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Philippines: NDRRMC SitRep No.9 re Effects of Tropical Storm Amang (Mekkhala)

18 January 2015 - 9:19pm
Source: Government of the Philippines Country: Philippines


"AMANG" has weakened into a Low Pressure Area. At 4:00 AM, it was located at 16.2°N, 122.1°E over the Vicinity of Casiguran, Aurora.



• A total of 20,695 families 1113,160 persons were evacuated in the Provinces of Albay, Catanduanes, Sorsogon, Camarines Node, Camarines Sur, Leyte, Biliran, Eastern Samar and Samar (Western Samar)


• A total of 4,922 families / 21,867 persons were affected in Regions V, VII, and VIII • A total of 4,967 families 121,185 persons are currently being served inside and outside 61 evacuation centers


Dead — 2

• KRISTELL MAE PADASAS, 26 y/o, a native from Bicol Region and was a volunteer worker for the Catholic Relief Service (CRS) stationed in Salcedo, Eastern Samar. The victim sustained fatal head injury after being hit by a soundbox due to a collapsed scaffolding caused by heavy winds brought by TS "AMANG"

• DOMINGO TABLATE, 59 y/o, Antipolo del Norte, Virac, Catanduanes due to drowning

Philippines: DSWD, partners extend free civil registration project for ‘Yolanda’ survivors

18 January 2015 - 8:35pm
Source: Government of the Philippines Country: Philippines

Typhoon Yolanda survivors whose civil documents were damaged or lost during the disaster will still have the chance to reconstruct these vital papers as the multi-agency Free Mobile Civil Registration Project is extended for another six months starting this month.

The project is funded by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) in the amount of P5 million in partnership with the Philippine Statistics Authority-National Statistics Office (PSA-NSO), local government units, and their local civil registrars.

The P5 million check was turned over on Wednesday to PSA-NSO at the DSWD-Central Office in Batasan Quezon City with DSWD Secretary Corazon Juliano-Soliman witnessing the turnover.

Also present during the turnover were Interim Deputy National Statistician Paula Monina Collado, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) Country Representative Bernard Kerblat, Initiatives for Dialogue and Empowerment through Alternative Legal Services (IDEALS) Board of Director President Joey Faustino, UNCHR staff Rico Salcedo, IDEALS Executive Director Edgardo Ligon, Interim Assistant National Statistician Lourdes Hufana, and DSWD Assistant Secretary Vilma B. Cabrera.

Sec. Soliman underscored the importance of continuing this project, which provides the opportunity to recover and reconstitute birth, death, and marriage certificates, among others.

“These documents are required in accessing basic services and transactions with government agencies, non-government organizations, and private institutions,” Sec. Soliman said.

According to Collado, the project was implemented in June 2014 and has already benefited almost 100,000 ‘Yolanda’ survivors from 18 towns and two cities of Leyte and Samar.

She said that an additional 37,500 ‘Yolanda’ survivors in Eastern Samar will benefit from the project extension.

Sec. Soliman acknowledged the strong support of DSWD partners on this project saying that it is very encouraging to note that this is part of the early recovery efforts that we have done in helping thousands of families affected by ‘Yolanda.’

UNHCR and IDEALS embarked on a civil registration project for ‘Yolanda’ survivors early in 2014 and initiated the partnership with DSWD and PSA-NSO to extend the project coverage to close to 40,000 beneficiaries age 18 and below. IDEALS will continue to provide technical services for the project, including the assistance of its 200-strong staff based in Leyte and Samar.

Philippines: NDRRMC SitRep No.8 re Effects of Tropical Storm Amang (Mekkhala)

18 January 2015 - 10:52am
Source: Government of the Philippines Country: Philippines


The Tropical Storm ''AMANG" has further weakened after crossing Camarines Norte and is now over Lamon Bay.

Philippines: NDRRMC SitRep No.7 re Effects of Tropical Storm Amang (Mekkhala)

17 January 2015 - 10:15pm
Source: Government of the Philippines Country: Philippines

The Tropical Storm ''AMANG" has maintained its strength and is now moving towards Sorsogon.

