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Philippines: RDNA ongoing following magnitude-5.9 quake in Surigao City

5 March 2017 - 5:44pm
Source: Government of the Philippines Country: Philippines

By Priam F. Nepomuceno

MANILA, March 5 (PNA) -- Field units of the National Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council (NDRRMC) with their local government counterparts in Surigao Del Norte are now conducting rapid damage assessment and needs analysis (RDNA) following the magnitude 5.9 earthquake that struck Surigao City Sunday morning.

"At around 8 a.m. (Sunday) a magnitude 5.9 earthquake hit Surigao City. PHIVOLCS reported that this is an aftershock of the magnitude 6.7 earthquake in Surigao City which happened few weeks ago," NDRRMC executive director Eduardo Jalad said in statement.

Intensity 6 was recorded in Surigao City, Intensity 4 in Limasawa and San Ricardo in Southern Leyte, Intensity 3 in San Juan and San Francisco, Southern Leyte and Intensity 2 in General Luna, Surigao del Norte.

Based on initial reports, 83 houses were damaged in Surigao City and Sison, Surigao Del Norte due to the tremor.

Out of the said number, five were totally damaged while 78 were partially damaged.

Power was restored in Surigao del Norte as of 1 p.m.Sunday, the NDRRMC chief stressed.

"One was reported injured due to a collapsed wall of the IFI Chapel in Cabunga-an, Cagdiano, Dinagat Islands. The victim was referred to Surigao City Health Facility for further medical treatment," Jalad added.

He added Regional DRRM Council CARAGA is continuously coordinating with the local government units conducting RDNA to assess other effects incurred because of the strong earthquake.

The NDRMMC reminded the public to stay alert and be prepared for aftershocks. (PNA) BNB/PFN

Philippines: In pursuit of lasting peace, PRRD open to peace negotiations with CPP-NPA-NDF

4 March 2017 - 7:13pm
Source: Government of the Philippines Country: Philippines

MANILA, March 5 - President Rodrigo Roa Duterte is once again open to the resumption of the peace talks with the CPP-NPA-NDF.

The President said this in an interview at Camp Edilberto Evangelista Chapel when he visited the wake of two soldiers who were killed in action in an encounter with NPA rebels on February 27 and 28 at Misamis Oriental.

Duterte said that in pursuit of peace, he is willing to talk once more with the NPAs. "I'm open to talk to the rebels, just not the killers. I'm ready to talk and I'm ready to stop this war. I would prefer for us to not have war, but we need to talk from the heart," he said.

The President also said that communication and good intention are vital steps towards peace.

"I'm ready as long as we communicate well. I'm ready to resume the ceasefire again, but this time I want it to be sincere. Back then, there was a ceasefire but my soldiers were killed. I'm ready to resume the ceasefire again as long as it is working towards peace," said Duterte

When asked, President Duterte said that his plans for peace negotiations with the NPAs would include three requests from the rebel group, including the release of hostages, and the halt to revolutionary taxes as well as asking for favors.

"They have to release all policemen, army, everyone from the government. They should release them all. Second, they should stop asking for revolutionary tax. Third, they should stop asking for things. They're burning a lot of things now and we'll never meet each other half way if that's the case."

President Duterte said he feels very deeply about the turmoil. "It pains me to see Filipinos fighting against fellow Filipinos. I just want peace."

He also said that no one wins in a war. "For me, no one will win. If we Filipinos fight against fellow Filipinos, nobody wins. The nation, the Philippines loses. (PND)

World: Science Technology Plan For Disaster Risk Reduction: Asian Perspectives

3 March 2017 - 3:27pm
Source: Integrated Research on Disaster Risk Country: Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Iran (Islamic Republic of), Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Thailand, World

Introduction The Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030 shifts the focus from managing disasters to managing risks. Such a shift requires a better understanding of risk in all its dimensions of hazards, exposure and vulnerability; a disaster risk governance that ensures disaster risk is factored into planning and development at all levels across all sectors as well as in disaster preparedness, rehabilitation, recovery and reconstruction; and cost-benefit analysis to support prioritization of investments in disaster risk reduction (DRR) for long-term resilience.

The Sendai Framework emphasizes the role of science and technology. It calls to prioritize the development and dissemination of science-based risk knowledge, methodologies and tools, science and technology work on DRR through existing networks and research institutions and strengthened interface between science and policy to support all four priority areas: understanding disaster risk; disaster risk governance; investing in DRR for resilience; and enhancing disaster preparedness for response and to build back better.

A ‘Science and Technology Roadmap to Support the Implementation of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030’ has been agreed as the result of the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR) Science and Technology Conference in January 2016. The Roadmap includes expected outcomes, actions, and deliverables under each of the four priorities of the Sendai Framework.

Asia has been the world’s hotspot of economic development and innovation in terms of science and technology over recent decades. At the same time, the region continues to be highly exposed and vulnerable to disasters. Science and technology-based DRR was a priority in the implementation of the Hyogo Framework for Action in Asia. At the 6th Asia Ministerial Conference on DRR (AMCDRR) in 2014, the Science Technology Academia Stakeholder Group made a series of commitments to: promote a holistic, science-based approach towards community resilience; support the use of science and technology advancements through increased earth observation; develop course curriculum and promote higher education in DRR; and promote community- and problem-based implementation research.

The 1st Asian Science and Technology Conference for Disaster Risk Reduction was organized by the Hydro and Agro Informatics Institute (HAII) of the Royal Thai Government Ministry of Science and Technology and UNISDR, in collaboration with UNISDR’s Asian Science Technology and Academia Advisory Group (ASTAAG), Integrated Research on Disaster Risk (IRDR), Future Earth and other scientific organizations and networks.

