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Philippines: 50 responders finish collapsed structure search and rescue training course

21 October 2014 - 1:06am
Source: Government of the Philippines Country: Philippines

FORT DEL PILAR, BAGUIO CITY, Oct 18. (PIA) – Some 50 city responders and uniformed men are now more capable and knowledgeable in search and rescue skills after completing the 8-day Collapsed Structure Search and Rescue Training Course held in this mountain resort.

From October 6 to 13, at least 50 participants from the City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management (DRRM) Council and representatives from other emergency responder groups and agencies such as Bureau of Fire and Protection, Baguio City Police Office, Bureau of Jail and Penology, Baguio City Emergency Management Service (BCEMS), Philippine Military Academy and Baguio City hall employees attended the CSSR Training course to boost the city responders’ capabilities in emergency earthquake scenarios.

The program was spearheaded by the city of Baguio in partnership with the Office of Civil Defense – Cordillera, PMA and the United Nations – World Food Program.

OCD-CAR Regional Director Andrew Alex Uy said that the main objective of the 8-day course is to train target participants with the techniques and methods necessary for searching, locating, stabilizing and extricating victims trapped in collapsed structures, using the safest and most appropriate procedures for the rescuer as well as the victims.

The training course included lessons on organizing and starting a CSSR operation; construction materials, structures and damage types; Structural Triage and the INSARAG (International Search and Rescue Advisory Group) Marketing System; Operational Safety; Search and Location Techniques; Tools, equipment and accessories; Rescue strategies and techniques; Shoring methods; Lifting and Stabilizing loads; Pre-hospital treatment; and final practice exercise.

The City of Baguio was devastated by a killer earthquake in 1990 and it can affect us again, and the training course will be very useful when another earthquake hits Baguio City, Uy said.

“Big scenario on earthquake may level down all our resources to zero and the impact of earthquake would be high particularly to a highly urbanized city such as Baguio and it is important for the city to invest on the trainings and equipments used during disaster and emergencies, he added.

During the last day of the CSSR training course, participants underwent final practical exercise with a collapsed building scenario. It included rescuing two victims trapped inside a collapsed structure where in the trainees break into walls made from different materials such as concrete, wood, brick and other light materials.

The participants also got to use the new disaster and emergency equipment of the city government thru the funding of the UN-WFP amounting to P3 Million to enhance the DRRM of the city of Baguio.

“Nakita natin na na absorb nila ng maayos yung training or tinuro sa kanila and dito na nga yung application and nakikita na natin na successful ito and sana tuloy tuloy na rin and supporta ng mga local government unit sa pag-implement ng ganitong technical training para sa mga capacity ng local emergency response team,” Uy remarked.

Uy said that this is the first CSSR training course and the OCD will be conducting other set of trainings for the different local government units in order for them to enhance their DRRM personnel, equipment and plans as well.

“It is our objective to develop local responders, dedicated trained and well equipped on CSSR operation that is ready for emergency mobilization,” he said.(JDP/ Redjie Melvic Cawis & Hanah Fabia- UB Intern, PIA-CAR)

Philippines: Guv says Benguet people more ready for disaster

21 October 2014 - 12:48am
Source: Government of the Philippines Country: Philippines

LA TRINIDAD, Benguet, Oct. 19(PIA) -- As the province of Benguet commemorated the fifth anniversary of typhoon Pepeng on October 9, Governor Nestor Fongwan said that the people of Benguet are more prepared for calamity.

Fongwan said that after the Little Kibungan tragedy in barangay Puguis this town, that left at least 70 dead and several families homeless, and the other major disasters that occurred in the province, people in Benguet are now more conscious of their environment during calamities.

“Benguet people are more aware of their surroundings, they learn to take care of nature and they now pay attention to announcements of the local government units during disaster,” he said.

He also bared that the province has focused on upholding disaster preparedness and awareness among stakeholders with the mission of establishing safe and resilient communities. He added that they have invested on trainings needed by the responders from the provincial level down to barangay level for disaster preparedness.

The various local government units through their Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (MDRRMC) have also conducted various activities such as DRRM trainings, summits, drills and orientations for various audience including schools and offices to make then ready and prepared during disasters.

The provincial government thru the private sector partners has also invested on some emergency and disaster equipment.

On October 9, the community of Sitio Little Kibungan in Puguis, La Trinidad held a holy mass for the people who perished during the 2009 Typhoon Pepeng tragedy. The families and relatives lighted 77 candles representing the individuals who died that time.