Philippines: Typhoon-damaged health facilities get a makeover

17 January 2015 - 4:20pm
Source: International Federation of Red Cross And Red Crescent Societies Country: Philippines

By Kate Marshall, IFRC

The Philippine Red Cross, with the support of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, is targeting 35 health facilities for rehabilitation as part of the overall Typhoon Haiyan recovery plan.

The society, in collaboration with the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), has started work on 20 of these facilities in Cebu, Leyte and Panay. The health clinic in Abaca, Leyte, is the first to be restored and was inspected by health officials and representatives from Philippine Red Cross and IFRC last week.

“The process starts with a very detailed assessment by our health teams to ensure that all stakeholders are informed and give their consent,” said Dr Bhanu Pratap, the IFRC’s Health Coordinator for the Haiyan operation.

Before work can begin, each project goes through a thorough assessment process to ensure every detail is covered and to allow proper consultation with communities, legal and building representatives and municipal officials.

The assessment takes into account several factors such as proximity to other services, existing equipment, income level, location and community requests.

Meanwhile in Tacloban, the Red Cross is undertaking a full reconstruction of the Barangay Suhi district health centre. Flood-prone Suhi is one of the coastal city’s poorest communities. It is also geographically challenging, stretching all the way from the banks of the San Juanico Strait to an inaccessible, hilly inland area.

For some months following Typhoon Haiyan, a site in Suhi next to the health centre was used as a mass grave for up to 2,000 bodies and residents were forced to go to another centre for medical check-ups. Once the facility is repaired residents will find it much easier to access medical help, Dr Pratap said.

The Philippine Red Cross assessment report on Suhi assembled evidence of several factors affecting the health and safety of residents by referring to secondary data, community mapping and the seasonal health calendar, recording direct observations and consulting the community through meetings and focus groups.

A community health volunteer team then surveyed dozens of households using mobile phone data entry to collect and record information.

“It’s very important to ensure community participation and decision-making so that local issues are well identified,” Dr Pratap said. “In some places residents will wait for our staff and volunteers to arrive because they are so eager to present their ideas. They realise what we’re doing will serve to strengthen their community.”

Health complaints in Suhi include a high incidence of respiratory tract infections, blamed on the nearby rubbish dump. Diarrhoea is also an issue, as many families lack proper toilets and clean drinking water.

Malnutrition is also compounded by schistosomiasis, a common waterborne disease. Medical missions to treat residents in the mountainous upland area are few and far between, despite the need for more first aid, especially in light of the area’s numerous traffic accidents.

As part of the Haiyan operation, the health facilities rehabilitation programme is an ideal entry point for a comprehensive community-based health and first aid programme covering nearly 100,000 people. It is also the first time that mobile phone technology based on Open Data Kits is being used to record baseline information for health in the Philippines.

“We’ve selected 68 communities and recruited more than 450 health volunteers ranging from 18 to 68 years of age. The health workers, through a community health committee, act as a bridge between the communities and the municipal health authorities,” Dr Pratap said.

Philippines: NDRRMC SitRep No.6 re Effects of Tropical Storm Amang (Mekkhala)

17 January 2015 - 1:01pm
Source: Government of the Philippines Country: Philippines


The Tropical Storm ''Amang has made landfall over Dolores, Eastern Samar at 3:00 PM and is now crossing Northern Samar

Philippines: NDRRMC SitRep No.5 re Effects of Tropical Storm Amang (Mekkhala)

16 January 2015 - 11:52pm
Source: Government of the Philippines Country: Philippines

Situation Overview

The Tropical Storm "AMANG" has intensified further and threatens Samar Provinces.

Philippines: Philippines: Tropical Storm Mekkhala - Wind Impacts 17 January 2015 0300 UTC

16 January 2015 - 11:48pm
Source: Pacific Disaster Center Country: Philippines

Philippines: Philippines: Tropical Storm Mekkhala - Rainfall 17 January 2015 0300 UTC

16 January 2015 - 11:42pm
Source: Pacific Disaster Center Country: Philippines

Mauritius: 16 January 2015: Tropical Cyclones BANSI, CHEDZA and MEKKHALA

16 January 2015 - 10:46am
Source: European Commission Humanitarian Aid department Country: Madagascar, Mauritius, Philippines

Mauritius - Tropical Cyclone BANSI

• BANSI passed off the north-eastern coast of Rodrigues early in the morning of 16 January, as an intense Tropical Cyclone.

