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Philippines: Philippines pioneering psychological first aid following crisis

10 October 2016 - 4:19am
Source: World Health Organization Country: Philippines

“The psychological damage left in the wake of natural disasters in the Philippines has proven to be as devastating as the physical damage", said Dr Gundo Weiler, WHO Country Representative in the Philippines. “WHO and partners developed a guide on psychological first aid to ensure that standards and best practices are consistently applied in humanitarian settings in order for us to do better for the mental health of disaster affected populations”.

World Mental Health Day is observed on 10 October every year, with the overall objective of raising awareness of mental health issues around the world and mobilizing efforts in support of mental health. The theme of this year’s World Mental Health Day covers “psychological first aid”. Efforts in support of the day will focus on basic pragmatic psychological support by people who find themselves in a helping role whether they be health staff, teachers, firemen, community workers, or police officers.

Despite its name, psychological first aid covers both psychological and social support. Just like general health care never consists of physical first aid alone, similarly no mental health care system should consist of psychological first aid alone.

In 2013, following Super Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan), WHO together with the Philippine Department of Health worked with its teams in the provinces of Leyte, Cebu, Capiz, Samar, and Northern Palawan to provide information on psychological first aid to partner organizations, teachers, police and others who can help in extreme life experiences, both man-made and natural, like the typhoon aftermath. To date, most, if not all, of the frontline workers in almost all regions of the country are capable of providing psychosocial support.

“Filipinos, in general, grow up in a caring environment, caring for and being cared of by others. This is where resilience comes from. We have long been practicing psychological first aid even before the term was officially coined. This makes giving of psychological first aid an inherent trait among us.” explained then Assistant Secretary who is now Secretary of Health Dr Paulyn Jean Rosell-Ubial.

World: The Column AHA Centre News Bulletin Volume 21, October 2016

9 October 2016 - 1:46am
Source: Association of Southeast Asian Nations Country: Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Thailand, Viet Nam, World

On this edition:

  • The signing of the Declaration on One ASEAN One Response

  • 9th DELSA PSC Meeting

  • Interview with Ms Adelina Kamal on The Other Side many more

World: Further, Faster, Fairer - Reaching every last child with immunisation

7 October 2016 - 3:41am
Source: Save the Children Country: Cameroon, Central African Republic, Congo, Côte d'Ivoire, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Guinea, India, Indonesia, Iraq, Lao People's Democratic Republic (the), Liberia, Mali, Nigeria, Pakistan, Philippines, South Africa, Syrian Arab Republic, Uganda, World

Executive summary

Immunisation saves lives and is undoubtedly one of the most successful and cost-effective health interventions, with far-reaching benefits. Improved coverage has contributed to the impressive 50% drop in child deaths globally between 1990 and 2015, from 12.7 million deaths to 5.9 million. The benefits of immunisation will have a greater impact among excluded communities, which typically have low access to healthcare and high vulnerability to disease, and where the financial burden of illness has a greater impact on household poverty.
Save the Children estimates that closing the equity gap based on household wealth inequalities in 52 low- and middle-income countries could save 800,000 more lives between now and 2020.


There have been important improvements in coverage of immunisation services over the past decade, with 86% of children globally now receiving the most basic vaccinations. But progress has recently stagnated and 19.4 million children under one year old – one in seven – are still excluded from the full benefits of immunisation. These children are disproportionately found in some parts of the world and in certain countries. National data, however, does not tell the full story of inequalities. To focus on the seventh child exposes the systematic exclusion taking place within some countries.

That seventh child is being unfairly left behind because of where they were born or live. He or she is from the poorest of households, from a marginalised ethnic group, living in a neglected or rural area, or affected by conflict. In Nigeria, for example, a child from a wealthy household is 11 times more likely to be immunised than a child from a poor household, while coverage is nine times higher among Igbo children than Fulani children.

