lazaro

LAOAG CITY, September 28 - The Department of Social Welfare and Development said typhoon victims in the province will continue receiving relief packs as more affected families continue to trickle in.

Marcelo Nicomedes Castillo, DSWD director for Ilocos, at least P 4.6 million worth of assistance equivalent to 13,630 family food packs have been dispatched to Region 1.

He said the Disaster Risk Reduction and Response Office (DRRRO) continues to receive and consolidate reports of typhoon-affected families which serve as a basis in providing relief goods.

Initial report from the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council (PDRRMC) in Ilocos Norte showed that at least 354 barangays were hardly hit by Typhoon Mario with 13,815 families affected composed of 65,128 perons.

The PDRRMC-Ilocos Norte reported some P629.2 million in damages, P470.3 million of which were in agriculture and fishery and P158.9 million in damaged infrastructures.

Castillo assured the giving of assistance for the repair of the damaged houses in the province.

Earlier, at least 3,000 family food packs and 2,350 boxes of bottled distilled water had been released and prepositioned in the five cluster centers in Ilocos Norte. (MCA/FGL,PIA-1 Ilocos Norte)

Philippines: Rotarians donate rice for typhoon victims in Dagupan

29 September 2014 - 1:11am
Source: Government of the Philippines Country: Philippines

By: Venus H. Sarmiento

DAGUPAN CITY, Sept 28 (PIA) - The city government here received 15 sacks of rice donated by the six Rotary Clubs in Cluster 2B in Dagupan for distribution to storm victims.

Dr. Edwin Aguirre, the city district calamity and disaster chair for Area 2, said the sacks of rice will be distributed to almost 250 families in Dagupan who were severely affected by typhoons “Luis” and “Mario.”

The distribution of donations was also conducted in the storm-affectyed towns of Calasiao and Sta. Barbara.

Research Planning Officer Carol Ann Español of CDRRMC said that the barangays affected by the typhoon are almost the same victims every year.

The villages of Malued, Lasip Grande, Lasip Chico, Bacayao Norte and Sur, and Pogo Grande are some of the potentially at risk barangays, she added.

Monitoring of families in the evacuation centers continue including livelihood source and assistance for calamity victims, Español added. (MCA/VHS/JJB OJT/PIA-1, Pangasinan)

Philippines: Phivolcs enhances monitoring network for Philippine’s active volcanoes

29 September 2014 - 1:08am
Source: Government of the Philippines Country: Philippines

SORSOGON CITY, Sept. 29 (PIA) – The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) in its bid to enhance the monitoring network of Mt. Bulusan, will be holding a three-day series of seminar-workshops in the direct impact and highly susceptible municipalities to volcanic eruption in Sorsogon.

Phivolcs Director Dr. Renato U. Solidum, Jr. in his communication to PIA Sorsogon Information Center said that their office is currently enhancing the monitoring network of Bulusan Volcano, one of the six most active volcanoes in the country, where new volcano monitoring stations has been set-up and being set-up.

The mission of Phivolcs is to ensure safe communities through establishment of effective monitoring network, development and application of technologies for accurate prediction of volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, tsunami occurrences, and other related hazards; mapping and delineation of areas prone to volcanic eruptions and earthquakes; and enhanced capacity for comprehensive disaster preparedness and risk mitigation. The activity is one among the Phivolcs’ strategies to carry out its mission.

Phivolcs slated the seminar-workshop on September 30, October 1 and 2, 2014 for the municipalities of Bulusan, Irosin and Juban. There will be three separate venues for the 3-day activities as follows: Sept. 30 (Tuesday) to be held at the Villa Luisa Celeste Resort, Dancalan, Bulusan, Sorsogon; Oct. 1 (Wednesday) at Lilia's Garden, Irosin, Sorsogon; and Oct. 2 (Thursday) at the Cayetano Hall, Juban, Sorsogon.

Expected participants are the members of the Provincial, Municipal and Barangay Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Councils/Committees, some members of the media and other stakeholders.

“The seminar-workshop aims to provide information on the hazards and monitoring updates regarding Mt. Bulusan and likewise come up with with an action plan that will promote safety of communities susceptible to volcano hazards,” said Dr. Solidum who will also be present during the activity to give his message.