Families affected during the tragedy are still appealing for help from the local and national government for their relocation site.

According to Fongwan, the provincial government is fastracking the negotiations between the municipal government of La Trinidad and the Benguet State University at the area identified thru a Presidential Proclamation in Tawang, La Trinidad. (JDP/Redjie Melvic Cawis & UB Interns PIA-CAR)

Philippines: LGU-Tacurong pledges to push WaSH strategies

21 October 2014 - 12:40am
Source: Government of the Philippines Country: Philippines

By: Danilo E. Doguiles

TACURONG CITY, Sultan Kudarat, Oct 20 (PIA) -- The city government here has vowed to instutionalize the WaSH strategies of the United Nations Children’s Fund and promote the advocacy of the Single Drop for Safe Water (SDSW).

WaSH, which stands for water, sanitation and hygiene, is a strategy of UNICEF which aims to mobilize community leaders and members to ensure that problems on water sanitation and hygiene are not left on sidelines.

Through WaSH, UNICEF wants to reduce by 2015 the proportion of people without sustainable access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation based on the Millennium Development Goal Target 10 and to ensure that all schools have adequate child-friendly water and sanitation facilities, and hygiene education program.

The same objectives are being embraced by the SDSW.

UNICEF and SDSW have started this program in Sultan Kudarat in 2012 with a signing of a memorandum of agreement for a 5-year partnership to pilot WaSH strategies in the provinces coastal towns of Kalamansig and Lebak.

“This year, we are very eager to facilitate WaSH efforts in the remaining municipalities and city in Sultan Kudarat,” said Estelita dela Cruz, SDSW facilitator.

Having been committed to this advocacy, LGU-Tacurong City is bound to strengthen and sustain its programs that would provide clean and safe water for and with the communities.

On October 13 to 15, SDSW conducted WaSH orientation for the LGUs of Sultan Kudarat in Tacurong City.

Participants included LGU WaSH task forces who will ensure that issues on water and sanitation are addressed in in their respective localities.

Each task force was created through an executive order issued by the mayor. Core members of each task force include personnel from LGU’s health, environment, budget, treasury, and Sanggunian office as well as barangay leaders and health workers.

SDSW aims to capacitate WaSH Task Forces for effective and efficient data gathering and planning for strategic solutions that will address water problems in communities.

After the orientation, participants were deployed to Tacurong City’s WaSH pilot sites to apply what they have learned.

Among their tasks were to identify water concerns and issues through focus group discussions, household interviews and to assess water sanitation facilities in the area. SDSW assisted them throughout the process.

Ideally, WaSH task forces of other LGUs will have to do the same in their respective areas once they get back to their communities.

Results of this data gathering process will be validated by community members during a general assembly.

After issues and concerns are identified and validated, the task force will determine the possible solutions.

"SDSW can help LGUs in formulating project proposals and in lobbying for funds from different organizations," dela Cruz said.

Philippines: Valenzuela’s Liveable City Plan among PHL’s best

21 October 2014 - 12:34am
Source: Government of the Philippines Country: Philippines

VALENZUELA CITY, 21 OCT. (PIA)--Valenzuela City Government’s design proposal for a liveable and disaster resilient city has been judged second best at the government/evacuation center category of the Liveable Cities Design Challenge (LCDC) at the PICC in Pasay, Oct. 15, 2014.

LCDC panel of judges highlighted the “Tayo Na Valenzuela! The Comprehensive Disaster Preparedness Plan”for its “systematic and comprehensive design in addressing the city’s disaster vulnerability, and for the efficient execution of disaster plans, coupled with effective governance.”

The plan is in response to a geo hazards study obtained by city officials that shows flooding in low-lying parts of Valenzuela during typhoon season, earthquake, tsunami and liquefaction, or softening of the ground, as threats to the city.

The LCDC is a design competition that seeks to encourage cities to plan and design their cities for resilience and liveability, with the aim of getting its urban planners “to better plan their respective cities for a climate-defined future.”

Valenzuela City is the only NCR city to make it to the top 4 finalists that impressed the eight-member panel composed of distinguished experts and leaders in different fields pooled by contest organizers from the National Competitiveness Council Philippines and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).

The other finalist cities are Cagayan De Oro City, which eventually won the grand prize, Roxas City and Zamboanga City.

