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Philippines: DSWD issues supplemental guidelines on release of P5,000 cash aid to ‘Yolanda’ survivors

31 March 2017 - 6:44am
Source: Government of the Philippines Country: Philippines

Following the conduct of its validation activities, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) has issued Memorandum Circular No. 08 or the Supplemental Guidelines ​ensuring the efficient and speedy implementation of the P5,000​ Presidential Financial Assistance (5KPFA) to Typhoon Yolanda-affected households in Regions VI, VII, VIII, and Negros Island Region (NIR).

The 5KPFA is the provision of P5,000 cash aid to eligible households, without distinction as to the extent of damage to the home.

MC 08 states that eligible household-beneficiaries who do not possess valid identification cards and are in areas with no representatives from people’s organizations (POs) may get certification from the City or Municipal Social Welfare and Development Officers (C/MSWDOs) of their respective Local Government Units (LGUs).

The previous guidelines mentioned that in case a household is unable to present any valid ID, the partner-PO to which the identified beneficiary belongs to shall issue a Certification as to the identity of the beneficiary. The PO shall also send a representative during the distribution of the assistance to affirm the identity of the beneficiary.

​Also, in the supplemental guidelines, the DSWD will conduct direct cash or check pay-out for household beneficiaries residing in isolated areas where there is limited or no access to Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) of the LandBank of the Philippines and its bank partners.

The beneficiaries will be given the assistance directly through a cash card to be issued by the Land Bank.

Other Eligibility Criteria

Earlier, the DSWD released Memorandum Circular No. 03 detailing the criteria in the provision of the cash assistance. In order to qualify for the President’s financial assistance, a household must meet all of the following criteria:

•The dwelling of the household must have been damaged by ‘Yolanda,’ regardless of the extent of the damage or ownership of the lot on which the house is built;

•The household requested assistance from the DSWD on or before November 8, 2016, and must either;

•Have been included in one of the lists submitted to the DSWD by People’s Organizations (POs) and Non-Government Organizations (NGOs) on or before November 8, 2016;

•Have been included in one of the lists of unfunded ESA family-beneficiaries submitted on June 22, 2016 to the Department of Budget and Management (DBM); or •Have submitted, on or before November 8, 2016, a complaint to the DSWD of not having received assistance, which must have been confirmed and validated by the DSWD.

Availment process​

To avail of the financial assistance, eligible households must submit the following documents:

•Accomplished Financial Assistance Application Form, indicating the demographic information of the household-beneficiary;

•Certification issued by the proper barangay authorities on the residency of the household-beneficiary; and •Any valid Identification Card (ID).

•Certification executed by the beneficiary that the household has not received any of the following assistance:

– Emergency Shelter Assistance (ESA), in cash or in kind;

– Core Shelters from DSWD under the Core Shelter Assistance Program (CSAP) and Modified Shelter Assistance Program (MSAP);

– Permanent housing from National Housing Authority (NHA); or

– Any other shelter or housing grant from the government .

A total of 196,258 households with damaged houses are targeted to receive the P5,000 financial assistance from the Office of the President.

As of March 23, DSWD Field Offices from the said regions have already validated 79,581 households, of which 54,277 households have been evaluated as qualified beneficiaries. Complete receipt of assistance by all beneficiaries is expected by the end of June 2017.

DSWD Secretary Judy M. Taguiwalo said that during the validation, DSWD encountered some concerns which are hampering the implementation of the program.

“Because of this, we saw it fit to immediately issue the Supplemental Guidelines on the 5KPFA implementation to address some operational concerns that arose,” she said.

“The objective is to provide the much-needed assistance to these families who have been denied of their rights and privileges. That is our goal as part of our principle to provide efficient and compassionate public service. We are well aware that too much time has passed since the ‘Yolanda’ survivors first called for assistance from the DSWD. We know that the 5KPFA is a small amount and far from being enough to cover all the damage their lives and livelihoods sustained. All the same, we hope that it will be of some use to them, ” Sec. Taguiwalo said. #

Philippines: Philippines: Destructive Tropical Cyclones from 2006 to 2016

31 March 2017 - 5:13am
Source: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs Country: Philippines

According to the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration 3 Nock-Ten (Nina) (PAGASA), the Philippines is prone to tropical cyclones due to its geographical location which generally produce heavy rains, flooding of large areas and also strong winds which result in heavy casualties to human life and destruction to crops and properties. On average, the country is frequented by 20 tropical cyclones annually, almost half of which made landfall.