• Heavy rainfall and strong winds have affected the island and may continue for the next 12 h.

• In the next 48h it is forecast to continue moving south-east over the Indian Ocean, weakening.

Madagascar - Tropical Cyclone CHEDZA

• CHEDZA is approaching the coast of central-western Madagascar, as an intense Tropical Storm. Its center is forecast to reach the coast of Menabe region late in the afternoon of 16 January; then continue moving eastsoutheast over land, weakening into a Tropical Depression. It may exit into the south-western Indian Ocean late on 17 January.

• Heavy rains and winds may affect several areas of central and southern Madagascar on 16-18 January, including the area of Antananarivo, already affected by floods during the last couple of weeks. As of 15 January, Red Alerts for heavy rainfall are in effect for several regions of central and southern Madagascar.

Philippines - Tropical Cyclone MEKKHALA

• MEKKHALA (called "AMANG" in the Philippines) is moving towards central Philippines, as a Tropical Storm. It is forecast to reach the island of Samar in the morning of 17 January (UTC), as a Tropical Storm. Then it is forecast to turn north-west across central-northern Philippines, weakening into a Tropical Depression. The uncertainty of the forecast track / intensity after 17 January is still high.

• As of 16 January 11.00 UTC, a Public Storm Warning Signal #1 is in effect for parts of Luzon and Visayas, as heavy rainfall and

Philippines: NDRRMC SitRep No 03 re Preparedness Measures for TS "Amang" (MEKKHALA)

16 January 2015 - 6:53am
Source: Government of the Philippines Country: Philippines

Situation Overview

The tropical storm "AMANG" has slowed down and continues to move West towards Eastern Visayas.

Philippines: Philippines: Why housing rights must be prioritised to end displacement of Zamboanga’s urban poor

16 January 2015 - 6:46am
Source: Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre Country: Philippines

This briefing paper highlights current gaps in response to those displaced by conflict since September 2013 in Zamboanga city in the southern island of Mindanao.

Analysis and recommendations are based on information gathered by IDMC during interviews in Zamboanga in June 2014 as well as discussions held in early October 2014 during a three-day training workshop on durable solutions co-organised by the Philippines Commission on Human Rights (CHR) and IDMC (see workshop report for full recommendations).

This briefing paper also aims to inform current global policy debates on solutions for urban IDPs whose lack of formal tenure can exclude them from humanitarian or housing assistance or put them at risk of eviction, and amount to what the former Special Rapporteur on Adequate Housing describes as “discrimination on the basis of tenure” (UNGA, 30 December 2013).


Three weeks of fighting in September 2013 in Zam­boanga city in the southern island of Mindanao between the Armed Forces of the Philippines and a faction of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) led to the displacement of at least 110,000 people and destruction of an estimated 10,000 homes (OCD, 2 December 2013, p.4).

As of January 2015, over two-thirds of the displaced have been able to return, although with little monitoring of their conditions. An estimated 35,000 still remain displaced in the city of whom some 20,000 continue to live in camps for internally displaced persons (IDPs). Around one third are in evacuation centres to which they were initially displaced. Others are in transitional sites which are intended to be temporary camps before IDPs are provided with more permanent housing (OCHA, 20 December 2014). In addition, up to 15,000 people are thought to be living with host families

Nearly all of those who remain displaced belong to Muslim ethnic minorities and they are among the poorest and most vulnerable IDPs. The majority have no formal land ownership or tenancy rights in areas of origin. The return and reconstruction plan of the municipal authorities (the City Government of Zamboanga) prioritises the needs of land-owning IDPs. There are concerns a large number of IDPs will remain unable to return and be excluded from permanent housing assistance. Most are likely to end up stranded in the transitional camps with poor access to adequate housing and no durable solutions in sight.

Philippines: NDRRMC SitRep No.2 re Preparedness Measures for TS "Amang" (Mekkhala)

15 January 2015 - 7:00pm
Source: Government of the Philippines Country: Philippines

Situation Overview

Tropical Storm "AMANG" has maintained its strength as it continues to move westward towards Eastern Visayas.