Crafted by Mayor Rex Gatchalian and key city government officials and personnel from the Business Permits and Licensing Office, City Assessor Office, City Legal Office, City Planning and Development Office, Disaster Preparedness Office and Public Information Office, Valenzuela City’s LCDC entry calls for the development of a leveled up infrastructure network and integration of sound protocols on logistics and management that will enable the city to respond to disasters and other challenges.

LCDC also brought in Dr. Nathaniel Von Einsiedel and Arch. Ruth Equipaje to help fine tune the plan while the city also had Engr. Frederick Koa, president of the Philippine Institute of Civil Engineers (PICE) – North Metro Manila chapter as private sector representative.

Center piece of Valenzuela City’s “Liveable City” program is the P200-million ALERT (Allied Local Emergency Response Teams) Center being developed on a flood-free 8,670 square meter city government property across the City Hall, bounded by MacArthur Highway and Maysan Road on both ends.

Around its 2,500-meter radius are two public hospitals, the city central warehouse, designated evacuation centers and other vital government facilities and major road networks making it ideal and highly accessible.


The chief executive said funding for the project has already been identified and targets its completion by 2016.

According to the plan, ALERT Center will function as the brain of the disaster preparedness and response of the city and will house buildings for the Valenzuela City Disaster Preparedness Office (DPO), the new Central Fire Station, Red Cross Volunteer Center, and the VC Tent, an event place which would also serve as the staging and packaging area during disasters.

Furthermore, DPO will also be the new home for the Valenzuela City Command and Coordinating Center (VC-C3) that administers the citywide CCTV system and satellite hubs for the Office of the Mayor, City Social Welfare and Development Office and Public Information Office.

Mayor REX disclosed in a statement that before the year ends, Central Fire Station would be fully operational while site development for the ALERT Center would also be completed.

Construction of the DPO building will start in 2015 while the VC Tent in 2016.


Mayor Rex expounded ALERT Center has been designed to be the last standing public facility in the city in the event of a catastrophe where the government can still function and address the needs of its people.

Further details of the plan show ALERT Center will be complemented by 3S (Sentro ng Sama-samang Serbisyo) Centers being constructed in 15 strategic points across Valenzuela City.

Mayor Gatchalian said eight of these centers would be completed before the year ends, five others in 2015 while the two remaining centers in 2016. The first 3S Center was inaugurated, on the other hand, in Bgy. Polo in September this year.

The plan will make ALERT Center and 3S Centers interconnected by satellite phone technology and will be equipped with generator sets and solar panels to facilitate its services in spite of a massive failure of power and communication lines.

Some of the 3S Centers, also called as City Hall Annex buildings, will feature satellite offices for business permit and licensing and social welfare. This strategy will add value to the project by making government transactions more convenient to constituents.

Architect-mentor Von Einsiedel during the awards ceremony commended Valenzuela City for demonstrating political will in making the plan more feasible by hurdling property acquisition issues and partisan politics.

“We assure the constituents that the city government has firm resolve to make Valenzuela, not only a business-friendly and competitive city, but also one of the most liveable cities in the country,” Gatchalian said. (Valenzuela PIO/RJB/SDL/PIA-NCR)

Philippines: LGU-Tacurong turns over vehicle to volunteer group

21 October 2014 - 12:25am
Source: Government of the Philippines Country: Philippines

By: Danilo E. Doguiles

TACURONG CITY, Sultan Kudarat, Oct 21 (PIA) -- The city government of Tacurong turned over Monday a brand new vehicle to the city’s premier disaster and emergency response volunteer group.

Tacurong City Mayor Lina Montilla led the turn over ceremony of a P2-million vehicle to the Tacurong Responsive Assistance and Coordinated Emergency Search and Rescue (TRACER).

Montilla believes the provision of a vehicle would boost the efficiency of the volunteer team’s operations not only in the city but also in nearby towns.

TRACER is composed of volunteers trained on search and rescue and basic life support. It has been recognized as a major component of Tacurong’s Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council.

In 2012, TRACER was named 3rd Best Volunteer Organization in the National Gawad KALASAG.

‘Gawad Kalasag’, which stands for KAlamidad at Sakuna LAbanan SAriling Galing ang Kaligtasan, is a presidential award given to individuals, non-government organizations, private sector and government organizations, in recognition of their initiative in helping the Filipino government uplift the standard of disaster management in the country. (DEDoguiles-PIA 12 with report from the LGU Tacurong Information)

Philippines: OPAPP, PCW to mainstream women in peace concerns in gov't

21 October 2014 - 12:23am
Source: Government of the Philippines Country: Philippines

MANILA – The Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) and Philippine Commission on Women (PCW) recently made history with the signing of a circular that aims to ensure that concerns on peace and women are better integrated in government programs and services in conflict-affected areas.