Between 2006-2016, more than half (65%) of the tropical cyclones that entered the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR) made landfall in the country. About 10 were particularly deadly and destructive in terms of casualties and cost of damages.

Philippines: U.S. gov’t commits support for development in Mindanao

29 March 2017 - 11:58pm
Source: Government of the Philippines Country: Philippines, United States of America

BUTUAN CITY, Mar. 30 – In account to the vibrant economic relationship of the United States (U.S) and the Republic of the Philippines, U.S. Ambassador Sung Y. Kim conveyed the U.S. government’s wholehearted support to the country with emphasis on the commitment to Mindanao development.

Ambassador Kim had a friendly and productive meeting with Philippine president Rodrigo Roa Duterte in Davao City on Monday. They discussed the extensive ‎bilateral partnership over the years as well as cooperation on counterterrorism, child protection, piracy, and economic development in Mindanao. The ambassador highlighted U.S.-Philippine partnerships in the region that strengthen the local economy and promote peace and stability.

Also, in honoring Women’s History Month, ambassador Kim highlighted the Embassy’s U.S. Agency for International Development funding for a project of training women to weave nets that stop erosion and landslides along the roadways in Ramon Magsaysay, Zamboanga del Sur.

The U.S. government has pledged more than P3.5 billion for dozens of projects in Mindanao over the next few years, including the Roll-on, Roll-off, or RO-RO, nautical highway. On April 30, the route will connect the cities of Davao and General Santos to Bitung in the Sulawesi Island of Indonesia. This accomplishment will help U.S. and Philippine businesses operating in Mindanao increase their exports at great savings.

The ambassador also shared a few concrete examples of the close business ties between U.S. companies and Mindanao. Demand from U.S. clients generates an estimated 40,000 well-paying BPO jobs in Mindanao. Cargill, a U.S. agricultural corporation, exports P7.5 billion worth of coconut oil every year, much of which comes from Mindanao, supporting tens of thousands of Mindanao farmers. Together with its partners Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) and BASF, Cargill has trained more than 1,000 coconut farmers since 2011 on improving agricultural practices. As a result, 300 small farmers from the region have been certified to produce the world’s first Rainforest Alliance certified copra, raising their incomes by 15 percent.

Philippines: The participation of women in the Mindanao peace process

29 March 2017 - 11:18pm
Source: UN Women Country: Philippines

This paper discusses the enabling environment that made women’s participation possible in the Mindanao peace process, and the strategies the three women who broke new ground used to influence the negotiations. It also offers recommendations on how others can apply the identified tools and strategies successfully.

Miriam Coronel-Ferrer, head of the government negotiating panel, was the first woman to be a signatory to a major peace agreement. This is significant considering that globally women were signatories to only two of the 61 peace agreements that were concluded from August 2008 to March 2012. Three women on the government side (and none on the MILF side) eventually signed the peace agreement. Coronel-Ferrer wrote: “Just three of the 12 signatories are women. Still, it’s a big leap: nearly all past negotiations were exclusively done by men.”

In light of the ongoing clamor from many quarters worldwide for an increase in women’s participation in formal peace negotiations and other peace processes, it is important to ask what were the factors that resulted in the strong participation of women in the peace process in Mindanao? Beyond the question of participation, how much and how well did the women influence the negotiated settlement?

Philippines: WFP School Meals Project: Through the Eyes of a Teacher

29 March 2017 - 7:42am
Source: World Food Programme Country: Philippines

By Anthony Chase Lim

This Women’s Month, the World Food Programme (WFP) highlights the important role that educators play in the success of the School Meals project. Elementary school teachers Giselle and Wilma have both seen and contributed to the positive effects of the project.

In the conflict-affected areas of Central Mindanao, WFP provides hot and nutritious meals to over 60,000 children each school day, allowing students to focus on their studies rather than their empty stomachs. But school meals don’t just fill stomachs – they help keep students in school for a chance to maximize their opportunities to obtain an education. This is where one of the project’s key stakeholders, the teachers, come into play. As the saying goes, “A student is only as good as his/her teacher.”

A Noble Profession

Giselle and Wilma have been teachers for 20 and 13 years respectively, yet they still recall what ignited their passion for the job. “It’s the children living in less fortunate communities who inspired me to become a teacher,” said Giselle, who works at Tenongol Elementary School in Upi, Maguindanao. “When you get to know them and see what they can do, you’re able to connect with them and in turn learn how to guide and teach them.”

Wilma always wanted to be a teacher: “Even when I was just a little girl, I dreamt of becoming a teacher. I grew up wanting to teach prospective learners and providing them with the same experience I had in school as a child. It’s truly a noble profession.”