The Conference brought together more than 300 senior policy-makers, practitioners, researchers and academics, civil society and the private sector in the realm of disaster risk reduction from across Asia, and more widely, to discuss how to strengthen science based DRR policy development in support of the implementation of the Sendai Framework in Asia.

Philippines: UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) Philippines Office Newsletter, 2017 - Volume 1

3 March 2017 - 5:13am
Source: UN High Commissioner for Refugees Country: Iraq, Philippines, Syrian Arab Republic, Yemen

Rising to the challenge

What's inside

  • The World's Displacement Drivers

  • From Refugees to Filipinos

Philippines: Philippines: Mindanao Flooding (as of 02 March 2017)

2 March 2017 - 11:18pm
Source: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs Country: Philippines

In January and February 2017, tail-end of a cold front brought cloudy skies with moderate to occasionally heavy rains and thunderstorms over eastern regions of Mindanao island. These heavy rains caused landslides and flooding especially on low lying areas currently affecting 151,500 people in Caraga and Davao regions.
Continous rains in central Mindanao also affected 183,000 people in Lanao del Sur and Maguindanao.

Philippines: Typhoon Yolanda survivors from Tacloban receive P5,000 cash aid

2 March 2017 - 10:10pm
Source: Government of the Philippines Country: Philippines

Around 213 Typhoon Yolanda survivors received their P5,000 financial assistance from the Office of the President today. The cash assistance was distributed by Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD)-Field Office VIII.

DSWD OIC-Undersecretary for Operations-Protective Services, Hope V. Hervilla, witnessed the distribution on behalf of DSWD Secretary Judy Taguiwalo.

It can be recalled that on November 8, 2016 on the 3rd year commemoration of Typhoon Yolanda, President Rodrigo Duterte vowed to provide cash assistance to Typhoon Yolanda survivors who were not included in the list of beneficiaries of the Emergency Shelter Assistance (ESA). They then raised their issue with Sec. Taguiwalo who subsequently relayed their appeals for help to Pres. Duterte. OIC-Usec Hervilla lauded those who stood up and fought for their rights.

“Ito ang administrasyong may tunay na malasakit sa mga mahihirap (This is the administration which has genuine compassion for the poor) Although this is just a small amount, this will compensate for the three long years that you have patiently waited for an answer, “OIC-Usec Hervilla stated.

“We are pleased that the government responded to your call. These funds come from no less than the Office of the President, ” she added.

However, she emphasized that the government cannot give the P10,000 (for partially damaged houses) and P30,000 (totally damaged houses) ESA since these are not included in the government’s budget for this year.

About 1,841 individuals from Tacloban City have been listed by an alliance of people’s organizations formed by the typhoon survivors, but the number was trimmed down after careful validation.

Meanwhile, DSWD-Field Office VIII Director Restituto Macuto explained that some of the survivors have already availed of government shelter assistance, while others were put into double entry in the list.

The 213 recipients of the financial aid come from Barangays 60-A, 65, 66, 67, 68, 69, 70, and Utap. Listed as eligible beneficiaries for the cash assistance under the Presidential Assistance guidelines are heads of qualified households, and those in the list endorsed by people’s organizations on or before the third year anniversary of Yolanda when Pres. Duterte announced the P5,000 aid.

Asked how long will it take for the remaining claimants from other areas of the region to receive the cash aid, Usec. Hervilla said that it will take three to six months, since the validation of households is ongoing.

She added that the P1B allotted by the Office of the President for the 200,000 claimants for the region and three other regions (Regions VI, VII and N.I.R.) do not include funds needed to hire additional workers to go around the different localities to facilitate speedy validation of all the affected households.

She pledged to do everything possible to hasten the process reiterating the Department’s “Maagap at Mapagkalingang Serbisyo” slogan.

Philippines: Simulation exercise builds emergency response capacity for DSWD, OCD and WFP

2 March 2017 - 9:47pm
Source: Government of the Philippines, World Food Programme Country: Philippines

CLARK, PAMPANGA – The Philippine Government’s Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and the Office of Civil Defense (OCD), together with the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP), has conducted a simulation exercise from 27 February to 3 March 2017 to practice emergency logistics response during disasters.

The “Field Logistics Emergency Exercise” or FLEX was developed by WFP in partnership with DSWD, OCD and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). FLEX provides hands-on training in humanitarian logistics in a realistic learning environment. Selected managers and key logistics staff from DWSD, OCD, UN agencies, international non-government organizations and the private sector, led by the Philippine Disaster Resilience Foundation (PDRF), worked together in the exercise to ensure better coordination and a more effective response during emergencies.

FLEX is set against a realistic backdrop, so that participants experience the actual conditions typical to an emergency such as living in makeshift housing, setting up mobile warehouses and working out of temporary offices. The objective of the exercise is to improve cluster and inter-agency coordination for logistics, as well as foster networks between the Philippine Government and humanitarian actors in the country. Participants had to manage multiple responsibilities in the exercise, including drafting a concept of operations, setting up distribution facilities, operating with air assets, working on problems in transport planning, cluster coordination and media management.

DSWD Secretary Judy M. Taguiwalo said: “We can never prepare enough for disasters and emergencies, especially now that we are experiencing the devastating effects of global warming. We all have to brace ourselves for the possibility of the “Big One” taking place — an earthquake of such intensity that the damage it can leave behind will be so tremendous. Given this, simulation trainings such as the ones led by the WFP and the OCD are timely and even urgent; they are highly necessary to assist concerned agencies in their efforts to improve their operations and contribute to a better overall disaster response.”