The signing of Joint Memorandum Circular 2014-0 makes the Philippines a global pioneer and model in mainstreaming and institutionalizing in the government bureaucracy the empowerment and protection of women in conflict-affected areas through the National Action Plan on Women, Peace, and Security (NAPWPS) and intensified implementation of the Magna Carta on Women.

“Women have borne the brunt of decades of conflict, and change must begin with them. There can be no healing and wholeness of our body politic if women remain broken, insecure, and violated,” said Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Teresita Quintos Deles.

“The Joint Memorandum Circular reflects a broader policy of peace building which we hope will be a lasting legacy of this administration,” she informed guests coming from national government agencies, local government units, civil society groups, and international development organizations at the Kababaihan at Kapayapaan Forum last week at the Cocoon Boutique Hotel in Quezon City.

The Philippines was the first country in Asia to formulate and adopt a NAPWPS to operationalize its commitment to the United Nations Security Council Resolutions on women, peace and security.

OPAPP and PCW are co-chairs of the steering committee in the implementation of the National Action Plan.

National Action Plan, a 'living document'

Revised indicators for the National Action Plan were also issued during the event to ensure heightened implementation and accountability. The revised NAPWPS indicators were formulated by OPAPP in extensive consultations with civil society groups and national government agencies, and will serve as a guide for the implementation of NAPWPS programs, projects, and activities.

“The National Action Plan is a living document that should respond to the needs of the times,” said OPAPP Undersecretary for Programs Maria Cleofe Gettie C. Sandoval as she outlined the revamped indicators.

Another highlight of the forum was the formal launch of the second edition of the Kababaihan at Kapayapaan Magazine, a biannual publication of the OPAPP on women, peace, and security. The second edition focuses on the NAP, the women behind it, and other key figures involved in its implementation.

Philippines: As volcano awakens, Philippines 'zero casualty' record faces test

20 October 2014 - 10:10pm
Source: AlertNet Country: Philippines

Source: Thomson Reuters Foundation - Mon, 20 Oct 2014 13:15 GMT
Author: Imelda Abano

LEGAZPI CITY, Philippines (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – The Philippines’ most active volcano, Mayon, is showing signs of a big eruption within weeks, with streams of lava seen flowing out of its dome on Sunday.

Read the full article on AlertNet.

Philippines: Regional Snapshot East Asia and the Pacific | Fiscal Year (FY) 2014

20 October 2014 - 7:32pm
Source: US Agency for International Development Country: Indonesia, Myanmar, Palau, Philippines, Solomon Islands, Tonga, World preview


Recurrent earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, seasonal floods, and typhoons, as well as limited government response capacity in some countries, present significant challenges to vulnerable populations in the East Asia and Pacific (EAP)2 region. In addition to staff in Washington, D.C., USAID’s Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance (USAID/OFDA) maintains a permanent regional office for EAP in Bangkok, Thailand. As of October 2014, USAID/OFDA also had a regional advisor based in Jakarta, Indonesia, and a disaster assistance coordinator covering the Federated States of Micronesia and the Republic of the Marshall Islands.

World: IOM Humanitarian Compendium Update

20 October 2014 - 5:51am
Source: International Organization for Migration Country: Afghanistan, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Congo, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Egypt, Ethiopia, Haiti, Iraq, Jordan, Kenya, Lebanon, Libya, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Philippines, Rwanda, Somalia, Sudan, Syrian Arab Republic, Turkey, Uganda, United Republic of Tanzania, World, Yemen, Zimbabwe, South Sudan

IOM’s updated Humanitarian Compendium is now available in a new online platform: The Humanitarian Compendium charts the humanitarian needs and strategic priorities of IOM in more than 30 countries for 2014, as coordinated at the inter-agency level, and reflected in Inter-Agency Response Plans and IOM Appeals. The Humanitarian Compendium will be updated on a rolling basis to reflect changes in requirements and funding received.

IOM’s revised funding requirements for 2014 are USD 764 million, out of which 40 percent has been funded, as of 20 October 2014. Please see the online platform for updated figures.