Highlights of discussion will be the Bulusan Volcano Hazards to be discussed by Ms. Ma. Antonia V. Bornas, Phivolcs Volcano Monitoring and Eruption Prediction Division (VMEPD) chief; and the Current Status of Mt. Bulusan to be presented by Mr. Eduardo Laguerta, Phivolc supervising specialist and resident volcanologist. A planning workshop to be facilitated by Ms. Ma. Mylene M. Villegas, Geologic Disaster Awareness & Preparedness Division (GDAPD), will also be conducted.

Based on the 2007 Bulusan Volcano Hazard Map, susceptible barangays to Bulusan Volcano hazards are Salvacion, San Bernardo, San Franciso, San Isidro, San Rafael, San Roque and San Jose in Bulusan town; Bacolod, Bagsangan, Bolos, Cogon, Gulang-gulang, Macawayan, Mapaso, Mombon, Patag, San Agustin, San Juan, San pedro, San Julian, Sto. Domingo, Tabon-tabon and Tinampo in Irosin town; and the Barangays of Anog, Bacolod, Aroroy, Bura-buran, Calateo, Catanusan, Puting Sapa, Rangas and Sipaya in the municipality of Juban. (MAL/BAR-PIA5/Sorsogon)

Philippines: DepEd assures continued delivery of basic ed in Albay

29 September 2014 - 1:02am
Source: Government of the Philippines Country: Philippines

MANILA, Sept. 29 -- The Department of Education (DepEd) will be downloading over P23 Million in funds to procure 15,000 chairs and immediately construct 300 temporary learning spaces (TLS) for schools used as evacuation centers (ECs) to ensure continued delivery of basic education services to around 52,800 affected learners in Albay.

DepEd in a statement said that as of Sept 26, 77 schools are affected by the declaration of Alert Level 3 for Mt. Mayon. 38 of the schools in the Permanent Danger Zone have been closed and the remaining 39 are being used as evacuation centers.

DepEd field offices are finalizing arrangements for procurement and distribution of chairs and TLS for the 39 schools functioning as ECs. Initial support was provided through the assistance of UNICEF which committed to provide 175 tents and 400 tarps to serve as temporary learning spaces. These interventions are expected to alleviate congestion faced by schools functioning as evacuation centers.

The four DepEd divisions of Albay, Ligao, Tabaco and Legaspi have a total of 724 public schools, of which 648 schools did not suspend classes following the declaration of Alert Level 3. 711 of the 724 schools resumed classes as of September 25.

The Department's division officials and school personnel are working closely with local government officials and education cluster partners to monitor and supervise both the operation of evacuation centers as well as the delivery of education services to Albay learners.

The Department has also issued a call for donations for additional tents, tarps, chairs, and learner’s kits for the affected learners in Albay. To date, DepEd received more than 10,000 learner’s kits and has been arranging its transport and deployment.

Classes for the learners of the remaining 13 schools are expected to resume as soon as infrastructural and non-infrastructural interventions appropriate to their respective challenges are in place.(DepEd)

Philippines: ERC to build 10 schools in Philippine Typhoon-ravaged areas

28 September 2014 - 12:26pm
Source: Government of the United Arab Emirates Country: Philippines, United Arab Emirates

MANILA: Emirates Red Crescent, ERC, has signed three memorandums of understanding with the Philippine government whereby the U.A.E.'s humanitarian major will build ten schools destroyed by typhoon Haiyan in two provinces of the Philippines in November last year.

ERC says the new agreements represent the first stage of ERC's development efforts in the Philippine areas ravaged by the tropical cyclone, and follow its 2013 emergency relief operation to help the affected population.

The ERC team is supervising the construction of the ten schools which will serve some 7738 students of the two Philippine provinces in coordination with the Philippine government.

Secretary-General of ERC, Mohammed Ateeq Al Falahi, signed the three MoUs with Governor of Western Samar, Sharee Ann Tan, and representatives of the provincial government of Eastern Samar, in presence of U.A.E. Ambassador to the Philippines, Musa Abdulwahed Al Khaja, and members of ERC delegation and Philippine officials.

Al Falahi emphasised that ERC is making efforts to assist the victims of the destructive typhoon in response to the wise U.A.E. leadership's directives followed up by H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Ruler's Representative in the Western Region and President of ERC. The Red Crescent, he added, has plans in place to implement its healthcare and educational projects in the affected areas.

