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Philippines: A year after Yolanda, DOLE assisted 98,590 individuals in four regions; P556.69 million spent and accounted for

11 November 2014 - 9:43pm
Source: Government of the Philippines Country: Philippines

From the Department of Labor and Employment

Reporting its contribution to the rehabilitation of devastated communities exactly one year after super typhoon Yolanda wrought death and destruction in four regions of the country, Secretary of Labor and Employment Rosalinda-Dimapilis-Baldoz yesterday said the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) had spent P556.69 million of its budget from November 2013 to date, which had directly benefited 98,590 individuals/persons in Region 4-B, 6, 7, and 8.

“Transparency is a major pillar of our labor governance agenda, hence, I report to the Filipino people that over the past year since Typhoon Yolanda struck, the DOLE has, I believe, contributed meaningfully to President Benigno S. Aquino III’s task to build back better the communities affected by the typhoon,” Baldoz said.

“The DOLE spent ₱556,696,095 of its budget and in the process assisted 98,590 individuals through two main activities – emergency employment and livelihood assistance,” she added.

For emergency employment, the labor and employment Chief said the DOLE, between November 9 and December 31, 2013, spent ₱113.500 million for minimum wage salaries, social insurance, and personal protective equipment of 31,969 individuals who were engaged in short-term employment in Region 4-B –3,507 persons; Region 6—2,747 persons; Region 7—1,651 persons; and Region 8—24,064 persons.

“The 31,969 individuals were employed to clear canals and railways, restore health centers and other public buildings, and repair roads and bridges. Many of them cleared public spaces of debris,” Baldoz said.

Baldoz said that immediately at the onset of 2014, the DOLE continued its emergency employment program spending ₱171.253 million to employ 33,283 individuals who continued the restoration/rehabilitation of damaged communities.

“In Region 4-B, our emergency employment program benefited 766 individuals in 2014; in Region 6—11,558 individuals; in Region 7—12,041; and in Region 8—8,918 individuals.”

Baldoz also said that in January 2014, the DOLE began implementing its livelihood assistance program and had spent to date ₱271.94 million benefiting 33,338 persons.

“On a region basis, we had spent ₱49.920 million in livelihood assistance that benefited, 4,393 individuals in Region 8; ₱15.360 million that benefited 1,959 in Region 7; ₱175.501 million that benefited 23,544 in Region 6; and ₱31.159 million that benefited 3,442 in Region 4-B,” Baldoz explained.

Baldoz also said that the DOLE’s utilization of its livelihood assistance budget had reached 62.3 percent, while for emergency employment, it was 95.20 percent, bringing the DOLE’s overall utilization rate to 71.92 percent.

She further said the DOLE’s livelihood assistance covered thousands of income-generating activities, including auto repair, handicraft, sawali-making, dried fish, fruits and vegetable production and processing, livestock raising, shielded metal and welding, organic fertilizer production, fishing, etc.

“We have a compilation of the list of our beneficiaries for transparency. We also continue to monitor their livelihood projects,” she said, adding.

“The DOLE continues to actively involve itself in the rehabilitation of the areas destroyed by Typhoon Yolanda. Our contribution to the nation effort in the four regions is focused in the area of employment facilitation and capacity building.”

Philippines: Safer homes: a ray of hope for people affected by the typhoon Haiyan

11 November 2014 - 9:35pm
Source: Agency for Technical Cooperation and Development Country: Philippines

It has been 9 months since November 8th 2013. On that date, Typhoon Haiyan the strongest storm ever to make landfall, swept through the Philippines Due to the unprecedented trail of devastation caused by Typhoon Haiyan many family homes were heavily damaged and destroyed in Leyte and Eastern Samar Provinces. In Leyte alone 89% of houses were totally destroyed. To support families’ transition from emergency shelter assistance to early recovery and rehabilitation ACTED supported by ShelterBox is implementing a community-led shelter reconstruction project in Northern Leyte.

ACTED and ShelterBox are supporting 300 families to rebuild their homes, providing housing material, training local carpenters and mobilizing community to build houses using ‘build back safer’ techniques.

Anastacio Martinez from Alangalang, and Maria Aruta-Espos from Barugo, are two people among the 300 families who are building a new home with the support of ACTED and carpenters trained by the project.

Vulnerable inhabitants

Anastacio is a resident of Cabadsan Barangay in Alangalang Municipality. He is 74 years old and lives alone. Recently, his wife died. After the typhoon, community members helped Anastacio construct a temporary shelter of salvaged GI sheets and wood under a tree.

Maria, resident of San Isidro Barangay in Barugo Municipality, is 90 years old and also lives alone, in a fragile makeshift house since the typhoon.

Their houses were both completely destroyed by the typhoon and they did not have the capacity or means to reconstruct them.

Innovative Shelter Construction

Anastacio will have his new shelter constructed by ACTED trained carpenters. The shelter design of his new home is based on a community led design process facilitated by ACTED. His new home will incorporate the principles of ‘build back safer’. Anastacio attended all community consultations regarding the shelter construction: kick off meeting, design workshop, ‘build back safer’ techniques and beneficiary selection consultations. Anastacio is excited about his new home, although he wishes his wife could be with him. For Anastacio, his new home is a ray of hope.

As for Maria, her house is now being constructed by ACTED trained carpenters. It is the 6th day of construction and the progress being made is a stark contrast to Maria’s makeshift house. Maria was involved in discussions about the design of shelter she wanted and attended workshops to understand the importance of building her home back safer than before. Two simple techniques that Maria learnt about and that will make her home more resilient to disaster are strengthening her shelter against winds with braces at the sides and using strong joints.