Philippines: NDRRMC SitRep No.4 re Effects of Tropical Storm Amang (Mekkhala)

15 January 2015 - 7:00pm
Source: Government of the Philippines Country: Philippines

Situation Overview

The tropical storm "AMANG" has maintained its strength as it moves closer to Eastern Visayas.

Philippines: NDRRMC SitRep No.3 re Effects of Tropical Storm Amang (Mekkhala)

15 January 2015 - 7:00pm
Source: Government of the Philippines Country: Philippines

Situation Overview

The tropical storm "AMANG" has slowed down and continues to move West towards Eastern Visayas.

Philippines: Uncertainty Lingers For the Displaced A Year After Zambo Siege

15 January 2015 - 4:35am
Source: UN High Commissioner for Refugees Country: Philippines

Zamboanga City, Philippines – For the past three decades, single parent Sattolnina Abba bore witness to frequent fighting and forced marriages within her Moro community that she decided to flee her village in southwestern Basilan realizing she would have a bleak future.

In between those years of acclimatizing to this new and strange city on the main land, she sought the help of local NGOs and women’s groups so she could find a job. She finished an informal education and landed various administrative jobs. This 33-year-old Sama Dilaut native, an ethnolinguistic tribe commonly known as ‘sea gypsies’ attributable to a culture closely linked with the seas, was able to build her own house in no time.

But that house has now been reduced to ashes along with other hundreds of houses on stilts that once crowded parts of the coastal areas facing the Basilan Strait when a renewed clash between Moro rebels and the Armed Forces of the Philippines broke out in early September of 2013. The fighting displaced 120,000 persons from eleven coastal barangays in this city.

“I remember escaping with my kids and only saved the leftover food that early Friday morning. My mother didn’t want to leave as she was still packing keepsakes in a suitcase,” said Sattolnina tears welling up her eyes. “Miraculously, my uncle was able to get her with his boat after five hours of dodging bullets flying from all directions,” she added.

Sattolnina along with her three kids and mother currently lives in a bunkhouse they built through materials provided by the local housing authority and labour sweat equity from the tenants.

Being one of the few educated in her village, she is now a spokesperson and volunteer representing them in community consultations and meetings regularly carried out by the UN refugee agency (UNHCR) and other partners working in the affected area.

UNHCR has been responding to the humanitarian crisis brought by the conflict by providing limited amounts of emergency relief items such as plastic sheets, blankets, and hygiene kits as well as monitoring the protection situation in evacuation centers, transitory shelters, and those internally displaced persons hosted by families outside designated displacement sites.

“Concerns relating to housing, land and property issues, and livelihood are among the major lingering issues faced by displaced families,” said Peter Deck, head of UNHCR’s Mindanao operations.

This trepidation is echoed by Sattolnina concerned that they might be neglected by the government, local and international relief organizations, once they begin phasing down in 2015. “I don’t have a job and I am worried if I will still be able to put food on the table for my family in the coming months.” The city agriculture office with support from UNHCR conducted a livelihood assessment when this issue was raised to the local authorities and humanitarian actors.

The Zamboanga del Sur provincial office distributed fifty-five (55) banca or outrigger boats to families who rely on fishing for livelihood and consumption, shifting the gear out of survival mode to self-sufficiency. Sattolnina and her family was one of the beneficiaries of the assistance.

“Facilitating visits of NGOs and attending issues in the community have me fixed in the public hall all daylight hours of the day, I had to rent out my boat so I could somehow earn,” shared Sattolnina. “I share half of the income with a local fisherman. I use this money to buy rice and save the rest for the maintenance of the boat.”

However, just when she thought everything was now smooth-sailing, four boats were recently apprehended by maritime police patrollers citing that non-registered vessels were not allowed to fish. Fishing halted for a couple of weeks disrupting their living or what seemed to be a sense of normalcy sixteen months since the conflict.

The authorities expressed that they lack the funds to cover the required licensing and registration fees for the hundreds of boats individually owned by fishermen that have not been registered since the Zamboanga conflict of 2013.