Catbalogan City, the capital of Samar Province, bore the brunt of Typhoon Haiyan, also known as Typhoon Yolanda in the Philippines, leaving several thousands killed and hundreds of thousands homeless. – Emirates News Agency, WAM –

Philippines: ERC to build 10 schools in Philippine Typhoon-ravaged areas

28 September 2014 - 12:25pm
Source: Government of the United Arab Emirates Country: Philippines, United Arab Emirates

MANILA: Emirates Red Crescent, ERC, has signed three memorandums of understanding with the Philippine government whereby the U.A.E.'s humanitarian major will build ten schools destroyed by typhoon Haiyan in two provinces of the Philippines in November last year.

ERC says the new agreements represent the first stage of ERC's development efforts in the Philippine areas ravaged by the tropical cyclone, and follow its 2013 emergency relief operation to help the affected population.

The ERC team is supervising the construction of the ten schools which will serve some 7738 students of the two Philippine provinces in coordination with the Philippine government.

Secretary-General of ERC, Mohammed Ateeq Al Falahi, signed the three MoUs with Governor of Western Samar, Sharee Ann Tan, and representatives of the provincial government of Eastern Samar, in presence of U.A.E. Ambassador to the Philippines, Musa Abdulwahed Al Khaja, and members of ERC delegation and Philippine officials.

Al Falahi emphasised that ERC is making efforts to assist the victims of the destructive typhoon in response to the wise U.A.E. leadership's directives followed up by H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Ruler's Representative in the Western Region and President of ERC. The Red Crescent, he added, has plans in place to implement its healthcare and educational projects in the affected areas.

Catbalogan City, the capital of Samar Province, bore the brunt of Typhoon Haiyan, also known as Typhoon Yolanda in the Philippines, leaving several thousands killed and hundreds of thousands homeless. – Emirates News Agency, WAM –

Philippines: Philippine Muslim rebels start difficult disarming process

28 September 2014 - 9:54am
Source: Agence France-Presse Country: Philippines

09/28/2014 06:59 GMT -

KUALA LUMPUR, September 28, 2014 (AFP) - The difficult process of disarming Philippine Muslim rebels after a decades-long insurgency has started, negotiators said Sunday, with the decommissioning of a first batch of firearms expected before year-end.

Philippine government and Muslim rebel negotiators started meeting in Malaysia on Saturday to discuss the disarmament process, key to ending the insurgency in the country's south and sealing a peace deal.

The two sides have appointed three foreign experts -- from Brunei, Turkey and Norway -- to join an independent body that will oversee the decommissioning process, together with four local experts who are yet to be nominated.

"Decommissioning is a delicate and difficult component of any peace settlement. It must be done effectively and sensitively," chief Philippine government negotiator Miriam Coronel-Ferrer said in a statement.

The meeting will continue until Monday.

Chief rebel negotiator Mohagher Iqbal had said earlier that 75 assorted firearms, including high-powered rifles, would be stored and padlocked in a warehouse as part of the "normalisation" process that will see the rebels trade their weapons for a chance to join mainstream society.

"Decommissioning firearms is really very difficult, but you have to undertake the ultimate sacrifice just to have the Bangsamoro," Iqbal said.

Bangsamoro is the southern region on Mindanao island where the country's Muslim minority will have self-rule under a pact they signed with President Benigno Aquino's government in March.

The peace deal seeks to end four decades of fighting that left tens of thousands killed and stunted development in the mineral-rich area.

Ferrer had said that "the first order of business" for the meeting would be for the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) to submit a list of weapons and combatants.

Military estimates place the strength of the MILF at 10,000. The group has not disclosed the size of its force or the number of weapons in its arsenal.

Decommissioning will be phased, depending on the delivery of government commitments under the peace deal, Iqbal said.

Ferrer said there was enough "goodwill" to push through with normalisation after a bill that will grant the country's Muslim minority self-rule was submitted to Congress earlier this month.

Legislators said the Bangsamoro bill had bipartisan support and would be passed early next year, giving Aquino time to set up an autonomous government before his term ends in mid-2016.

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© 1994-2014 Agence France-Presse

Philippines: GPH, MILF formalize normalization bodies

28 September 2014 - 3:45am
Source: Government of the Philippines Country: Philippines

KUALA LUMPUR – As Congress tackles the Bangsamoro bill for swift passage into law, the Government of the Philippines (GPH) and Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) peace panels met Saturday in the Malaysian capital to discuss and formalize the bodies and mechanisms that will roll out the normalization process.