Philippines: CPWASH to improve living conditions of farmers in Quezon

11 November 2014 - 8:50pm
Source: Government of the Philippines Country: Philippines

QUEZON, Nov 12 -- The local government of San Antonio in the province of Quezon has allotted a P500,000 for 2015 to implement Community Managed Potable Water Sanitation and Hygiene Project (CPWASH) in 20 barangays of the said province to provide them with potable drinking water and protect them from water-borne diseases.

San Antonio Mayor Erick Wagan of San Antonio has expressed his full support to the project because of its dependability, especially during rainy season.dar web news national pix 2 nov. 11 2014

“The project would benefit more than 1000 households in the municipality, around 900 of which are agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARBs),” he said.

After typhoons Glenda and Mario devastated the town this year, Bulihan-Arawan cluster and Briones, Callejon, Del Valle agrarian reform communities’ (ARCs) only sources of clean water are the two CPWASH projects in their area, which are not enough to supply their water requirements, thus, the need to add more units.

Del Valle MPC Coop Chairperson Nenita dela Vega said they never expected the impact of the project at so short a time after its installation in the area. “Thanks to the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) for being persistent in putting up that project in partnership with our local government,” she added.

“The project made us realize the importance of CPWASH in the rural areas. We are glad that more ARCS will receive this project,” dela Vega said. (DAR)

Philippines: Palace: Rehab fund for typhoon-hit areas has reached P199.48B

11 November 2014 - 8:47pm
Source: Government of the Philippines Country: Philippines

MANILA, Nov 12 -- Malacañang announced on Monday that the fund for the rehabilitation of areas devastated by Typhoon Yolanda has reached P199.48 billion.

In a statement sent to members of the Malacañang Press Corps, Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio Coloma, Jr. noted that the amount came in the form of loans, financial grants and donations.

"According to the consolidated data of the Department of Finance (DoF), the Philippines received a total of P199.48 billion in loans/grants/donations, (based on the US$1=Php43 or the prevailing rate during the time it was received), which was used for ‘rescue and relief’ and ‘reconstruction and rehabilitation’ phases of the areas affected by super typhoon Yolanda. The amount represents all aid that were coursed through the DoF and accounted for by the Bureau of Treasury," Secretary Coloma said.

He reported that of the total amount, 85 percent or P169.48 billion was coursed through various government agencies, while the remaining P30 billion was channeled through non-government organizations.

According to the Finance Department, about 53 percent of the P199.48 billion or P106.41 billion has already been disbursed for the various programs, activities and projects within the Yolanda corridor, he said.

In terms of sources, about 63 percent or P126.18 billion consisted of foreign loans extended by multilateral lending institutions and development agencies, among them the World Bank, Asian Development Bank, Japan International Cooperation Agency, International Fund for Agricultural Development, and the French Development Agency.

The remaining P73.3 billion was made up of donations and grants from other countries, including Australia, China, Germany, Japan, Korea, United Kingdom, United States, and the European Union.

Foreign aid pledged and received, both cash and non-cash, during the rescue and relief phase were monitored through the Foreign Aid Transparency Hub (FAiTH), which is handled by the Department of Budget and Management, he said, adding that the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs also accounts for the foreign grants.

Local donations meanwhile are accounted for by the National Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council, he said.

"We wish to point out that there is a difference between pledged and received donations. 'Pledged' means that a foreign country or organization expressed its willingness to help but has ‘no legal commitment to follow-through’,” Coloma said.

"The DoF said the Office of the Presidential Assistant for Recovery and Rehabilitation has undertaken monitoring and accounting of all donations, including grants where the DoF was not involved," he added. (PCOO/PND)

Bangladesh: Communicating With Communities: Experiences from Asia - Bangladesh - Myanmar - Philippines (as of 04 November 2014)

11 November 2014 - 8:28pm
Source: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs Country: Bangladesh, Myanmar, Philippines

Communication is a form of humanitarian assistance that is as important as water, food and shelter. Without access to information, disaster survivors cannot access the help they need, make informed decisions or be effective leaders in their own recovery. In the aftermath of a disaster, survival for the most vulnerable people depends on knowing the answers to questions such as:

Where can I find safe drinking water, food or shelter?

Where can I go for medical attention?

Where are my family and friends?

Recent mega disasters show that humanitarian actors are increasingly using communication tools - radio, mobile phones, social media and crisis-mapping - to access, communicate and disseminate information that may save lives or improve conditions for the most vulnerable.

Philippines: Communicating With Communities: Experiences from Asia - Philippines (as of 03 November 2014)

11 November 2014 - 8:08pm
Source: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs Country: Philippines

Philippines: Filipinas, aniversario del tifón Yolanda

11 November 2014 - 3:18pm
Source: Agencia Española de Cooperación Internacional para el Desarrollo Country: Philippines

La Cooperación Española participó en las operaciones de ayuda internacional que atendieron a la crisis humanitaria causada por el tifón Yolanda en Filipinas hace un año.

A día de hoy, la población de la zona más afectada, Tacloban, continúa recuperándose del azote del tifón. Para ello cuenta con el apoyo de la Cooperación Española, que financia en la zona diversos proyectos de desarrollo y preparación ante desastres.

El pasado sábado se cumplió un año del paso del tifón Haiyan (conocido localmente como Yolanda) por el archipíelago filipino. El Tifón tocó tierra por primera vez en Filipinas (4.40 a.m.) en Guiuan, provincia de Eastern Samar, con vientos máximos sostenidos de 235km/h y ráfagas de 275km/h. Con una categoría 5, el máximo según la escala Saffir-Simpson, el tifón llegó a continuación a la municipalidad de Tolosa, al sur de la ciudad de Tacloban, en la provincia de Leyte, y posteriormente a la isla de Daanbantayan y Bantayan, la provincia de Cebú, Concepción, Iloilo, Busuanga y Palawan.