IOM’s humanitarian initiatives assist vulnerable populations, internally displaced populations, refugees, migrants and host communities in Afghanistan, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Democratic Republic of Congo, Djibouti, Egypt (Syria Crisis), Ethiopia, Haiti, Iraq, Jordan (Syria Crisis), Kenya, Lebanon (Syria Crisis), Libya, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, the Philippines, the Republic of Congo, Rwanda, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Syria, Tanzania, Turkey (Syria Crisis), Uganda, Yemen and Zimbabwe.

Please visit the website for up to date information on IOM’s humanitarian requirements.

World: IOM Humanitarian Compendium 2014 - Revised Requirements

20 October 2014 - 5:31am
Source: International Organization for Migration Country: Afghanistan, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Congo, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Egypt, Ethiopia, Haiti, Iraq, Jordan, Kenya, Lebanon, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Philippines, Rwanda, Somalia, Sudan, Syrian Arab Republic, Turkey, Uganda, United Republic of Tanzania, World, Yemen, Zimbabwe, South Sudan preview

IOM’s updated Humanitarian Compendium is now available in a new online platform: The Humanitarian Compendium charts the humanitarian needs and strategic priorities of IOM in more than 30 countries for 2014, as coordinated at the inter-agency level, and reflected in Inter-Agency Response Plans and IOM Appeals. The Humanitarian Compendium will be updated on a rolling basis to reflect changes in requirements and funding received.

IOM’s revised funding requirements for 2014 are USD 764 million, out of which 40 percent has been funded, as of 20 October 2014. Please see the online platform for updated figures.

IOM’s humanitarian initiatives assist vulnerable populations, internally displaced populations, refugees, migrants and host communities in Afghanistan, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Democratic Republic of Congo, Djibouti, Egypt (Syria Crisis), Ethiopia, Haiti, Iraq, Jordan (Syria Crisis), Kenya, Lebanon (Syria Crisis), Libya, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, the Philippines, the Republic of Congo, Rwanda, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Syria, Tanzania, Turkey (Syria Crisis), Uganda, Yemen and Zimbabwe.

Please visit the website for up to date information on IOM’s humanitarian requirements.

Philippines: Philippines - Mindanao: Zamboanga City evacuation centres and transitory sites as of 13 October 2014

20 October 2014 - 5:27am
Source: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs Country: Philippines preview

Philippines: MR-OPV vaccine needed for increasing measles cases

20 October 2014 - 5:24am
Source: Government of the Philippines Country: Philippines

BAGUIO CITY, Oct. 20 (PIA) – The increasing number of measles cases in the country is among the reasons for the mass immunization being conducted by the Department of Health nationwide.

During the Kapihan sa Baguio media forum on Thursday, DOH-Cordillera Administrative Region Assistant Regional Director Amelita Pangilinan said that there are 117 confirmed cases of measles from January to October this year compared to 60 cases for the same period last year with a reported death from Baguio City. This represents a 95 percent increase of measles cases in the region this 2014.

The province of Benguet recorded the highest number of cases with 59, followed by Baguio with 34, Kalinga with 14, Ifugao with 4, Abra with 3, Mountain Province with 2 and Apayao with one confirmed case.

Pangilinan said that the increasing number of cases of measles is the reason the DOH is having long term plan of giving national immunization or the Measles Rubella–Oral Polio Vaccine (MR–OPV) vaccination which was extended until October 10.

For polio, Pangilinan said the Philippines is already polio-free, but the oral vaccine aims to ensure that there will be no importation of cases from neighboring countries where the disease remains a concern.

“The MR immunization is for children 9 months to 59 months old while the OPV is for 0 to 59 months, regardless whether the child has already been vaccinated or not,” said Pangilinan.

She explained that their target is 95% because the assumption is if 95% is immunized, it will protect the whole community; the 5% will be overruled which is the principle of immunization.

The DOH-CAR in the Ligtas sa Tigdas national campaign in the whole month of September and extended until October 10 , has recorded 172, 123 children vaccinated with MR and 234,002 given OPV as of October 8. The data represent 86.35% of the estimated eligible population targetted for MR vaccination and 83.84% for the OPV vaccination.

Pangilinan cited some factors that hamper vaccination among children which include religious belief and wrong information of parents about the vaccination and its effects. (JDP/Redjie Melvic Cawis & Erin Miana- UB Intern, PIA-CAR)

Philippines: Floods affect 66 Capiz villages

20 October 2014 - 5:23am
Source: Government of the Philippines Country: Philippines

By: Jemin B. Guillermo

ROXAS CITY, Capiz, Oct. 20 (PIA) – A total of 66 barangays in Capiz experienced flooding due to the continuous heavy rain here, October 19.