"The normalization process will be implemented simultaneously with the political process," GPH chief negotiator Miriam Coronel-Ferrer said at the start of the three-day special meeting that is expected to end on Monday, Sept. 29.

According to the chief negotiator, the Parties welcomed the three foreign experts who will sit in the International Decommissioning Body (IDB) which shall oversee the process of decommissioning of MILF forces and weapons. These are Major Muhammad Aiman Syazwi Bin Haji Abdul Rahim from Brunei, Ambassador Haydar Berk from Turkey, and Jan Erik Wilhemsen from Norway. The Panels are expected to jointly nominate four local experts to complete the seven-member body.

"‎We thank the governments of Brunei, Turkey and Norway for providing us with the valuable services of their respective experts. Decommissioning is a delicate and difficult component of any peace settlement. It must be done effectively and sensitively. It is an affirmative support to the normalization process and will contribute to advancing collective security in the future Bangsamoro region and the country as a whole,”‎ Coronel-Ferrer said.‎

The IDB shall perform functions that include the conduct of inventory, verification and validation of Bangsamoro Islamic Armed Forces (BIAF) members, arms and weapons; develop and implement a schedule of decommissioning of BIAF forces; plan, design, and implement techniques and technologies for weapons collection or retrieval, transport, and storage and putting weapons beyond use in accordance with the ‎agreement of the Parties; and report on the progress of its work and submit its report to the GPH and MILF Panels.

‎Aside from the IDB, the two other bodies integral to the normalization process include the Joint Normalization Committee which will coordinate the different normalization processes and mechanisms; and the Transitional Justice and Reconciliation Commission (TJRC) which will undertake a study and recommend to the panels the appropriate mechanisms for transitional justice and reconciliation. ‎The JNC is co-chaired by Undersecretary Zenonida F. Brosas for the GPH and Muhammad Nassif for the MILF.
GPH members include MGen. Ariel B. Bernardo (Ret) and MGen. Leo Cresente M. Ferrer (Ret) while MILF members include ‎Atty. Naguib Sinarimbo and Atty. Blo Adiong.‎ Dir Susan Guadalupe Marcaida and Toks Ebrahim will co-head the Secretariat of the JNC.

Meanwhile, the TJRC was officially convened on the first day of the meeting. The Swiss Government upon request of the Panels provided the international expert, Madame Mo Bleeker, who will serve as chair of the TJRC. For the GPH, the TJRC representative is Atty Cecilia Jimenez, while for the MILF, the TJRC representative is Atty Ishak Mastura.

The TJRC is preparing to hold two events in early October in Cotabato City and in Manila to introduce the TJRC to the public and begin the process of consultations. The TJRC is tasked to study and recommend to the Panels the appropriate mechanisms to address legitimate grievances of the Bangsamoro people, historical injustices, and human rights violations and marginalization towards healing and reconciliation. - See more at: http://www.opapp.gov.ph/milf/news/gph-milf-formalize-normalization-bodie...

Philippines: Governance at Work: Empowering Communities in North Cotabato

27 September 2014 - 3:10pm
Source: Action Contre la Faim, Acción contra el Hambre Country: Philippines

Cotabato, Philippines –“How is good governance related to achieving a world without hunger?" the recurring question of the population in North Cotabato province.

Recognizing the important role of the people's organizations and civil society organizations as development partners, ACF is implementing the project “Empowered Participatory Governance towards Progress in North Cotabato Communities” funded and supported by the European Union in partnership with Mindanao Land Foundation, Jesse Robredo Institute of Governance of De La Salle University and the Department of Interior and Local Government, in the municipalities of Antipas, Arakan, President Roxas, Magpet and Matalam, with the municipal and barangay officials and local CSOs as the main project beneficiaries.

The project aims to help reduce rural poverty, promote effective and responsive governance and strong participation of the communities by strengthening the capacities of local government units and civil society organizations to effectively collaborate in development planning, project implementation and policy making.