El paso del tifón dejó miles de muertos y desaparecidos, así como más de diez millones de personas afectadas y otras desplazadas.

La respuesta humanitaria española a esta crisis fue integral e inclusiva, abarcando tanto al gobierno central y la cooperación descentralizada, como a la sociedad civil.

La Cooperación Española, liderada por la Agencia Española de Cooperación (AECID), prestó seguimiento y ayuda desde el inicio de la crisis. Todo ello, en concertación con el Consejo Nacional para la Gestión y Reducción del Riesgo de Desastre (NDRRMC) y el Departamento de Bienestar Social y Desarrollo (DSWD), la Oficina para la Coordinación de los Asuntos Humanitarios de las Naciones Unidas (OCHA), la Oficina de Ayuda Humanitaria y Protección Civil de la Comisión Europea (ECHO).

La respuesta de la Cooperación Española se diversificó a través de la financiación a organismos internacionales, organizaciones no gubernamentales, libramientos de fondos, envíos de material humanitario y la puesta en marcha de un operativo directo de emergencia integrado por sanitarios y logistas que consiguieron poner de nuevo en marcha el hospital provincial de Tacloban, posibilitando así la atención de las personas afectadas entonces y, la consolidación del centro de salud en la actualidad. Todas estas acciones llevadas a cabo entonces estuvieron dirigidas a cubrir las necesidades básicas de la población afectada por el desastre y sobre todo la de las situadas en las regiones de Visayas.

Además, la Cooperación Española realizó el envío de material humanitario en conjunto con las organizaciones Acción contra el Hambre y Cruz Roja Española con destino Cebú -Tacloban. El avión fue fletado por AECID el martes 12 de noviembre con 15 toneladas de material para potabilización y distribución de agua potable y cobijo (tiendas, coberturas impermeables, mosquiteras para 2.500 personas). En el envío participó asimismo la Fundación Reina Sofía con medicamentos.

El primer equipo de respuesta en llegar a la zona de Tacloban fue enviado por el Gobierno de la provincia filipina de Albay, compuesto por 179 personas, y que portaba una planta potabilizadora financiada por España en el marco de proyecto “Fortalecimiento ante Desastres”, iniciado a raíz de la respuesta al tifón Durian que asoló Filipinas a finales de 2006.

La apuesta de la Cooperación Española en Filipinas en materia de preparación y respuesta ante desastres operaba así una de las consecuencias positivas esperadas, dado que los equipos de respuesta de la Provincia de Albay están previamente formados en el uso de las plantas potabilizadoras por la Cooperación Española, y el agua potable es una de las primeras necesidades de una emergencia de este tipo.

Asimismo, el equipo de Albay transportó a Tacloban ambulancias de la Provincia de Albay financiadas en su día por la AECID.

La Cooperación Española mantuvo en todo momento la coordinación con el resto de organismos internacionales movilizados para atender la emergencia. La Agencia Española de Cooperación, en particular a través de su Oficina Técnica de Cooperación en Manila, jugó un papel esencial en la coordinación de esta emergencia. La Cooperación Española se unió así con su apoyo financiero –un total de 300.000 euros- a las actividades de la comunidad internacional, contribuyendo con el Programa Mundial de Alimentos (PMA) para logística y distribución de alimentos al sur de Tacloban; y con el Fondo de las Naciones Unidas para la Infancia (UNICEF) para la protección de niños y familias afectadas por el tifón.

La Agencia Española de Cooperación (AECID) activó asimismo diversos convenios de emergencias con ONGD españolas –por un total de 1.639.693,15 euros-, como el que puso en marcha con la Cruz Roja Española, para el flete de un avión Airbus 300 con capacidad para 40 toneladas de material de agua, saneamiento e higiene que posibilitaron proveer de agua potable a 75.000 personas por día.

También se activaron los convenios Emergencia con Acción contra el Hambre, para apoyar su operación en Iloilo; con Save the Children, para asistencia humanitaria para niños/as y sus familias en Capiz, Iloilo y Visayas ; con Intermón Oxfam, para la respuesta a la emergencia en WASH, seguridad alimentaria, rehabilitación temprana y agravamiento de crisis sostenidas en la región VII y VIII; y con Médicos Sin Fronteras, para la intervención de emergencia para las víctimas afectadas en Leyte.

La Cooperación Española sigue trabajando con los colectivos afectados por el tifón Yolanda y, en general, en Filipinas, uno de sus principales sectores de actuación está relacionado con la preparación de respuesta ante desastres, dada la vulnerabilidad del archipiélago a los desastres naturales, tales como erupciones volcánicas, tifones y terremotos.

Asia es históricamente la región del mundo más afectada en cuanto a número de desastres y Filipinas se encuentra entre los cinco países del mundo que más desastres han sufrido a lo largo de la última década.

Más información sobre el tifón.

World: Global Emergency Overview Snapshot 5–11 November

11 November 2014 - 11:25am
Source: Assessment Capacities Project Country: Afghanistan, Bolivia (Plurinational State of), Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Côte d'Ivoire, Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, El Salvador, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gambia, Guinea, Haiti, Honduras, India, Iraq, Jordan, Kenya, Lebanon, Lesotho, Libya, Mali, Mauritania, Myanmar, Namibia, Nepal, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, occupied Palestinian territory, Pakistan, Philippines, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Sudan, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Syrian Arab Republic, Uganda, Ukraine, World, Yemen

Snapshot 5–11 November

Central African Republic: About 20,000 displaced people are seeking refuge in isolated rural areas in Ouham province following the arrival of armed groups in Boguila, Kouki and Nana Bakassa on 25 October. Nearly 1,000 people have been displaced since July in Bambari following violence in Batobadja and Matchika, and 4,000 have been displaced since January to Berberati town in Mambere province.