Report from the Capiz provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office as of 6 a.m. today disclosed that the heavy rains put many barangays, especially the rice fields, underwater.

Of the total affected barangays, 17 were in Mambusao, 15 in Panitan, 13 in Sigma, six in Panay, five in Pontevedra, four each in Dao and Sapian, and one each in Ivisan and Roxas City.

According to PDRRM Officer Esperedion Pelaez, the water in the flooded areas in Sapian, Ivisan and Roxas City have already subsided while the water in Sigma, Mambusao, Panitan and Dao is gradually subsiding.

Pelaez also noted that all national roads and provincial roads from and to Iloilo and Kalibo, Aklan are passable to all types of vehicles.

Capiz Governor Victor Tanco had called for an emergency meeting yesterday afternoon with members of the PDRRM Council to prepare for any eventualities in case the water level will continue to rise that could cause intense flooding.

Tanco also directed all the response units of the various agencies and organizations such as the Philippine National Police, Philippine Army, Philippine Coast Guard, Bureau of Fire Protection and Capiz Emergency Response Team on be on standby for flood and evacuation deployment.
He also called on the DRRMCs in all the towns and city to be on alert and conduct intensive monitoring and possible evacuation if the situation warrants.

The governor disclosed that the province has 400 bags of rice and other relief goods for immediate relief assistance in evacuation centers.

On the other hand, PDRRMC members present during the conference assured that their personnel and emergency response are on alert to respond to the situation.

Meanwhile, continuous monitoring of water level and other disaster related situation is being conducted by various offices led by the PDRRMO. (JCM/JBG/PIA6-Capiz)

Philippines: DavOr LGU provides cash aid to fire victims, rice assistance to villagers

20 October 2014 - 5:14am
Source: Government of the Philippines Country: Philippines

GOVERNOR GENEROSO, DAVAO ORIENTAL October 20, 2014— The provincial government of Davao Oriental distributed cash aid and rice assistance to families in the village of Tibanban in Governor Generoso last October 14.

Thirty-five families received cash aid while some 2,489 poor families received rice assistance, distributed at the barangay gym.

Personally handed over by Gov. Corazon N. Malanyaon, the cash aid distribution responds to the fire incident here last August, which burned residents’ houses down to the ground.

Fourteen families, whose homes were totally damaged received P 8,000 each, while the other 21 families with partially damaged homes were given P 5,000 each.

Bernardino Miflores, 60 year-old resident of Tibanban, who lost his home and his tailoring shop on the fire, said the cash assistance a great help to him, especially in starting off with the repairs of their house. “It isn’t much to build a house, but it would definitely help as we start over,” he said.

The municipal local government unit of Governor Generoso had already distributed emergency cash assistance last month for the fire-affected families.

Although the provided assistance is dwarfed by the colossal damages incurred by the fire, Governor Malanyaon said this aid comes from the genuine service of the provincial government to its people and hopes it could be of help for them even in the short-term.

As the provincial government hatches development programs that are now starting to emerge, a booming local economy is anticipated that would help give a boost to local residents’ livelihoods.

These long-term programs include, among others, the emerging tourism development program in relation to the recently UNESCO-inscribed Mt. Hamiguitan Range Wildlife Sanctuary and the massive Cacao Industry Development Program that is starting to make a huge impact here.

Meanwhile, due to the heavy monsoonrains, the provincial government also handed over 4 kilos of rice for each of the more than 2,000 families in the village.

A coastal village, most of the residents here depends on fishing as their primary source of livelihood. And with the heavy seasonal monsoon, which prevent them from sailing and fishing, residents don’t have enough sources to provide for their families.

The provincial government urged residents to be strong and resilient with this difficult times and hopes that the handed assistance would at least curb the difficulty of their situation. (PIO)

Philippines: Philippines: Zamboanga Crisis Timeline (as of 3 Oct 2014)

20 October 2014 - 1:30am
Source: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs Country: Philippines preview

World: Humanitarian Assistance in Review - East Asia and the Pacific | Fiscal Year (FY) 2005 – 2014

17 October 2014 - 7:17pm
Source: US Agency for International Development Country: Cambodia, China, Indonesia, Japan, Marshall Islands, Myanmar, Philippines, Thailand, Timor-Leste, Viet Nam, World preview

Recurrent floods, earthquakes, volcanoes, and seasonal typhoons present significant challenges to vulnerable populations in the East Asia and the Pacific (EAP) region. Some countries also face civil unrest and associated humanitarian impacts, as well as limited government capacity to respond to disasters. Between FY 2005 and FY 2014, USAID’s Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance (USAID/OFDA) and USAID’s Office of Food for Peace (USAID/FFP) provided humanitarian assistance in response to a diverse range of natural and complex emergencies in the region, including cyclones or typhoons in Burma and the Philippines; earthquakes in China, Indonesia, and New Zealand; floods in Cambodia, Thailand, and Vietnam; a tsunami in Japan; a drought in the Marshall Islands; volcanic eruptions in Indonesia and the Philippines; and conflict in Burma and Timor Leste.