“We welcome this opportunity to enhance our capability in the area of disaster response- logistics management. This is a very important area in disaster response and improving our work in this would equate to better services to our people in times of emergency,” said National Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council Executive Director and Civil Defense Administrator, Undersecretary Ricardo B. Jalad.

“This exercise is the first of its kind conducted in the Philippines, and WFP is proud to be working hand in hand with the Philippine Government and USAID in this initiative,” said WFP Philippines Representative and Country Director Praveen Agrawal. “Using this training methodology our aim is to improve how we collectively operate and coordinate during emergencies to ensure that the people affected by disasters will get the assistance they need immediately,” Agrawal added.

The simulation exercise was a recommendation from the 2015 Training Needs Assessment (TNA) of the Philippine Government’s Logistics Training Capacity.

FLEX is a continuation of the strategic partnership between DSWD, OCD and WFP to enhance emergency response capacity in the Philippines through the generous support of USAID. Private sector companies such as UPS, PDRF and its members, Smart Communications, PLDT, Globe Telecom, and Clark Development Corporation also supported the exercise by providing the transport support, venue, accommodation, and internet access.

The Philippines is considered as one of the most disaster-prone countries in the world exacerbated by climate change, with various natural disasters affecting the country such as typhoons, droughts, earthquakes and volcanic activities.

About DSWD
The Department of Social Welfare and Development is the government institution responsible for the protection of social welfare rights and promotion of social development. It chairs the National Disaster Response of the National Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council.
Website: http://www.dswd.gov.ph/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Department-of-Social-Welfare-and-Developm…
Twitter: https://twitter.com/dswdserves

About OCD
The Office of Civil Defense (OCD), as the implementing arm of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council, shall have the primary mission of administering a comprehensive national civil defense and disaster risk reduction and management program by providing leadership in the continuous development of strategic and systematic approaches as well as measures to reduce the vulnerabilities and risks to hazards and manage the consequences of disasters.
Website: http://ocd.gov.ph/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/civildefensePH/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/civildefensePH

About WFP
WFP is the world’s largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger worldwide, delivering food assistance in emergencies and working with communities to improve nutrition and build resilience. Each year, WFP assists some 80 million people in around 80 countries.
Website: https://www.wfp.org/countries/philippines/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/WFP.Philippines
Twitter: https://twitter.com/wfp_philippines

For more information, please contact:
Department of Social Welfare and Development (Email: gdvfischer@dswd.gov.ph) Genalor DV Fischer, Information Officer IV
Tel. +63 (02) 951-7440, Mob. +63929-371-0593

Office of Civil Defense (Email: publicaffairs@ocd.gov.ph)
Mina B. Marasigan, Chief – Public Affairs
Tel. +63 (02) 961-6314, Mob. +63917-827-5591

World Food Programme – Philippines (Email: Mei.Nebreja@wfp.org) Mei Nebreja Santos, Head – Communications and Partnerships Tel. +63 (02) 833-6229 local 2440, Mob. +63917-571-3162

World: Internal Displacement Update, Issue 11: 9 - 22 February 2017

2 March 2017 - 12:23pm
Source: Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre Country: Afghanistan, Colombia, French Polynesia (France), Indonesia, Iraq, Nigeria, Philippines, Somalia, South Sudan, Syrian Arab Republic, Ukraine, United States of America, World

FEATURE

Puntland, Somalia and Somaliland

CONTEXT

More than 135,000 people were displaced by drought in Somalia between November 2016 and February 2017. About 3,800 people were pushed by drought over the Ethiopian border into Melkadida refugee camp between 1 January and 21 February. About 75 per cent of children arriving at the camp had acute malnutrition. Puntland and Somaliland in the north, and central and southern Somalia were the areas that were worst affected (UNHCR, 21 February 2017). At least 47,000 people were displaced by drought between 1 and 23 February mainly from rural to urban or peri-urban areas (UNHCR, 23 February 2017).

Somalia’s 1.1 million IDPs live in precarious and insecure conditions in over-crowded settlements, with little or no basic services. Most rely on aid for shelter, food, health, water, sanitation and protection. “In a fragile context such as Somalia, drought has devastating consequences for vulnerable communities who already suffer under protracted conflict and a lack of basic services. Recovery from the 2011 to 2012 famine which left 260,000 people dead, more than half of them children, has been fragile” (ECHO, February 2017).

The drought comes as UNHCR continues a repatriation programme that has brought home 50,000 Somali refugees from Kenya’s Dadaab complex since December 2014. “UNHCR is informing people in the camps about the drought, but so far this does not appear to have had a major effect on returns” (UNHCR, 21 February 2017.

The drought also affected parts of Ethiopia, Kenya, South Sudan and Uganda. This is the third consecutive year of drought in the Horn of Africa. Multiple years of diminished food production has exhausted people’s capacity to cope with another shock. “The greater region suffers from chronic and intensifying conflicts, continued access constraints in some areas, rising refugee numbers and communicable disease outbreaks; and the drought is expected to worsen in the coming months, with low rainfall forecast for March to May - which is the main rainy season” (UNHCR, February 2017).

Philippines: Philippines Humanitarian Bulletin Issue 2 | March 2017

2 March 2017 - 8:52am
Source: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs Country: Philippines

HIGHLIGHTS

  • A 6.7-magnitude earthquake in Surigao displaces thousands of families and causes destruction to homes, schools and infrastructure.