Despite loving the job, the two multi-subject teachers admit there are challenges. “I always want to do my job to the best of my abilities and to do it the right way, and that takes time whether it’s creating a lesson plan or the visual aids that go along with it,” said Giselle. Both also have difficulties traveling to and from their schools on bad roads and in adverse weather conditions.

Still their love for their students and teaching brings Wilma and Giselle back to the classroom. “We need to give this profession everything we can,” Giselle added. “Having taught a student who comes from a less-fortunate family, my greatest achievement is to see them now as a successful working professional.”

School Meals Impact

WFP has worked with the Department of Education and local schools to provide school meals for more than ten years. Both teachers recall how the project has improved their student’s performance in the classroom. “We used to have a lot of kids who were malnourished, so they didn’t have the strength or they weren’t healthy enough to come to class,” said Giselle. “A number of them would only be in school for half of the day then after their morning classes, they would go home and miss the rest of their lessons due to hunger and sickness.”

When the project was implemented here at Banisilon Central School, it didn’t take long before we observed that our students were more energetic. Their attendance, participation and grades have greatly improved,” said Wilma.

The overall performance of participating schools has improved too, with Banisilon Central School’s National Achievement Test progressively increasing and Upi Elementary School reaching the top spot in the achievement test throughout the entire district.

Story by Anthony Chase Lim, with inputs from WFP Philippines programme officers, Fahima Abdulaziz and Marilou Cezar.

Philippines: Dengue Situation Update 513, 28 March 2017

29 March 2017 - 3:07am
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

Update on the Dengue situation in the Western Pacific Region

Northern Hemisphere

China (No update)

As of 28 February 2017, there were 54 cases of dengue reported in China in 2017. This number is slightly lower than that reported during the same period in 2016 (73 cases) .


A total of 1,786 cases of dengue were reported during week 12, which is lower than the 1,842 cases reported in the previous week (decrease of 3.0%) (Figure 2). The cumulative number of cases reported in 2017 was 21,946 cases, which is lower than that during the same period in 2016 (35,060 cases), a decline of 37.4% (13,114 cases). As of week 12, there have been a total of 50 deaths related to dengue in 2017, compared with 85 deaths for the same period in 2016, lowered by 35 deaths (41.2%).

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) .


As of 18 March 2017, there were 653 dengue cases reported in Singapore since January 2017. This is lower than that reported during the same period since 2013. During week 11, there were 36 cases and the number of cases decreased by 90 %, compared to 373 cases for the same period in 2016.


As of 17 March 2017, there were 489 cases of dengue with no deaths reported in Lao PDR in 2017. During week 11, 18 dengue cases and no deaths were reported. The number of cases is higher than the same time period in 2015 and 2016.

Viet Nam (No update)

In January 2017, there were 6,565 dengue cases reported (without deaths) from 41 out of 63 provinces (58 provinces and 5 municipalities existing at the same level as provinces) in the country. The number of cases decreased by 41.2% compared to the previous month and by 49.9% compared to the same period in the previous year. The number of cases increased by 49.8% compared to the median for the 2011-2015 period.


As of 21 March 2017, a total of 138 cases of suspected dengue cases were reported in 2017. The number of suspected dengue cases (including dengue haemorrhagic fever and dengue shock syndrome) was lower than the 3 year-threshold of the same period from 2014-2016.

Southern Hemisphere


As of 27 March 2017, there were 333 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).

Pacific Islands Countries and Areas

French Polynesia

A total of 43 confirmed dengue cases were reported in French Polynesia between week 9 and week 10 (19 cases in week 9 and 24 cases in week 10) (Figure 9). Eleven (26%) of the 43 cases were confirmed as DENV-1 infection.

New Caledonia

As of 28 March 2017, 2115 dengue cases were reported since September 2016, indicating an increase in the number of cases since September 2016.

World: Humanitarian Funding in Asia-Pacific in 2016

29 March 2017 - 1:20am
Source: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs Country: Australia, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, China, Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Germany, India, Indonesia, Japan, Lao People's Democratic Republic (the), Malaysia, Maldives, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nepal, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Republic of Korea, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, Timor-Leste, United States of America, Viet Nam, World

Myanmar: UNHCR South East Asia 2017 Funding Update as of 21 March 2017

28 March 2017 - 11:28pm
Source: UN High Commissioner for Refugees Country: Bangladesh, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Thailand
  • 132.3 M required for 2017
  • 9.7 M contributions received, representing 4% of requirements
  • 122.6 M funding gap for South East Asia

All figures are displayed in USD