"ACF promotes sustainable access to food and water for all, including the promotion of nutrition-sensitive food security and livelihood policies and practices and better access to clean water and good sanitation by ensuring that the local government units are able to respond to these issues and concerns," says Faramarz Hashtarkhani, head of base and program coordinator in Cotabato. "The partnership fosters collaboration with LGUs to embrace the principles of transparency, accountability, participatory, responsiveness, inclusiveness, and rule of law, effectiveness and efficiency, as the crucial ingredients in reducing poverty," Hashtarkhani says.

MINLAND, a non-government organization founded in 1989 in Davao, is implementing various urban and rural development programs and projects in Mindanao. For the EPG-Progress project, MINLAND will take the lead in organizing, mobilization and coordination with target beneficiaries and stakeholders in the implementation of activities in the project areas. "This projects hopes to institutionalize good governance and for CSOs to strengthen their working relations with LGUs towards reaching a common goal of stronger and progressive communities, " says Dam Vertido, Executive Director of MINLAND.

Named after the late DILG secretary Jesse Robredo, JMRIG, leads and manages the implementation of the project's capacity-building activities for the beneficiaries, and the installation and roll-out among local CSOs of the monitoring system on the performance of LGUs. Dr. Francisco Magno, JRIG director welcomes the opportunity to partner with ACF and Minland in facilitating the process of building participatory, transparent and accountable local governance systems in the five municipalities of North Cotabato. “With its investment in capacity development efforts, the project will enable both local government units and civil society to enhance their skills in participatory planning, budgeting and monitoring that will promote the effective delivery of services to the poor,” says Magno.

The project will be running over the period of three years from September 2013 until January 2017.

ACF international (Action Against Hunger) is a global humanitarian organization committed to ending world hunger. ACF responds to help vulnerable populations around the world through programs that empower communities to overcome the barriers standing their way. In the Philippines, ACF tackles the root causes of hunger, prevents outbreaks of life-threatening acute malnutrition, and helps the most vulnerable communities regain self- sufficiency through integrated programs in Health & Nutrition, Care Practices & Psychosocial Support, Food Security & Livelihoods, Water, Sanitation & Hygiene, Disaster Risk Management, Good Governance & Advocacy while incorporating crosscutting issues such as gender, care for environment, climate change adaptation and cultural sensitivity. Our programs save lives and provide communities with long-term solutions to hunger and its underlying causes. We work in more than 45 countries and reach approximately 7 million people annually.

For interviews with our spokespersons, please contact Rosa May de Guzman - Maitem at 09989985461 or rmaitem@ph.acfspain.org

Philippines: Haiyan-hit areas declared as first ‘Zero Open Defecation’ in Leyte

26 September 2014 - 10:22pm
Source: Save the Children Country: Philippines

Western Leyte, Philippines (27 September 2014) – Today 7 Haiyan-hit villages across 3 municipalities around Ormoc, Philippines have been declared as first in the entire Leyte province to eradicate defecation in public– a practice known to cause contamination of water sources and diarrheal diseases.

The declaration came after an authorized government body, including hygiene specialists and international organizations, certified the remote villages of Bulak, Masaba, and San Dionesio in Matag-ob town; Payao in Villaba town; and San Ignacio, Santa Domingo and Libertad in Kananga town as the first Zero Open Defecation (ZOD) barangays in the province of Leyte. To achieve ZOD status, each household in a barangay should have access to toilet and water supply. The recognition was a big feat given that 70% of people in these communities did not have access to toilets immediately after the super typhoon.

Western Leyte has areas with some of the highest rates of open defecation in the country even before ‘Haiyan’. In the immediate aftermath, the Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) cluster estimated that around 65% of areas in the region did not have access to toilets.

Save the Children has been providing remote and vulnerable areas, including the ZOD-certified barangays, with construction materials and trainings to build and repair toilets as part of its comprehensive ‘Haiyan’ response. To date, Save the Children has provided construction materials for over 6,525 toilets in 32 barangays and plans to help build 3,475 more across 47 barangays in 2014.

“Save the Children knows that the practice of open defecation poses great health risks to the disaster-affected communities, especially children. By providing communities with toilets and clean water supply, especially those in remote and vulnerable areas, we can help protect children and adults from infectious diseases.” said Tom Howells, Save the Children’s Field Manager in Western Leyte Office.

According to WHO, diarrheal disease is the second leading cause of death in children under five years old, and is responsible for killing around 760,000 children every year. WHO added that the disease can last several days, and eventually dehydrates the body. The disease is common particularly among children and elderly.