  • Over 29,000 people are still displaced in Mindanao due to flooding. Heavy rains combined with rivers clogged with water hyacinth heightens the risk.

  • Conflict in Butig, Lanao del Sur continues, with armed groups recruiting more youth as dissatisfaction with the peace process grows.

  • Philippine delegates led by the Office of Civil Defense present on civilmilitary coordination at the Humanitarian Partnerships Week in Geneva.

  • In brief: OCHA releases Philippine geographic and demographic data for each region, a compilation of vital data for disaster preparedness.

Surigao earthquake damage and assistance

Surigao del Norte, a province in the Caraga region of northeastern Mindanao was the scene of an earthquake with a magnitude of 6.7 that struck on 10 February 2017. The last recorded earthquake in Surigao province occurred more than 130 years ago, in 1873.
The epicentre was located near the capital Surigao City. Strong aftershocks that followed prompted residents to leave their homes and head for higher ground. They feared a tsumani would soon follow, despite reassurance local authorities that the tsunami alert had been lifted. According to the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC), as of 21 February there have been over 200 aftershocks recorded.
Many camped outdoors, not wanting to risk staying in buildings including designated evacuation centres.

Over 7,800 people remain displaced by the earthquake. Most of them are staying in open areas near their homes, or with relatives or friends. There were eight reported deaths, three of which were children and two senior citizens, and 202 injuries.

Damage to homes, schools, infrastructure

As of 2 March, over 7,200 houses are reported to be damaged, of which 518 were destroyed. About 81 per cent of the damage is located in Surigao City and the neighboring town of San Francisco.
Seven bridges are damaged, including Anao-aoan Bridge which collapsed, cutting off San Francisco. Villagers built makeshift stairs out of pieces of wood to cross the bridge, but vehicles have to detour downstream to cross the river.
Local authorities are not allowing heavy vehicles to pass bridges which have sustained damage from the earthquake.

More than 40 schools were reported as damaged. A team from the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHILVOLCS) and geological engineers assessed the structural damage to public buildings, schools, malls and other high-rise buildings. While repairs are ongoing in some schools, on 20 February classes resumed in Surigao City.
Several school are holding classes in shifts, while in San Nicolas a church is being used as an alternative school.

Philippines: Farmers in the Philippines replant their farms after Typhoon Sarika and Super Typhoon Haima

2 March 2017 - 8:51am
Source: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations Country: Philippines

As livelihood recovery efforts continue, farmers in the rice-producing provinces of Aurora and Nueva Ecija are optimistic that the upcoming harvest can help them rebound from the devastating impacts of Typhoon Sarika and Super Typhoon Haima (local names: Karen and Lawin).

At least 4 300 families that were able to replant their damaged farms with assistance from the Department of Agriculture (DA) are currently receiving supplemental fertilizer and other farm inputs from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO).

“Proper fertilization will help improve the volume and quality of their yield. Fertilizer can be costly and many farmers are unable to do the required follow through at certain stages of crop growth, especially when they are already stuck in a cycle of debt,” said FAO Representative in the Philippines José Luis Fernández.

“Without timely and adequate support, the production capacity of rice farmers could be compromised. This would result in lower incomes and overall reduced supply of staple food at the end of the current cropping season,” he added.

The two typhoons, which swept at least 31 provinces in seven regions of the country last October, left USD233 million in production losses to the agriculture sector. More than a quarter of affected farmers are in Aurora and Nueva Ecija – communities that are still struggling to recover from successive typhoons, dry spells and droughts from 2015 to 2016.

“We lost about 80 percent of our palay this time. This was painful for us since our family only relies on this for all of our needs. The burden is even greater for us as women because we have to worry about how our families will eat three times a day,” narrated Gilda Agustin, a farmer from Barangay Palayag, Cabanatuan City.

“Now that the weather is good, we have hope. We are doing our best to fertilize our crops. This is why the fertilizer that FAO is delivering is very timely. It will increase our yield come March or April and there’s a chance that we can fully recover for as long as we can sustain this,” added Florentino Policarpio of Barangay Palayag.

A total of 8 600 bags of urea fertilizer are currently being distributed to eight hard-hit municipalities to help ensure that the most affected and vulnerable farmers would be able to harvest rice by April 2017. This includes Maria Aurora, Dipaculao, Baler and Casiguran in Aurora Province; and San Jose, Muñoz, Sta. Rosa and Cabanatuan City in Nueva Ecija. The fertilizer support is also supplemented by 4 300 sets of assorted vegetable seeds and farm tools to address some of the immediate food and nutrition needs of affected families.

Strengthening resilience and response capacities

The DA, with support from FAO, launched drone-aided post-disaster mapping missions in areas affected by typhoons Sarika and Haima. The information gathered by field teams was subsequently processed at the FAO-supported Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Operations Centre in Quezon City, and used by the government for response and rehabilitation planning.

As part of its livelihood recovery response, FAO will also conduct training programmes for provincial and municipal agricultural technicians, extension workers and local farmer trainers on resilient rice-based farming systems. The training modules will then be integrated into the government’s regular extension activities and technical advisory services for farmers. Technical assistance will also be provided at the regional level to strengthen the disaster response capacities of DA staff.

Philippines: Philippines: Hazard Profile (Jan 2017)

2 March 2017 - 4:46am
Source: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs Country: Philippines

A map visual/infographic highlighting the tracks of destructive tropical cyclones, historical strong earthquakes, location of active volcanoes, active faultlines and trenches.