Ukraine: Over the night of 30-31 October, Ukraine claimed pro-Russian separatists violated the ceasefire 45 times. However, some IDPs area reportedly returning to opposition-held areas despite insecurity, due to exhausted coping mechanisms and inadequate assistance. Ukrainian authorities have imposed obligatory passport controls on movements in and out of opposition-held areas.

The Gambia: Aggregate cereal production over 2014 is predicted to be 75% lower than in 2013, falling to about 57,000 metric tons. Groundnut, the main cash crop, is predicted to fall 80%. Growing conditions have been poor in several parts of the country, mostly in central and western regions, due to irregular rains at the beginning of the cropping season in May/June, which delayed planting, and subsequent erratic precipitation in July and August. The Ebola epidemic in neighbouring countries is further aggravating food insecurity, as the crisis has affected tourism, a significant source of income (Reuters, 01/10/2014).

Updated: 11/11/2014. Next update: 18/11/2014

Global Emergency Overview Web Interface

Philippines: Disasters and business continuity in the Philippines

11 November 2014 - 8:19am
Source: UN International Strategy for Disaster Reduction Country: Philippines

By Jerry Velasquez

MANILA, 11 November 2014 - The first anniversary of Typhoon Haiyan which took the lives of 6,300 people and resulted in US$ 10 billion in economic losses, was the impetus for a gathering of 130 chief executives, middle managers and government officials to discuss building resilience to disasters yesterday in Manila.

Taking the recovery lessons from super typhoon Haiyan (local name: Yolanda), this year’s Top Leaders Forum called for protocols on cooperation between private companies and the Government, the promotion of resilience in critical infrastructure such as electricity grids, and the promotion of resilience as a core business practice in the management of supply chains and malls.

Mr. Hans Sy, President of SM Holdings, the country’s largest mall operator, noted that “malls are barometers of normalcy” and making them resilient and keeping them open during, and after, disasters is part of SMs responsibility.

This view was supported by Favian Cadiz, Vice Mayor of Marikina City, who said that he also considers malls as places of refuge during disasters. To do this, SM Holdings committed to promote the development of Business Continuity Plans for its mall tenants.

Super typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda hit Central Philippines in November 2013 killing 6,300 people, affecting more than 11 million others and causing US$ 10 Billion in estimated losses.

Margareta Wahlström, Special representative of the Secretary General for Disaster Risk Reduction co-chaired the event with Mr. Sy, and noted the need for all sectors to come together to prepare and manage disaster risks.

“No country, no government, no civil society on its own will be able to manage risks and strengthen resilience; it takes engagement by the business and private sector,” she stressed, adding “there is no doubt that the Typhoon Haiyan experience will influence the thinking on the new post-2015 framework for disaster risk reduction.”

Senator Loren Legarda DRR champion in the Asia Pacific and Chair of the Senate Committee on Climate Change, and Environment and Natural Resources, called for a cultural revolution for humanity to adapt to a fast changing environment and to adopt a risk-informed lifestyle.

“This will apply in all aspects of daily life and even for business – in designing a product, engineering a structure, and in planning development programmes or projects. DRR is not just about CSR or corporate social responsibility, but the private sector embracing resilience as a core strategy in doing business,” she said.

To mark their commitment to disaster resilience, participants put forward the 2014 Top Leaders Declaration that will support private sector discussions at the Third UN World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction to be held in Sendai, Japan, in March 2015.

Private and public partnerships will be a major theme and an essential element of the successor of the Hyogo Framework for Action that will be adopted at Sendai.

Wahlström said the Declaration is “a firm and strong commitment from both the private and public sector to work closely together not only when disasters happen but before they happen.”

She added, “the synergy between public private partners is key to make the world safer and I am glad that the Philippines is showing the way and willing to demonstrate how the two sectors can benefit from each other.”

The Manila forum convened by Mr. Sy, President of SM Prime Holdings is a regular platform where private sector representatives are invited to discuss how to better protect their businesses against natural hazards, along with public sector representatives.

Ms. Marife Zamora, Chairman of Convergys Philippines Services Corporation, said “our company employs 55,000 people in 35 centers. Our company is into business process outsourcing. We don’t have products to sell. We need to have manpower available 24/7. Impact of a disaster is tremendous to our business. We need to ensure that companies have holistic measures for disaster resistance: first priority is to protect our human resources and protect our assets (infrastructure)”.

After the Forum, the United Nations office for Disaster Reduction (UNISDR), Philippine Insurers and Reinsurers Association (PIRA) and SM Prime Holdings, Inc. hosted the First Philippine Insurance Forum on Strengthening Disaster Resilience in the Philippines. The forum attended by a representative of the Department of Finance as well as national and international insurance and reinsurance representatives, discussed efforts on disaster risk insurance and possible collaboration and cooperation at national and local levels.

Philippines: Typhoon aid to Philippines hurt by poor coordination: charities

11 November 2014 - 6:31am
Source: Agence France-Presse Country: Philippines

11/11/2014 - 09:36 GMT

The delivery of assistance to victims of Super Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines was hampered by poor coordination between local authorities and the international community, British aid groups said Tuesday.

A study of the aid delivery by five charities released in Manila a year after the storm struck, found there had been a lack of communication between international aid providers, their local counterparts and the government.

"We missed coordination, we missed an opportunity to work together as a team... we missed an opportunity to take advantage of the capacity that we have among ourselves," said Joyce Lacker country manager of ActionAid, which co-authored the study with Oxfam, CAFOD, Christianaid and Tearfund.

Lacker blamed this partly on the unprecedented damage caused when Haiyan smashed into a giant stretch of the central Philippine islands on November 8 2013, bringing the strongest winds ever recorded on land, devastating whole towns and leaving 7,350 dead or missing.

Although foreign and local assistance was quickly on the scene, problems soon emerged, said representatives of local non-government organisations said at the launch of the report.