Between FY 2005 and FY 2014, USAID provided nearly $319 million in disaster response assistance in the EAP region. USAID/OFDA assistance included nearly $190 million for programs in agriculture and food security, economic recovery and market systems (ERMS), health, humanitarian coordination and information management, logistics support and relief commodities, nutrition, protection, risk management policy and practice, shelter and settlements, and water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH). As of September 22, USAID/FFP assistance during this time period included more than $129 million for food assistance in the form of U.S. purchased food, locally and/or regionally purchased food, cash transfers for food, food vouchers, and related activities.

Philippines: A Local Hero Emerges After Typhoon Haiyan

17 October 2014 - 4:57pm
Source: Catholic Relief Services Country: Philippines

By: Jen Hardy, Catholic Relief Services

People like Ric De Veyra emerge during crisis to show that it is possible to pick up the pieces in the wake of disaster.

Even the richest country in the world has trouble recovering from a major natural disaster, as Hurricanes Katrina and Sandy demonstrated. So it’s no surprise that the same story is playing out in the Philippines after Super Typhoon Haiyan, which hit on November 8, 2013. It was the strongest recorded storm to ever make landfall on this nation of islands.

Ric De Veyra, and other volunteers like him, are helping families pick up the pieces in the wake of the storm and amid what sometimes seems like hopeless bureaucratic gridlock. He has volunteered many unpaid hours and sacrificed time with his family to help his neighbors get housing and other essentials lost in the storm.

“CRS has been working hard to help rebuild communities after Haiyan, but it’s only with leaders like Ric that residents can find hope, purpose and resolve to rebuild their lives better than before,” says Catholic Relief Services program manager Anna Hrybyk.

“When the wind quieted, I looked outside,” Ric says of the night of Haiyan, which he spent in an elementary school evacuation center, away from his family. “I saw no more houses, no more grass. I didn’t know what to do, where to start, not only for my own family, but for all of my neighbors too

CRS Provides a Lifeline

Ric, 30, had just been elected chairman of his “barangay,” or community, when Haiyan hit. That’s why he stayed in the elementary school the night of Haiyan: He didn’t want to leave his constituents, even though his family was in a different evacuation center.

“Everyone in the shelter was so afraid, I couldn’t leave them,” he says.

The sitting barangay chairperson had gone to Manila. So although Ric had not formally taken office, he found himself in charge of a community that seemed rudderless while facing the most difficult challenge in its history.

“My first thought was to find food. I walked to Palo looking for help, then all the way to Tacloban,” which is more than 3 hours one way, he says. “I found food that would have been enough for my own family, but I had nearly 100 families to feed. I knew that to feed everyone, we had to clear the road. And so we did. Three days after the storm, everyone took the tools they had found and began clearing debris and downed trees by hand. The next day, relief food finally reached us.ˮ

Next, Ric sought emergency shelter from CRS. The tin and palm fronds families had salvaged and cobbled together for roofs were no match for heavy tropical rains. CRS provided tarps and long-term help in building new homes.

Eighty-seven families needed such shelters. Even though he could have easily taken the first home for himself and his family, who were living in a makeshift lean-to, Ric told CRS that his home would be built after his neighbors’.

“I wanted to make sure my neighbors got the best houses in the fastest possible time,” he says. “It didn’t matter if people voted for me or not. We all needed safe and dry places to sleep.ˮ

Local Leadership Key to Recovery

Ric and his wife Evelyn moved into their new home in July. It was, indeed, the last to be completed in Cabarasan Guti. Ric plans to add an indoor kitchen as soon as he can save enough from his bicycle rickshaw business to buy materials.