Philippines: Philippines: Pre-disaster Indicators Dashboard

2 March 2017 - 3:06am
Source: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs Country: Philippines

Philippines: DAR allows land conversion for typhoon Yolanda victims

2 March 2017 - 1:24am
Source: Government of the Philippines Country: Philippines

DILIMAN, QUEZON CITY, March 2 — Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) Secretary Rafael Mariano directed its land use planning and conversion team and the DAR in Central and Eastern Visayas to prioritize applications for land conversion necessary for the construction of resettlement areas for those affected by super typhoon Yolanda.

“Three years after the onslaught of typhoon Yolanda, a majority of the affected families are yet to be relocated in safe resettlement areas. Many relocations sites are yet to be developed. That’s why it is necessary to issue this order of extension. The DAR will prioritize these resettlement areas over other applications for land use conversion,” said Mariano.

Mariano issued Tuesday, an administrative order (A.O.) extending for another year, the rules on land use conversion to expedite the process of resettlement and construction of houses for the victims of typhoon Yolanda in the Central and Eastern Visayas regions.

The A.O. prioritizes applications of land use conversion for the construction of resettlement areas for the typhoon victims over other applications for conversion of lands. It also expanded the authority of DAR Regional Directors’ and the department’s Regional Center for Land Use, Policy, Planning and Implementation (RCLUPPI) to decide on land use applications and to process applications for the same, from five hectares to 15 hectares.

According to Mariano, a land use conversion clearance from the DAR is one of the requirements needed by the National Housing Authority (NHA) to set up relocation sites for the victims.

“This A.O. would cover more lands and speed-up the processing of land use applications before it expires on March 5, 2018,” said Mariano.

Mariano said the A.O. shall apply only to land use conversion necessary for the construction of resettlement residential areas for those affected by Typhoon Yolanda.

On November 10, 2014, the DAR issued A.O. No. 9, series of 2014, containing special rules on applications for land use conversion for the construction of resettlement areas for Typhoon Yolanda victims.

“This was issued to streamline the processing of land use conversion applications for lands. But the A.O. expired last June 30, 2016,” said Mariano. (DAR)

Philippines: Philippines: 10 February 2017 magnitude 6.7 Surigao del Norte earthquake

2 March 2017 - 12:04am
Source: Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology Country: Philippines

On 10 February 2017 at 10:03 PM Philippine Standard Time (PST), a magnitude (M5) 6.7 earthquake struck the Province of Surigao del Norte in northeastern Mindanao. Using the data from the Philippine Seismic Network (PSN) of the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology - Department of Science and Technology (PHIVOLCS-DOST), the epicenter was located in Surigao Strait at 9.80° N and 125.35° E or 16 km offshore northwest of Surigao City at a shallow depth of 10 km. The earthquake was generated by the movement of the Philippine Fault - Surigao segment. The ground shaking was felt at PHIVOLCS Earthquake Intensity Scale (PEIS) VII in Surigao City and San Francisco. The rest of the municipalities in Surigao del Norte experienced PEIS VI to IV. Small magnitude earthquakes followed afterwards. As of 22 February 2017 8:00 AM, 230 aftershocks were recorded by the PSN, 106 of which were plotted and 26 were reportedly felt. The largest aftershock was recorded on 14 February 2017 at 4:03 AM with a magnitude of (M5) 5.0 and was felt in Surigao City at PEIS V.

This earthquake generated a 4.3 km surface-rupture that was mapped in Brgy. Ipil in Surigao City and Brgys. Poblacion, Honrado and Macopa in the Municipality of San Francisco, Surigao del Norte.
These barangays were estimated to experience strong ground shaking at PEIS VIII.

Liquefaction and earthquake-induced landslide were documented as well as the collapsed Anao-aon Bridge, damages to buildings, ports, roads, other bridges.

Philippines: OCHA releases latest Philippine Regional Profiles: a compilation of vital data for disaster preparedness

1 March 2017 - 10:32pm
Source: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs Country: Philippines

(Manila, Philippines: 28 February 2017):

The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in the Philippines today released Philippine Regional Profiles, a compilation of geographic and demographic data of the 18 regions of the Philippines. Each snapshot contains a national or regional map and visual representations of regional demography, poverty and human development, disaster statistics and sectoral information on nutrition, water, sanitation and hygiene, health, livelihood, education and shelter.

“Humanitarian actors rely heavily on data even before the disaster hits. The Philippines is one of the most disaster prone countries in the world, and part of disaster preparedness is knowing the most likely hazards facing the country, who are the most vulnerable, and where they are located. The Philippines Regional Profiles puts the right information in the hands of people in a way that they can understand and use.” said Mark Bidder, OCHA Philippines Head of Office. “We commend the Philippine Government for their transparency and commitment to making the data readily available to the public.”

Data from the profiles were gathered from various sources such as the Department of Education, Department of Health, Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), Food and Nutrition Research Institute, National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC), Philippine Statistics Authority and the Office of Civil Defense (OCD).

An PDF copy is available at the OCHA Philippines website: http://www.unocha.org/philippines. An interactive version is available on https://data.humdata.org/organization/ocha-philippines.