Local NGOs had difficulty meeting with the stringent reporting and accounting systems of the international groups while the government was overwhelmed as the typhoon had killed many of the rescuers trained to help with relief efforts from such disasters.

There were cases of duplication of efforts with large amounts of aid going to the same people while others were given nothing. This sparked "social tension" between people who had and had not received aid.

Despite these problems, the recovery from Haiyan had been relatively swift, David Carden, country director of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said.

"There are always things that can go better," he said.

The government must engage international aid groups, local communities and NGOs to determine their roles when responding to disasters, he said.

On Monday, the chief government overseer of the Haiyan rehabilitation efforts, Panfilo Lacson said that 20.3 billion pesos ($451 million) in aid had been provided by multilateral and bilateral sources and overseas non-government organisations for the post-typhoon relief effort.


© 1994-2014 Agence France-Presse

Philippines: Mindanao's Unique Opportunity for a Just and Lasting Peace

10 November 2014 - 10:47pm
Source: World Bank Country: Philippines

Axel van Trotsenburg, World Bank Vice President for East Asia and Pacific

History shows that creating peace is difficult and takes time, especially where poverty and conflict have become routine.

There are no silver bullets for ensuring success that brings stability and opportunity to beleaguered populations, as each situation requires specific local solutions.

That is true for the Philippines, where a March peace agreement between the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) sought to end decades of violence that killed more than 120,000 people and crippled development in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), the nation’s Muslim-majority territory.

Now the national legislature is taking up a law to implement the heart of the peace plan – creating a truly autonomous Muslim homeland of the Bangsamoro on Mindanao – as an essential first step toward resolving core issues such as deactivating MILF fighters and shifting the political focus to sorely needed economic and social development.

To support the peace process, the international community must fully participate to bolster the momentum and spirit of the March pact. The World Bank welcomed the chance to participate in the recent Philippines Development Forum on the Bangsamoro in Davao City. In this Forum, the MILF presented its vision for the region through a Bangsamoro Development Plan that lays out concreteactions to get kids back in school, improve people’s health, help farmers increase income, and bring in investment to create jobs.

Government officials, including President Benigno Aquino III and the MILF leadership, joined with civil society, business leaders, and partners from the international community to discuss ways to accelerate economic and social development as part of the region’s transition toward lasting peace.

The event was a powerful show of solidarity for the Bangsamoro people aimed at shifting the focus from conflict to peace and development while recognizing the distinct cultural and historical identity of the Bangsamoro people as a national asset. For the World Bank Group, the quest for political stability and self-sustaining development is a long-term effort.

The need is obvious. While Mindanao has rapidly growing cities, it also has the country’s greatest concentration of rural poverty. In the ARMM, poverty afflicts more than 55 percent of the population. Over half the region’s students never finish school, and high unemployment makes young men vulnerable to recruitment by armed groups.

Overcoming distrust from decades of violence and neglect in the region takes more thanspending money or providing roads, schools and clinics. International experience has shown that for peace to take root, people must witness improvements in governance and security, equal justice, and more jobs— and this must come sooner than later.

Enacting the new law will advance the process to the real challenges to daily peace, such as helping fighters make the transition from military activities to jobs in productive areas.

It is crucial for the government and international institutions such as the World Bank Group, along with Filipino and overseas businesses, to be ready with programs to support the process. Those programs must be inclusive and ensure that all parties and affected populations are well represented.

In Bangsamoro, that means opportunities must reflect the views and interests of all those who were rendered voiceless in the development discussions, including Muslim citizens as well as minority groups such as indigenous peoples and non-Moro settlers.

Flagship programs for indigenous peoples and women’s economic empowerment would signal such an inclusive approach. So would a system that determines who gets aid based on need rather than ethnic group.

Programs should promote greater transparency by Bangsamoro authorities, including an anti-corruption strategy and steps to make governance data publicly available. Developing civil society to amplify the Bangsamoropeople’s voices and hold their political representatives accountable is just as important.

For economic development, the focus should be on improving the regulatory environment for businesses, increasing access to credit for farmers, providing skills training for available work, and direct interventions such as cash-for-work programs to ease short-term unemployment. Other needs includetraining to help women and unemployed youth fend for themselves, such as addressing the high adult illiteracy in the region, particularly among women.

World Bank Group projects include partnerships to create jobs by bolstering rural development and spurring private investment in thenation’s growing agri-business sector working with our private sector arm, the International Finance Corporation.

The World Bank Group is willing to invest heavily in apeaceful future for Bangsamoro. Toward this end, we are already undertaking and willing to expand projects that are inclusive, high in job content, and sustainable.

The Philippines government and MILF have embarked on a peace mission that holds great promise but also faces challenges. The World Bank Group is putting its bets on the promise of peace and will be a long-term partner to help overcome the legacy of violence and poverty.

Such opportunities are rare and fleeting. Collectively, we have the power to ensure this agreement becomes a model for future peace efforts

Philippines: Yolanda Anniversary Highlights Progress, And Need For Resilient Reconstruction

10 November 2014 - 10:46pm
Source: Asian Development Bank Country: Philippines

MANILA, PHILIPPINES – One year after Typhoon Yolanda—known internationally as Haiyan—swept through the central Philippines, communities are being rebuilt and livelihoods restored though much work remains to complete the job, Asian Development Bank (ADB) Vice-President Stephen Groff said today.

“The day Yolanda hit was a terrible day for the Philippines and deeply affected all of us at ADB, which calls the Philippines home,” said Mr. Groff, ADB Vice-President for East Asia, Southeast Asia, and the Pacific. “Following a successful relief effort, solid progress has been made on repairing crucial infrastructure like national roads and bridges, supporting families with transitional housing and employment, and re-establishing local industry.”