Fortunately in this situation, the dilemma is being addressed through UNHCR’s support of livelihood opportunities to enable community self-management and sustainability.

“One of the best things to come out of this humanitarian response is the proactive involvement of communities finding ways to help themselves with support from local NGOs like our partner UnYPhil-Women (United Youth of the Philippines-Women). Together, we are helping these fishermen and families shoulder the cost of acquiring clearance, community tax, and registration of 205 boats so far identified,” explained Rasul Kulat, a field officer for UNHCR working closely with communities and NGOs in Zamboanga City.

UNHCR is advocating for the government to enable as many displaced families to return back to their places of origin where these vulnerable communities know how to best provide for themselves thus minimizing the occurrence of multiple displacement.

“We are hopeful that the government will expedite their plans of transferring us to a permanent relocation site somewhere close to the water. Our life is in the seas, and selling our fish, we will become non-existent if they move us away from the water,” said Sattolnina.

After years of negotiations, often accentuated by heavy fighting, both the government of the Philippines and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) forged a peace agreement called the Comprehensive Agreement on Bangsamoro in early 2014 allowing for a form of autonomy in five provinces in Mindanao and the decommissioning of the MILF. The framework however has received varied reactions from different sectors one of which was the creation of a faction of the MILF known as the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters who allegedly supported the conflict staged by the separatist Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) in Zamboanga City last 2013.

The people of Mindanao are now awaiting a proclamation from the president of the planned transition to the autonomous Bangsamoro government this year with the Bangsamoro Basic Law being a priority bill of the national government.

The future remains uncertain for Sattolnina and her family. She hopes that a lasting truce will be reached by both parties involved in the conflict. Traditionally, the Sama Dilaut are gentle people and when confronted with aggression, their general reaction is to take flight, as Sattolina and her family did.

It was no surprise then when she was presented the possibility of getting caught again in crossfire, her stare was suddenly fixed at the boat and her only response was: “who knows this boat may come in handy in the future to sail us to safety.” END

Contact Persons:

Regina Maramag 9178456774 | (Manila)
Kent Bolisay 09155921568 | (Cotabato)

Philippines: Haiyan: Helping vulnerable communities in Coron with Decent Work

14 January 2015 - 10:27pm
Source: International Labour Organization Country: Philippines

Typhoon Haiyan killed 8,000 and affected nearly 16 million people across the Philippines. And while Tacloban City sustained the most destruction, other more remote places also suffered heavy damage. Lives and livelihoods, infrastructure and services were all lost on the vacation island of Coron. A year after Haiyan, the island's people are gradually restoring some of what was lost, and at the same time, learning new skills and ways to support their families.

Philippines: NDRRMC SitRep No.1 re Preparedness Measures for TS "Amang" (Mekkhala)

14 January 2015 - 7:00pm
Source: Government of the Philippines Country: Philippines

Situation Overview

The Tropical Storm "AMANG" has maintained its strength as it continues to move over the Philippines sea.

Philippines: Typhoon Haiyan: Cash-for-Shelter Pilot Findings

14 January 2015 - 2:46pm
Source: Catholic Relief Services Country: Philippines

This handout summarizes the findings from a cash-for-shelter pilot study in the Philippines.

The study found that cash grants can be effective and flexible in meeting the needs of families. Cash grants can also provide a positive incentive to use "build back safer" techniques.

Philippines: Cash-for-shelter pilot findings in CRS's Typhoon Haiyan Response

14 January 2015 - 2:46pm
Source: Cash Learning Partnership Country: Philippines

In order to explore possible strategies for shelter assistance that would also benefit local markets, a cash transfer pilot study was conducted in which beneficiaries received cash to purchase shelter materials and to hire labourers. CRS promoted disaster-resilient construction techniques and employed a phased approach in which beneficiaries were required to demonstrate completion of each phase according to these construction techniques before the subsequent phase of cash would be disbursed. In Leyte province, 49 households participated in a 3-phase pilot beginning in January 2014, and in Eastern Samar province, 18 households participated in a 2-phase pilot beginning in May 2014.

This document presents a summary of the findings from the pilot.