OCHA’s work is focused around five key areas:

• Coordination – OCHA brings together people, tools, and experience to save lives

• Advocacy – OCHA raises awareness of key humanitarian issues

• Information Management – OCHA collects, analyses and shares critical information

• Humanitarian Financing – OCHA organizes and monitors humanitarian funding

• Policy – OCHA provides guidance and clarity on humanitarian policy

For further information, please contact:
Gina Maramag, Public Information Analyst, maramag@un.org, Tel. +632 843 7688, Cell +63 917 597 7219
OCHA press releases are available at www.unocha.org or www.reliefweb.int.

Philippines: Dengue Situation Update 511, 28 February 2017

1 March 2017 - 9:15am
Source: World Health Organization Country: Australia, Cambodia, China, French Polynesia (France), Lao People's Democratic Republic (the), Malaysia, New Caledonia (France), Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Singapore, Viet Nam

China
As of 31 January 2017, there were 34 cases of dengue reported in China in 2017. This number is a little higher than that reported during the same period in 2016 (28 cases) (Figure 1).

Malaysia
A total of 1,915 cases of dengue were reported during week 7, which is higher than the 1661 cases reported in the previous week (increase of 15.3 %) (Figure 2). The cumulative number of cases reported in 2017 was 12,576 cases, which is lower than that during the same period in 2016 (22,518 cases). As of week 7, there have been a total of 34 deaths related to dengue in 2017, compared with 51 deaths for the same period in 2016, lowered by 17 deaths (33%).

Philippines (No update)
As of 5 November 2016, there were 176,411 suspected cases of dengue reported in 2016, including 422 deaths. This is 0.8% lower than that reported during the same period in 2015 (n=177,767) (Figure 3).

Singapore
As of 18 February 2017, there were 592 dengue cases reported in Singapore since January 2017. This is lower than that reported during the same period since 2013. During week 7, there were 55 cases and the number of cases decreased by 91%, compared to 590 cases for the same period in 2016 (Figure 4).

Lao PDR
As of 17 February in 2017, there were 390 cases of dengue with no deaths reported in Lao PDR in 2017. During week 7, 26 dengue cases and no deaths were reported. The number of cases is higher than the same time period in 2015 and 2016 (Figure 5).

Viet Nam (No update)
From 1 January to 31 December 2016, there were 122,020 cases of dengue including 43 deaths reported in Viet Nam. For the month of December, there were 11,166 cases reported including one death. Compared to November 2016, number of cases decreased by 28.6%, and there were 6 fewer deaths. Compared to same period in 2015, cumulative number of cases increased by 25.2%, and there were 18 fewer deaths. Compared to the median in 2011-2015 period, cumulative number of cases increased by 73.6% (Figure 6).

Cambodia
As of 17 February 2017, a total of 95 cases of suspected dengue cases reported in 2017. The number of suspected dengue cases including dengue haemorrhagic fever and dengue shock syndrome was lower than 3 year-threshold of the same period from 2014-2016 (Figure 7).

Australia
As of 28 February 2017, there were 202 laboratory-confirmed dengue cases reported in Australia in 2017. The number of cases reported is less than that reported during the same time period in the previous years (2012-2016) (Figure 8).

French Polynesia A total of 29 confirmed dengue cases were reported in French Polynesia between week 3 and week 4 (12 cases in week 3 and 17 cases in week 4) (Figure 9). Seven (24%) of the 29 cases were confirmed as DENV-1 infection.

New Caledonia As of 24 February 2017, 892 dengue cases were reported since January 2017, indicating an increase in the number of cases since September 2016 (Figure 10).

Philippines: PH gov’t agencies sign first and only law in the world prioritizing protection of children during disasters

1 March 2017 - 9:07am
Source: Government of the Philippines Country: Philippines

Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Secretary Judy M. Taguiwalo and Department of National Defense (DND) Secretary Delfin Lorenzana led yesterday the signing of the Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) of Republic Act (RA) No. 10821 or the ‘Children’s Emergency Relief and Protection Act’ – a law considered as the first and only in the world that protects children during emergencies and disaster situations.

“This is a very important law as it will contribute to our efforts to further protect those who are most vulnerable during disasters,” explained Sec. Taguiwalo in her opening remarks.

Apart from the importance of the law, Sec. Taguiwalo also discussed several salient points ​in the law such as the establishment of a Comprehensive Emergency Program for Children (CEPC) which is designed to protect and support the immediate recovery of children and pregnant and lactating mothers during and after emergencies and disaster situations.

The signing was witnessed by students from San Vicente Elementary School who also showcased their talents by playing musical instruments at the event.

Also present in the ceremonial signing were OCD administrator Undersecretary Ricardo Jalad, Department of Education (DepEd) Undersecretary Alberto Muyot, Department of Health (DOH) Undersecretary Gerardo Bayugo, AFP-Human Rights Office (HRO) chief B/Gen. Jose Antonio Carlos Motril, Save the Children Country Director Ned Olney and UNICEF Philippines Representative Lotta Sylwander.

Lastly, Sec. Taguiwalo said that, “As we push for the implementation of the law at all levels, we hope to make the public recognize the truth that disaster risk reduction, response and management processes involve the collective action between the public and the government.”

“The key ways to ensure the proper enactment of this law is to empower the public and encourage their involvement in crafting and implementing policies and programs that can help improve the ability of Filipino communities to mitigate the effects of calamities and disasters, and promote resiliency,” she ended.

Philippines: Typhoon Yolanda survivors from Tacloban receive P5,000 cash aid

1 March 2017 - 7:02am
Source: Government of the Philippines Country: Philippines

Around 213 Typhoon Yolanda survivors received their P5,000 financial assistance from the Office of the President today. The cash assistance was distributed by Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD)-Field Office VIII.