Tomorrow marks the one year anniversary of Yolanda, considered one of the worst storms in history. It devastated vast areas of the central Philippines, killing more than 6,000 people and leaving millions homeless and jobless. Over half a million houses were destroyed and the agriculture sector was severely impacted.

Shortly after the disaster, ADB approved $900 million in assistance for stricken communities, including an emergency assistance loan of $500 million and grants totaling $23 million. An additional $150 million in resources from ongoing ADB projects is available for repurposing to respond to needs in transport, agrarian reform, community-driven development, and conditional cash transfers. Overall, ADB’s funding provides support for community-driven development, local government infrastructure, power restoration, livelihoods and employment, education and health care services, and improved disaster resilience.

“Recovery is not complete,” said Mr. Groff. “Some communities still need short-term assistance. Longer-term housing, resettlement and livelihood needs for these people are very real and urgent. ADB will stand with the government and people of the Philippines until the job is done.”

Mr. Groff said that real improvements in conditions on the ground at Yolanda-affected communities would gain momentum next year, when reconstruction will begin in earnest. Progress to date compared favorably with other recent disasters including some in more developed countries.

The reconstruction program should result in communities that are better safeguarded against future disasters, said Mr. Groff. This required careful planning, better construction standards, and often important policy decisions.

“There’s always going to be tension between doing it fast and doing it right. ADB supports the government’s efforts to plan carefully for the future of these areas.”

ADB, based in Manila, is dedicated to reducing poverty in Asia and the Pacific through inclusive economic growth, environmentally sustainable growth, and regional integration. Established in 1966, it is owned by 67 members – 48 from the region. In 2013, ADB assistance totaled $21.0 billion, including cofinancing of $6.6 billion.

Philippines: NDDRMC Update Sitrep No. 56 re Monitoring Activities on the Alert Status of Mayon Volcano

10 November 2014 - 7:00pm
Source: Government of the Philippines Country: Philippines


A. Alert Level 3 is still in effect as of 8:00 AM, 11 November 2014. At this present stage potentially eruptible magma has already been intruded and continues to be intruded beneath the edifice. At any given time in the following weeks to months, this magma can eventually be erupted quietly as lava flows or explosively as vertical eruption columns and pyroclastic flows or both. Mayon Volcano's seismic network detected one (1) volcanic earthquake during the past 24 hour observation period, consistent with overall slow, magma intrusion at depth that has characterized this year's activity.

Philippines: Haiyan survivors get new homes

10 November 2014 - 8:52am
Source: UN International Strategy for Disaster Reduction Country: Philippines

By Brigitte Leoni

BANGKOK, 10 November 2014 - A dream came true for more than 200 families from Bogo city in Cebu yesterday when they received the keys to their new homes, a year after the most powerful typhoon to make landfall in the Philippines destroyed their old houses last November.

The 200 houses officially handed over yesterday are the first of the 1,000 houses that will be delivered by SM Care Village, the foundation of SM Prime, by the end of the year to poor families displaced by Typhoon Haiyan, known locally as Yolanda, especially those living in no-build zones and high-risk areas.

Typhoon Yolanda hit the Visayas region in the Philippines on 8 November, 2013, killing more than 7,000 people and causing USD 10 billion in estimated economic losses. In Tacloban alone, one of the areas hardest hit by the typhoon, 90% of all structures were either destroyed or damaged.

“With so many people still displaced or living in permanent shelters, the private sector is an obvious partner in the recovery process. We are happy for the families who will have tonight, a solid roof over their heads and a safe home, and we hope that many more will soon join them” said Margareta Wahlström, Head of the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR), thanking Mr. Hans Sy, President of SM Prime Holding for making the project possible at an official ceremony held in Bogo, Cebu, yesterday.

The 200 houses are disaster resilient and have been designed above the requirements of the existing building codes and mandated standards. Each house is composed of high quality concrete walls and roof slabs, which can withstand the strength of winds accompanying a Category 5 super typhoon without any major material damages.

In addition to these disaster resilience features, the houses also have heat-resistant painted roofing to help lower interior temperature and increase energy efficiency. The windows and doors are made of aluminum frame and PVC to provide a high level of resistance to corrosion, rot, chipping, fading, insect assault, discoloration, and severe conditions.

“Our beneficiaries in Bogo will be spending Christmas here in their new homes for the first time. And we are hopeful that we are giving them not just houses but we are giving them villages where they can rebuild their lives,” stressed Mr. Hans Sy.

The families receiving homes were carefully selected through house-to-house interviews and priority was given to families who had their homes totally damaged, no capability to rebuild decent homes and who were living in government-identified danger zones. Families with pregnant women, children, senior citizens and persons living with disabilities were also prioritized.

To ensure the village’s sustainability for its residents, SM Foundation also teamed up with Ramon Aboitiz Foundation, Inc. (RAFI) to provide families with quality rehabilitation, livelihood assistance and recovery services through social programs and services.

“The project would not have been possible without the collaboration of our partners and the public who put their trust in SM and have given to the project. We would like to thank them and we will continue working together to build safer and more resilient communities for Filipinos,” said Mr. Sy.

So far only 150 households have been relocated to permanent shelters, as part of the government housing programme. Survivors are complaining about the rebuilding process which is according to them far too slow.

Tacloban City Mayor Alfred Romualdez said rehabilitation of disaster areas continued to be slow because of the lack of suitable land for the new houses but the authorities are hoping that 14,500 homes can be completed by 2017.

Ms. Wahlström confirmed that “Land tenure is a major hurdle for the resettlement programme and this is adding to the frustration of the many people who want a new home now. Too many people have already rebuilt in danger zones using unsafe materials.”