Save the Children recognizes, however, that building toilets and repairing water lines alone may not fully address water and sanitation problems in Western Leyte. In response, the organization launched a province-wide campaign to educate people on the health risks of poor hygiene and sanitation. At the household level, Save the Children consulted with and fully involved communities and local officials in the design and construction of toilets and water facilities.

“It is not enough that we provide communities with construction materials. The communities that achieved zero open defecation were successful because they now see the importance of proper hygiene and sanitation. Without proper consultation with and full involvement of the community and the local government, these projects may not succeed in the long-term”, says Reggie Aquino, Save the Children’s Program Development and Quality Manager in Western Leyte Office.

Save the Children continues to work closely with the local government, the Department of Health and humanitarian organizations in restoring water supply systems to provide clean water; engaging schools in hygiene promotion sessions and training communities in reconstructing their toilets. Save the Children’s comprehensive response in the region includes providing communities with cash transfers, community grants for food, security and livelihoods and shelter assistance. The children’s organization is also undertaking repairs of schools, district health stations, provision of medicines and establishment of Child Friendly Spaces.

-ENDS-

Note to Editors:

Save the Children is the leading independent organization for children working in 120 countries. In the Philippines, Save the Children has been implementing programs for over 30 years in the areas of education, child protection, health and nutrition and child rights governance in both development and humanitarian settings.

Save the Children was one of the first organizations to pre-deploy its team during the Typhoon Haiyan to immediately assess and respond to the needs of children and their families. We are now one of the biggest responders to Typhoon Haiyan in Eastern Leyte, Western Leyte and Panay Island with field offices in Tacloban, Ormoc and Estancia, Iloilo.

In any emergency situation, Save the Children aims to respond to the critical needs of children and families inside and outside of evacuation centres, addressing concerns related to relief, child protection, education, health and nutrition including clean water supplies, sanitation, food security, and shelter.

For interviews with our spokespersons, please contact April May Sumaylo at 09173011240 orapril.sumaylo@savethechildren

Philippines: NDDRMC Update Sitrep No. 11 re Monitoring Activities on the Alert Status of Mayon Volcano

26 September 2014 - 8:00pm
Source: Government of the Philippines Country: Philippines preview

Alert Level 3 is in effect as of 8:00 AM, 27 September 2014, which means that magma is at the crater and that hazardous eruption is possible within weeks. Mayon Volcano’s seismic network recorded eleven (11) volcanic earthquakes and four (4) rockfall events during the past 24-hour observation period.

Philippines: NDRRMC Update SitRep No. 14 re Effects of Tropical Storm MARIO (Fung-Wong)

26 September 2014 - 8:00pm
Source: Government of the Philippines Country: Philippines preview

I. SITUATION OVERVIEW

The Low Pressure Area (LPA) east of Visayas has developed into a Tropical Depression and was named "Mario" on 17 September 2014 and exited the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR) on 22 September 2014.

Philippines: Salesian Missionaries Receive Praise from World Bank for Rebuilding Efforts after Typhoon Haiyan

26 September 2014 - 4:06pm
Source: Salesian Missions Country: Philippines

(MissionNewswire) Less than a year after Typhoon Haiyan, also known as Typhoon Yolanda, devastated portions of Southeast Asia, particularly the Philippines, Salesian missionaries working in the region are noting steady progress in community rehabilitation and rebuilding.

The super typhoon, which struck on November 8, 2013, was one of the strongest tropical cyclones ever recorded and the deadliest typhoon on record in the Philippines killing more than 6,200 people in that country alone. According to the United Nations, the super typhoon affected more than 13 million people overall. An estimated one million homes were destroyed and 4 million people were left homeless with close to 2.5 million of those displaced needing food assistance. More than 5 million of those affected were children, leaving 1.5 million children at risk of acute malnutrition, according to the UN World Food Program.

Initiated in the wake of the storm, the Don Bosco Adopt and Rebuild a Community Project (Don Bosco ARC) began replacing destroyed homes and buildings that were poorly constructed before the storm with ones that can withstand future weather events. To date, 50 homes have been completed, 50 more are in the process of construction and work contracts are in place for an additional 75 residential units. Ultimately, the Don Bosco ARC project will benefit 2,600 families on four separate islands.

The success of the program was recently highlighted by visiting representatives from the World Bank who were in the Philippines to learn more about climate change challenges in the country.