DSWD OIC-Undersecretary for Operations-Protective Services, Hope V. Hervilla, witnessed the distribution on behalf of DSWD Secretary Judy Taguiwalo.

It can be recalled that on November 8, 2016 on the 3rd year commemoration of Typhoon Yolanda, President Rodrigo Duterte vowed to provide cash assistance to Typhoon Yolanda survivors who were not included in the list of beneficiaries of the Emergency Shelter Assistance (ESA). They then raised their issue with Sec. Taguiwalo who subsequently relayed their appeals for help to Pres. Duterte. OIC-Usec Hervilla lauded those who stood up and fought for their rights.

“Ito ang administrasyong may tunay na malasakit sa mga mahihirap (This is the administration which has genuine compassion for the poor) Although this is just a small amount, this will compensate for the three long years that you have patiently waited for an answer, “OIC-Usec Hervilla stated.

“We are pleased that the government responded to your call. These funds come from no less than the Office of the President, ” she added.

However, she emphasized that the government cannot give the P10,000 (for partially damaged houses) and P30,000 (totally damaged houses) ESA since these are not included in the government’s budget for this year.

About 1,841 individuals from Tacloban City have been listed by an alliance of people’s organizations formed by the typhoon survivors, but the number was trimmed down after careful validation.

Meanwhile, DSWD-Field Office VIII Director Restituto Macuto explained that some of the survivors have already availed of government shelter assistance, while others were put into double entry in the list.

The 213 recipients of the financial aid come from Barangays 60-A, 65, 66, 67, 68, 69, 70, and Utap.

Listed as eligible beneficiaries for the cash assistance under the Presidential Assistance guidelines are heads of qualified households, and those in the list endorsed by people’s organizations on or before the third year anniversary of Yolanda when Pres. Duterte announced the P5,000 aid.

Asked how long will it take for the remaining claimants from other areas of the region to receive the cash aid, Usec. Hervilla said that it will take three to six months, since the validation of households is ongoing.

She added that the P1B allotted by the Office of the President for the 200,000 claimants for the region and three other regions (Regions VI, VII and N.I.R.) do not include funds needed to hire additional workers to go around the different localities to facilitate speedy validation of all the affected households.

She pledged to do everything possible to hasten the process reiterating the Department’s “Maagap at Mapagkalingang Serbisyo” slogan.

Philippines: Philippines: DSWD Sec. Taguiwalo welcomes stronger laws on disaster response through the ‘Children’s Emergency Relief and Protection Act’

28 February 2017 - 2:31am
Source: Government of the Philippines Country: Philippines

QUEZON CITY, Feb. 28 - Following the recent disasters that struck the country last year and the first months of 2017, Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Secretary Judy M. Taguiwalo reiterated the standing need for all national and local government offices to provide adequate and timely response  and ensure the safety of civilians, especially children who are particularly vulnerable during calamities and emergency situations.

“Situations such as disasters, calamities, armed conflicts and other civil disturbances increase the vulnerability of children to various forms of abuse, neglect, cruelty and violence. The lack of proper implementation of policies and programs for children during emergency situations has grave effects on the normal development of children, and may have lasting repercussions that can last into their adulthood,” the Secretary said.

Recognizing the need to strengthen and improve the implementation of disaster risk reduction and management (DRRM) laws and policies, the Department will lead the signing of the Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) of Republic Act (RA) No. 10821 or the ‘Children’s Emergency Relief and Protection Act’ this February 28, 2017 at the DSWD New Auditorium.

RA 10821, which was signed on May 18, 2016, mandates national and local government agencies to establish and implement a Comprehensive Emergency Program that will prioritize the protection of children and pregnant and lactating mothers during and after emergencies and disaster situations.

The law features stronger measures to ensure the safety and security of children affected by disasters and calamities, such as:

  • Establishment of child and women-friendly transitional shelters for orphaned, separated, and unaccompanied children;
  • Heightened surveillance against child trafficking, other acts of violence/abuse against children especially in the aftermath of disasters;
  • Development of a system for the restoration and reconstruction of civil documents for children and their families that have been destroyed or declared lost or missing during a disaster or calamity;
  • Promotion and conduct of child-responsive training programs for community and barangay leaders, school personnel, rescuers and other disaster responders;
  • Improving the standards and guidelines to trace and reunify orphaned, unaccompanied, or separated children to their families or relatives;
  • Increased participation of children in disaster risk reduction (DRR) planning and post-disaster needs assessments;
  • Ensure the proper identification and establishment of safe evacuation centers to limit the use of schools and child development centers as evacuation centers during calamities and disasters;
  • Improving the system of data gathering, monitoring and reporting in a disaster situation to better understand and deliver the specific and nutritional needs of newborn babies, children, pregnant and lactating mothers.

Aside from the DSWD, the IRR will be signed by the heads of agencies from the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), Department of Education (DepEd), Department of National Defense (DND), Department of Health (DOH), Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), Office of Civil Defense (OCD), Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), Philippine National Police (PNP), Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), National Housing Authority (NHA), and Council for the Welfare of Children (CWC).

“Through this law, we can increase the accountability of the local and the national government to communities, especially during disaster or calamity situations. The law will also establish standards to improve the protection and care of children in disaster situations and ensure that their rights are respected and secured,” Sec. Taguiwalo added.

Lastly, the Secretary also reminded the public that disaster risk reduction, response, and management processes involve the collective action between the public and the government.