After her visit to Cebu, the UNISDR chief is attending today the third Top Leaders Forum in Manila and promoting private public partnerships and multi-stakeholder collaboration as the best way to ensure long term resilience against disasters. The Top Leaders Forum will be followed by the First Philippine Insurance Forum on strengthening disaster resilience in the Philippines, a key sector to incentivize businesses to invest more in resilience.

Armenia: Supporting Community Resilience in the South Caucasus

10 November 2014 - 1:33am
Source: Oxfam Country: Armenia, Georgia, Philippines

8 November coincided with the anniversary of Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines, Oxfam calls on governments around the world to start acting to protect their citizens against climate change. And across the Caucasus, we use using this global moment to push for more action on disaster risk reduction. The threat of climate change is still a reality for millions of people across the Caucasus, and many people still remember the effects of the deadly Spitak earthquake in Armenia, while many communities across the region still regularly face numerous landslides, storms and droughts.

To protect people’s lives and livelihoods Oxfam GB runs the “Supporting community resilience in the South Caucasus” programme in Armenia and Georgia. We are working with local communities and authorities on development, making sustainable community-based models, reducing vulnerability, and exposure to disasters and climate change effects. In three regions: Adjara (Georgia), Tavush and Vayots Dzor (Armenia) Oxfam and its local partners: Bridge of Hope, Black Sea Eco Academy, Support to Communities and Rural Communities Development Agency implement activities involving diverse community groups and individuals: men and women, children, youth and elder, governments, volunteers and people with special needs. The programme, run in the region since 2010, is supported by the European Commission (DIPECHO).

One of the Oxfam’s main goals is advocating for governments and communities, raising awareness on disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation. On 16th October it was the International Day for Disaster Reduction which we celebrated together with national authorities, partners and communities in both countries.

ARMENIA – DRR Day and a press briefing brought together in Yerevan 100 practitioners, experts, the DRR National Platform and ministry representatives, partners, and media to discuss the 3rd phase of the DIPECHO programme and highlight its key directions in the country.

GEORGIA – during the DRR Day celebration in Khulo, Adjara region over 80 children from local schools and communities exposed to disasters took part in a drawing competition, discussed potential hazards in the region and actions that should be taken in case of an emergency.

Philippines: Typhoon Haiyan one year on: Older people key to rebuilding communities

10 November 2014 - 12:58am
Source: Handicap International Country: Philippines

By Sarah Gillam

One the one year anniversary of Typhoon Haiyan, we release a joint report with our partner in the Philippines, Coalition of Services of the Elderly, showing that older people have been key to helping 150,000 people recover from the typhoon.

New skills have been acquired, stronger homes built and farming diversified using global aid, to help communities on the road to recovery.

Based on the records provided by the Philippine Statistics Authority, approximately 1.27 million people over the age of 60 were affected by the typhoon, or 8% of the reported 16 million people affected, many losing their homes, livelihoods and loved ones.

Ensuring older people are part of the recovery process

Before Typhoon Haiyan, nearly 65% of older people were working but many were not included in cash-for-work programmes after the disaster.

Poverty levels and malnutrition rates in Leyte province were high. And poor access to information compromised people's ability to receive help. For example, 75% of older people interviewed by HelpAge and UNHCR did not know that medical services were available free of charge.

As a result, with our partner the Coalition of Services of the Elderly (COSE), we stepped in to ensure older people were a key part of recovery efforts.

Our main objectives were to ensure older people had regular incomes, shelter, healthcare and access to their rights and entitlements.

Rebuilding homes and livelihoods

Working with local older people organisations, we set about making this happen, through cash transfers, shelter repair and training in carpentry and geriatric care, piloting a mobile community health service and ensuring community pharmacies had access to appropriate and affordable medicines.

We also helped older people access legal documents and senior citizen ID cards, through training on their entitlements.

Targeted training in crop diversification was provided to farmers after coconut trees were wiped out. This helped farmers to raise household income with increased harvests of more resilient crops.

Older carpenters were trained in new building techniques, resulting in stronger shelters with improved resistance, for older people in the community. Those that had lost their tools were provided with replacements, to ensure they could resume work. "HelpAge and COSE created ways for us to help our fellow senior citizens." said Virgilio Virola, 60, from Palo, Leyte. "It really helped to take part in the carpentry training."

Creating age-friendly communities

At least 10,000 older people received cash transfers, with 11,000 older people receiving cash and repair kits to build new homes. Rice seeds and fertiliser were given to 7,000 farmers. Cash helped kick start businesses ranging from selling fish and food to taxi services, pig and poultry farming and fishing.

This support has enabled older people to help one another and improve their own resilience in the aftermath of the typhoon, encouraging them to actively participate in the process of rebuilding age-friendly communities. "We received 10,000 pesos (US$222) from HelpAge-COSE and restarted our mini store and food outlet. Now we make sure we have some savings from these businesses," said Erlinda Yabao, 71, from Tacloban, Leyte.

We have also encouraged older people to join training in psychosocial support and present radio programmes about some of the issues being discussed.

Realising older people's potential to contribute

Many older people said that joining in HelpAge activities made them realise how they could contribute, helping them to feel part of society again. "In any emergency, helping communities to meet their most immediate needs as well as aiding longer term recovery is a challenge," said Ian Clarke, HelpAge International & Coalition of Services for the Elderly Emergency Programme Director in the Philippines. "But we have overcome these challenges with the active involvement of older people themselves as well as with the support of their organisations," he said.

The Confederation of Older Person's Association in the Philippines (COPAP) also contributed to the success of the emergency relief by providing psychosocial support to older people, identifying specific needs and helping to distribute aid.

Philippines: Finding clean water after Typhoon Haiyan

10 November 2014 - 12:30am
Source: Islamic Relief Country: Philippines

In November 2013, Typhoon Haiyan hit The Philippines, destroying entire towns. One year on, we've been catching up with Rudy living in Santa Fe, who now has free access to clean drinking water, after periods of having to travel far to buy some to survive.