“After Haiyan, there were times I couldn’t see my own family,” he says. “It took all of my time to get goods and food for the whole community. I would walk to Palo every day looking for help. I give all credit to my wife for the success of our barangay. She is the one who helped my sons forget their fear of the storm by playing with them, telling them stories, coloring and talking with them. I knew I could focus on getting help for everyone, because she took care of getting help for our boys. I’m so thankful to CRS and my neighbors, but I am most thankful for her.ˮ

“And CRS is most thankful for Ric’s leadership, which was a big reason why we chose to build our first shelters after the storm in Cabarasan Guti,” says Hrybyk.

Jennifer Hardy is the CRS regional information officer for Asia and the Pacific Rim.

Philippines: After Haiyan: Communities Building Back Safer

17 October 2014 - 3:12pm
Source: Agency for Technical Cooperation and Development Country: Philippines

[ACTED News] - Nearly a year after Typhoon Haiyan devastated the Philippines, thousands of families continue to struggle to repair or rebuild their homes. The construction of of 300 houses with ACTED’s support in Northern Leyte, one of the areas hit hardest by the typhoon, began today in the community of San Diego. ACTED with the support of ShelterBox is providing housing material, training local carpenters and mobilising community to build houses using ‘build back safer’ techniques.Teresita, aged 63 and her three grandchildren live in San Diego. Since the typhoon the family have lived with Teresita’s employer. Teresita shares that “with this support rebuilding a home for my family is finally possible”. Teresita and her three grandchildren are just one of 300 families building a new home with ACTED support.

Philippines: Japan Provides Emergency Vehicles for the Typhoon-Affected Areas in the Philippines

17 October 2014 - 9:07am
Source: Government of Japan Country: Japan, Philippines

Chargés d'affaires to the Philippines Tetsuro Amano and CSUPT. Carlito Romero signed the grant contract for "The Project for Providing Emergency Vehicles for the Typhoon-Affected Areas in the Philippines" on October 16, 2014 at the National Headquarters of the Bureau of Fire Protection in Quezon City. The total amount is US$ 202,760 (approximately 8.5 million pesos) and is funded through the Grant Assistance for Grassroots Human Security Projects (GGP).

The project was initially announced when a delegation led by Honorable Kenji Kosaka, President of the Japan-Philippines Parliamentarians' Friendship League (JPPFL) met with Honorable Senate President Franklin M. Drilon, President of Philippines-Japan Parliamentary Association (PJPA), in Manila on May 5, 2014. It is part of Japan's additional donation to the Philippines of previously-used 20 emergency vehicles (17 units of fire trucks and 3 units of ambulances) intended primarily for the municipalities seriously damaged by Typhoon Yolanda/Haiyan in Central Visayas. The vehicles are expected to be arriving at the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority in early November.

The Government of Japan, as the top ODA donor for the Philippines, launched the Grant Assistance for Grassroots Human Security Projects in the Philippines in 1989 for the purpose of reducing poverty and helping various communities engaged in grassroots activities. As of present, 499 grassroots projects have been funded by GGP. Japan believes that this project will not only strengthen the friendship between the peoples of Japan and the Philippines but also contribute to further fostering a strategic partnership between Japan and the Philippines toward the future.

Philippines: DSWD press statement on damaged goods for Mayon evacuees

16 October 2014 - 10:31pm
Source: Government of the Philippines Country: Philippines

The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) expressed regret over the inclusion of 33 food packs containing spoiled canned goods and expired noodles in the 22,350 food packs distributed to Mayon evacuees over the weekend, adding that they will immediately be replaced so as not to compromise the food needs of the people.

The Department however clarified that it is not 21 sacks as previously reported.

Secretary Corazon Juliano-Soliman said that DSWD will investigate why the incident happened when the goods were only newly procured.

She has also ordered the review the agency’s procurement process and its established warehouse, handling, and logistic practices to institute the necessary corrective actions.

Based on the result of the initial investigation conducted by the Albay Public Safety and Emergency Management Office (APSEMO), the canned goods got damaged in transit due to the weight and bulk of the relief supplies piled in the trucks.

The Department on the other hand has set to find out with the supplier why there are expired noodles included from the newly purchased goods.

APSEMO still however recognized that there is no perfect delivery, especially of relief goods during disasters.

Sec. Soliman emphasized that DSWD, in coordination with the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC), remains committed to provide safe food to evacuees for the duration of their stay in evacuation centers.

She likewise indicated that this incident will not happen again in the next relief delivery caravans for Mayon, whose second batch of five trucks carrying 4,050 food packs left DSWD-National Resource Operations Center (NROC) for Legazpi City at 4 am this morning.###