“Upon arriving in Barangay, where the Don Bosco ARC Project is underway, World Bank representatives confirmed that as of May 2014, no other permanent shelter reconstruction, other than the Salesian efforts, have been launched on the island,” says Father Mark Hyde, executive director of Salesian Missions, the U.S. development arm of the Salesians of Don Bosco. “Officials congratulated Salesian missionaries on the ground for a job well done — an honor they are now using to further propel their passion for their work, and for the Filipino people.”

Salesian missionaries in the Philippines have been working with vulnerable children and their families at Salesian schools, youth centers and community programs for many years and were positioned to be on the front lines of the relief efforts during, and immediately after, the typhoon. Salesian buildings in Cebu were named Official Help Centers and students, teachers, staff and volunteers worked alongside missionaries to collect, prepare and pack relief goods. In cooperation with the National Crisis Management Unit in the Philippines, 25,000 emergency kits were distributed in the days immediately following the storm.

Salesians in the country were also able to assist with the logistics of relief efforts which was identified by many aid experts as the greatest challenge. With experience working with the military to safely receive and transport relief supplies to those in need, Salesians in the Philippines provided crucial disaster relief support and coordination in the days and months following the storm.

“Because we have been working in the Philippines since 1950 and already have an established network in the affected areas, we are able to provide vital coordination and infrastructure support,” adds Fr. Hyde. “Our work did not stop in the immediate aftermath of the storm. Salesian relief efforts continue for those in need and reconstruction efforts are ongoing to help rebuild communities.”

As many lost their livelihoods in the wake of the storm, Salesians are also working on employment initiatives in the farming, livestock management and manufacturing sectors, among others, designed to jump-start the local economy. By integrating research, technological advancement and vocational training in these areas, Salesian programs aim to create sustainable, long-term entrepreneurship and employment opportunities which, in turn, will provide typhoon victims and vulnerable youth with financial security and hope for a better future.

Salesian Missions, the U.S. development arm of the Salesians of Don Bosco, launched a “Philippines Typhoon Emergency” fund in response to the need. To give to that fund, to to SalesianMissions.org/typhoon.

Sources:

Philippines: UN-Habitat Trains over 300 on Disaster-Resilient Construction

26 September 2014 - 12:52pm
Source: UN Human Settlements Program Country: Philippines

Manila 25 September 2014— As part of capacity building component and campaign for sustainable self-recovery among the populations affected by Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda in the Philippines) which struck last November , UN-Habitat has just conducted a series of trainings on disaster-resilient shelter construction for craftsmen in Roxas City and the municipalities of Panay and Pontevedra in Capiz Province. The scale of the devastation spawned by Typhoon Haiyan left hundreds of thousands ill-equipped to rehabilitate their homes.

Many were forced to move on with only broken house remnants and an uncertain future marked by climatic threats. The Post-Yolanda Support for Safer Homes and Settlements Project, with financial support worth USD 2 billion from the Government of Japan, seeks to address the shelter needs of Haiyan-affected families in the communities of Capiz and Iloilo, particularly in the municipalities of Estancia, Panay, and Pontevedra and in Roxas City. One of the fundamental outputs of the project is the construction of 610 core houses for Haiyan-affected households.

Held at the district of Milibili, Roxas City, each training course ran for three days and consisted of lectures punctuated by practical exercises that effectively enabled the participants—carpenters and masons—to demonstrate their knowledge and skills. Following the module piloted in February 2014, the training covered the following: disaster risk reduction (DRR) concepts and mitigation measures; the use of timber, bamboo, and reinforced concrete; and the preparation of reinforced concrete. The participants—most of whom were accustomed to traditional construction methods—were also taught a critical yet often overlooked skill: reading structural plans.

Leading the training was UN-Habitat Shelter and DRR Expert Nikolaus Hartz who was particularly impressed with the craftsmen’s enthusiasm and performance, especially during the exercises and written exams. Even more remarkable was how the students became teachers themselves as they also imparted the knowledge they acquired over the years in construction work.

As an income-earning opportunity, the training came with daily allowances for the participants who were mostly heads of their respective households.

Philippines: Responding to flooding in Manila and Luzon, Philippines

26 September 2014 - 2:30am
Source: Direct Relief Country: Philippines

Following Tropical Storm Fung-Wong (known as Mario in the Philippines), which brought heavy rains and severe flooding to low-lying areas of the northern Philippine Islands, Direct Relief has reached out to local officials as they assess medical needs.