Typhoon Haiyan hit The Philippines one year ago, affecting thousands of people and leaving whole towns absolutely devastated. Most people were left with nothing, and have been rebuilding their lives, since. In northern Cebu alone, 610,000 people were affected in 328 villages (called barangays) across 16 towns.

Rudy has been living in Santa Fe, Bantayan Island, all his life. Rudy’s wife sadly passed away, and he now has sole responsibility of his daughter and her three small children. He is 65 years old and is currently uneemployed. Each year the island is hit by typhoons, which destroys everything and means Rudy, alongside many others living on Bantayan Island, have to start all over again.

One of the biggest challenges people in this area are facing is access to clean drinking water. Rudy has to travel very far, and in most cases they end up having to buy clean water each day, paying 3 pesos per gallon. The added expense of water, which would otherwise be free, puts great strain on this family of five, who are then unable to afford much food or other essential items.

Islamic Relief has been working in the region since Typhoon Yolanda hit, and discovered a lack of clean drinking water was a widespread problem in the area. In order to solve the problem, Islamic Relief have installed a number of rain water harvest tanks on the island. Bantayan Island receives a lot of rainfall, and the tanks allow rainwater to be collected, filtered and then collected by residents to be used for drinking, washing and cooking.

Rain water harvest tanks are an inexpensive way of providing communities with access to clean and safe drinking water.

Rudy tells us:

“ We are thankful to Islamic relief that they came here in too far flung area and helped us. Now with this water system we can get free clean drinking water and we are happy for that.”

Philippines: One year after Typhoon Haiyan

9 November 2014 - 11:07pm
Source: Development and Peace Country: Philippines

It has been one year, since Typhoon Haiyan devastated the central region of the Philippines. Development and Peace witnessed an outpouring of generosity from Canadians across the country to help respond to this unprecedented natural disaster.

Since that time, the organization has been working with local organizations to reach the most poor and vulnerable affected by this disaster. Far beyond simply providing emergency relief, Development and Peace is aiming to strengthen communities, ensure their participation in decisions that affect them and make them more resilient.

In August 2014, a delegation representing Development and Peace donors and supporters travelled to the Philippines to witness firsthand the progress being made. Here are stories and other resources on how change is happening as Development and Peace and its local partners help communities to not only build back their lives but also a better future.

Read the report on the results of Development and Peace’s response to Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines and what is on the horizon.

Philippines: Physician Spotlight: Caring for Philippines Typhoon Survivors One Year Later

9 November 2014 - 10:56pm
Source: Direct Relief Country: Philippines

When asked how she has coped for the last year since Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda) devastated the Philippines, Chief of Ormoc District Hospital, Dr. Maria Lourdes de Lara-Banquesio, replied, “We do the best we can with what we have.” Ormoc District Hospital (ODH) is the main public and referral hospital on the western side of Leyte Province, one of the areas hardest hit by the typhoon – the strongest storm on record to ever hit land.

Dr. Maria has been working tirelessly to keep things running at ODH, even though the hospital itself was badly damaged.

“I just keep praying… the burden after Yolanda was not as bad as it is now because everyone was helping. Now everything still needs to be done, but help is harder to find and there is less interest,” she said.

The typhoon affected the entire health system on the western side of Leyte. Most of the health centers were damaged or destroyed. Moreover, many local health workers died in the storm and floods. This reduction in capacity resulted in more patients being referred to ODH because their local health station is out of operation.

A 100-bed hospital, Dr. Maria reported that ODH is currently averaging 210 in-patients daily, placing severe strains on the hospital. The nearest regional hospital is a two-and-a-half hour drive away.

But despite the circumstances, the devoted Dr. Maria has done an impeccable job of keeping ODH functioning over the last year. Though patients line the corridors, laying on stretchers, they are all being cared for by ODH staff. “We are doing our best to provide for the people who have nowhere else to go,” she said.

To help Dr. Maria, her staff, and the people seeking care, Direct Relief is working to rehabilitate the hospital by providing new medical equipment to replace what was damaged.

You can join the effort to help give health and hope to people like Dr. Maria by donating here.

Philippines: BFAR exceeds target on new banca distribution to Yolanda affected fisherfolks in North Cebu

9 November 2014 - 10:23pm
Source: Government of the Philippines Country: Philippines

Central Visayas, November 8 (PIA) --- The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR 7) exceeded its target of providing motorized fishing bancas to 2,000 fisherfolks affected by super typhoon Yolanda in north Cebu.

In the recent press briefing on Post Yolanda Disaster: Rehab operations initiated by the Philippine Information Agency (PIA-7) BFAR 7 assistant regional director Dr. Allan Poquita said as present they have already built 2,007 new fishing boats worth P15,000 each.

Poquita said that most of the beneficiaries are from Bantayan Island and Medellin as they have the most number of fisherfolks with totally and partially damaged fishing boats.

Of these new built fishing boats 1,511 were already distributed to fisherfolk beneficiaries in north Cebu affected by super typhoon Yolanda.

The remaining 489 units then set to be distributed before the end of November this year.

“We also listed 2,000 partially damaged fishing boats for repair of which 2,346 were already repaired,” Poquita said.

Fishermen with partially damaged fishing boats were given materials for repair such as epoxy, marine plywood, copper nails and other materials.

Affected fishermen also benefited from the Cash for Work Program of BFAR as they are paid P1,500 upon completion of the repair of their own damaged fishing boats during the devastation of super typhoon Yolanda in their respective areas.

Poquita revealed that BFAR allots P244 million for its Cash for Work Program while DSWD also has a P3.2 million budget under the same program. (mbcn/ays/PIA7)