“One of the keys to the proper enactment of this law is to empower the public and encourage their involvement in crafting and implementing DRRM policies and programs that can help improve the ability of Filipino communities to mitigate the effects of calamities and disasters and promote resiliency. We can save more lives if we work in solidarity with each other,” Sec. Taguiwalo said. (DSWD)

Philippines: Philippines: Persons of Indonesian Descent families benefit from late civil registration in Glan

27 February 2017 - 11:46pm
Source: UN High Commissioner for Refugees Country: Indonesia, Philippines

In the southern part of the Philippines, Persons of Indonesian Descent are being assisted by UNHCR and government partners in finding solutions for their legal identity needs.

GLAN, Sarangani – The small town of Glan may look like any other agricultural community in southern Mindanao, but a closer look reveals that this municipality has one of the largest population of Persons of Indonesian Descent (PIDs) in the Philippines. With 200 kilometres of sea travel between Glan and the Northern Sulawesi province of Indonesia, people have traditionally journeyed and migrated between the two islands.

Alpius Lahama, Sr., 56 years old, is one of the PIDs residing in Glan, Sarangani. He was born from Indonesian parents in Glan where he has built a family with his 51-year old Filipino wife, Loreta, and their eight children Cherrina, Jocilyn, Alpius, Jr., Margelyn, Jovelyn, Melca Ace, Asherah Grace, and Czamelle. Alpius is a fisherman while his wife stays at home to take care of their children.

“We were classmates in elementary, but we didn’t finish our education. We had what is called ‘puppy love’ then we found forever,” Loreta recalls.

“My parents’ tribe is called Sanger from the Sanger Island in Tahuna. When my parents were young, they came and met here in Mindanao. They married here and this is where all of us siblings were born,” shares Alpius.

The local government estimates that around 3,000 PIDs reside in Glan, scattered in different barangays (villages) in their municipality. When UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, conducted an assessment of the PIDs, over 8,000 PIDs registered from different parts of Mindanao.

Many adult PIDs and their children are at-risk of statelessness because they are unfamiliar with the citizenship laws of Indonesia and the Philippines. In Glan, those residing in remote communities were especially at risk.

“There are remote areas in Glan which makes it difficult to register newborns and the Indonesians themselves may not be aware that they need to register,” says Delia G. Bantawig, the municipal registrar of Glan. The local civil registrar is responsible for recording crucial acts and events which affect the civil status of individuals in the municipality.

“They can apply for late registration but there are also a lot of requirements where they have to show proof such as baptismal certificates or school records,” Delia adds.

Alpius has an official Indonesian passport and he has an Alien Certificate of Registration (ACR) in the Philippines which he renews every year. However, he says there are many PIDs that don’t have any documentation in their community.

“It’s like they fall through the cracks,” explains Loreta. “If they are Filipino, they have no proof that they are Filipino. If they are Indonesian, they also have nothing to show.”

Alpius and Loreta lived together since 1978 but decided to officially marry in 1994 so they will have a marriage certificate. It was also during this time that they also decided to apply for late registration for their children as the schools were already beginning to look for the birth certificates upon enrolment in addition to the marriage certificate.

“A child who does not have a birth certificate is not recognized. It’s like they’re colorum when they arrive in this world since they have no papers,” says Loreta, referring to a slang Filipino term for illegal public transportation. “Birth certificates are also very useful when they start classes from day care, to high school and college. And when they go abroad, a birth certificate is also what they need to hold. That’s how important a birth certificate is. It’s really difficult if there’s no birth certificate nowadays.”

The need for legal documentation is a global development issue included in target 16.9 of the Sustainable Development Goals, emphasizing the need for legal identity for all, including birth registration.

For the Lahama family, having a birth certificate means the education of their children continues. All eight of their kids have gone through elementary and secondary education, with some also going to the university. Their school achievements are proudly displayed in their home indicating the importance of education in their family.

Today, all the children have civil documents but it is Loreta who does not have a birth certificate. Their seventh child, Asherah Grace, also has an error in her birth certificate which needs correcting.

In 2016, Loreta applied for a birth certificate and the correction of Asherah’s birth certificate in a solutions mission to determine citizenship of PIDs organized by UNHCR in partnership with the Department of Justice, Bureau of Immigration, Public Attorney’s Office, local government units, and the Government of Indonesia. Since then, 893 have been confirmed as Indonesian and 821 confirmed as Filipino in Glan.

To help PIDs in their community, the local government of Glan recently passed an ordinance to exempt PIDs from paying late registration fees and clerical correction of entries in civil registration documents. They are the first municipality to pass a local resolution to provide specific assistance to PIDs and their family members.

“The processing fee for late registration is Php80, Php50 for verification, and Php15 for documentary stamp. The correction of clerical error is Php1,000 per document and the change of name or gender is Php3,000 per document,” explains Delia, the municipal registrar.

All of these fees have been waived thanks to the local ordinance passed by the local government of Glan.

“During the talks with the Bureau of Immigration and with the Consulate of Indonesia, we came into a decision to make that ordinance to help these people. If we will not waive these fees, they will remain until their death as a stateless person,” says Glan mayor Victor James Yap. “We have to help them for humanitarian consideration.”

With the new ordinance, PID families do not have to pay for the registration fees. The waiving of registration fees is a big help to families like the Lahama family with irregular income coming in from fishing.

“We are happy that there’s that ordinance because we really cannot afford the fees for correction. We have no money,” says Loreta. “So we are grateful to the municipality for waiving the fees.”

The birth certificates will be distributed to the Lahama family and over 100 more PIDs confirmed as Filipino in April 2017.

By Faizza Tanggol