More than one million people have been affected across 27 provinces, with nearly 130,000 people seeking shelter at 324 evacuation centers. At least 11 people have been killed and 425 houses destroyed, reports the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies.

The Emergency Response team is in touch with the Philippines Department of Health and the Philippine Red Cross as they evaluate medical supply needs. Additionally, two forty-foot containers of medicines and medical supplies valued at $150,000 are currently en route to the Philippines Department of Health in Manila and an another forty-foot container is headed to health center partners in Cebu. Medicines and supplies contained in these shipments may be used in recovery efforts.

The team will continue to monitor health needs in the area. To donate to Direct Relief’s emergency preparedness and response efforts, click here. Follow @DirectRelief on Twitter for the latest updates on this response.

Philippines: NDDRMC Update Sitrep No. 10 re Monitoring Activities on the Alert Status of Mayon Volcano

26 September 2014 - 2:09am
Source: Government of the Philippines Country: Philippines preview

Alert Level 3 is still in effect as of 8:00 AM, 26 September 2014, which means that magma is at the crater and that hazardous eruption is possible within weeks. Mayon Volcano’s seismic network recorded nine (9) volcanic earthquakes and six (6) rockfall events during the past 24-hour observation period.

Philippines: NDRRMC Update SitRep No. 13 re Effects of Tropical Storm MARIO (Fung-Wong)

26 September 2014 - 2:05am
Source: Government of the Philippines Country: Philippines preview

I. SITUATION OVERVIEW

The Low Pressure Area (LPA) east of Visayas has developed into a Tropical Depression and was named "Mario" on 17 September 2014 and exited the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR) on 22 September 2014.

Philippines: Philippines: Eastern Visayas: Summary of Response Activities FSAC, CCCM, WASH (As of 1st September 2014)

24 September 2014 - 11:32pm
Source: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs Country: Philippines preview

Philippines: Health workers go “house to house” on measles, polio vaccination

24 September 2014 - 9:54pm
Source: Government of the Philippines Country: Philippines

BY: FREDDIE G. LAZARO
Thursday 25th of September 2014

LAOAG CITY, September 25 (PIA) - Health workers are going house-to-house to achieve full immunization of children against measles rubella and polio in Region 1 as the end of the state-sponsored mass vaccination draws near.

Dr. Myrna Cabotaje, Department of Health director for Ilocos, said on Tuesday household-level system is part of their rapid coverage assessment (RCA) to ensure that all children aged 59 months old and below are immunized with free anti–measles and anti-polio vaccines.

“Those children qualified to take the anti-measles vaccine has a minimum age of nine months up to 59 months while those children intended to take the anti-polio oral vaccine is zero month to 59 months old,” Cabatoje said in a press conference.

In Region 1, the DOH targets to immunize 574,183 children againstg measles and 674,041 children against polio. Going into the fourth week of the month-long campaign, the region’s accomplishment rate for MR is 65.75% while for OPV is 63.16%.

For Ilocos Norte, 68,023 children are up for measles vaccination while 79,854 children for polio vaccine. As of September 19, the province's vaccination rate was pegged at 55.78 perccent for measles and 53.03 percent for OPV.

Cabotaje called all stakeholders particularly the local media to take part in the campaign by encouraging the parents to bring their children to the health centers or vaccination posts for immunization.

“With the help of our stakeholders, I’m optimistic that we would attain at least 95 percent coverage for the region by the end of September,” she said.

She said the mass immunization aims to halt the measles transmission in provinces and cities to protect the population from the possible occurrence of measles outbreak and from the importation of polio virus.

“The MR – OPV massive immunization campaign is a renewed commitment of the national government for the elimination of measles and to maintain a polio-free status in the country,” she said. (MCA/FGL,PIA-1,Ilocos Norte)

Philippines: NDRRMC Update SitRep No. 11 re Effects of Tropical Storm MARIO (Fung-Wong)

24 September 2014 - 4:34am
Source: Government of the Philippines Country: Philippines preview

I. SITUATION OVERVIEW

The Low Pressure Area (LPA) east of Visayas has developed into a Tropical Depression and was named "Mario" on 17 September 2014 and exited the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR) on 22 September 2014.