These exclusions are interrelated. Children from poorer households or a specific ethnic group are often geographically concentrated in neglected areas. Globally, two-thirds of children who have not been immunised live in conflict-affected countries. The fact that children from certain groups or living in certain areas of a country are persistently left behind is not accidental. It is the direct result of policies and programmes that exclude some groups of children – whether by design or neglect – and a failure to prioritise these children and the communities and areas in which they live. These communities are missing out on the financial and human resources needed to deliver immunisation and other health services. Unless we do things differently, we will continue to fail every seventh child and further entrench systematic inequalities that leave him or her behind. This injustice cannot continue. Earlier in 2016, Save the Children launched an ambitious new global campaign to help end exclusion and ensure that Every Last Child survives and thrives.


Global attention on childhood immunisation has, to date, mainly focused on donor aid and multilateral mechanisms, such as Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance. But most of the political decisions that are excluding children are being made at national and, in some cases, sub-national levels. We argue that these domestic policy and resource choices must ensure that immunisation and other essential health services reach every last child, working towards Universal Health Coverage (UHC).

Domestic investment has played a critical role in health progress over the past decade, accounting for 75% of total health expenditure in the average low-income country.9 As we move into the era of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), there is growing recognition that domestic investment is critical to achieving universal services that leave no one behind. National governments have primary responsibility for their countries’ economic and social development. While aid will continue to be important for some countries, this must be a catalyst for domestically-driven change.


Essential health services, including immunisation, should be available to all, including the poorest and most marginalised children and communities.

This must be reflected in national and sub-national strategies and actions, including immunisation policies and plans that prioritise excluded groups.

These groups must be visible at all levels of policy and planning; there will need to be strong political commitment and accountability to ensure that required services are provided.
Strong health systems are needed to ensure that good-quality services are available, accessible and acceptable. This will help drive high, sustainable and equitable coverage of immunisation and other essential health services across the continuum of care, including for excluded groups. Immunisation can show the value of a UHC approach, but will require programmes to truly incorporate UHC ideals into the way they provide services, especially around prioritising the needs of the poorest and most excluded groups.


There is a need for increased and equitable public investment in immunisation and health systems. This is to ensure that programmes are sustainable and that routine immunisation and other essential health services reach every last child, especially those in the most remote and neglected areas. Investment is vital, both for the purchase of vaccines and to strengthen health systems (including cold chains) to deliver vaccines and immunisation services.

However, maximising the value of investment will depend on governments creating the fiscal space to allocate additional resources to immunisation and health system strengthening.
While greater domestic responsibility and resources are important, development aid will continue to play a role in some countries for the time being. This aid must be fit for purpose to support countries to reach every last child, including responding to the changing nature of poverty and rising inequalities in middle-income countries. The other side of the coin is how that money is spent. Global funding must do more to support countries to strengthen health and immunisation systems to deliver UHC, rather than just deliver disease-specific and vertical interventions.


Several global factors affect countries’ ability to fund their own development, so these must also be addressed if they are to speed up progress on immunisation. These factors include access to affordable vaccines, and a research agenda that responds to the needs of countries where children are left behind. More needs to be done to make sure that vaccines are affordable for countries so that immunisation gains can be expanded and sustained.

Greater efforts are needed to ensure that the right vaccines and presentations are developed, in addition to innovative technologies and equipment to expand access in remote and neglected areas.

Vaccine manufacturers clearly have a role to play.

However, given that immunisation is a global public good, the world needs increased public investment and incentive models for research and development (R&D) that work for resource-poor settings and that will help us reach every last child.


Greater accountability to children, their families and communities is vital so that every last child can access and utilise immunisation and other essential health services. Key actors at all levels – including decision-makers, service providers, and private sector companies – must be held accountable.

Unfortunately, we do not have a full picture of which children are missing out on immunisations, because many children are simply not counted among the data. However, the absence of disaggregated coverage data in many countries is compounded by the fact that millions of children are not accounted for in the first place. Globally, 230 million children under the age of five – that’s one in five children – were not registered at birth. If we do not know who or where these children are, programmes and services cannot be properly designed to reach every last child. Countries must step up their efforts to make sure that every last child is counted.

Communities (including excluded groups and children themselves) and civil society organisations (CSOs) must be empowered to demand their rights and to meaningfully engage in the design and implementation of policies, programmes and budgets. They must have a voice in the decisions that affect them, helping to identify immunisation gaps and solutions. They must also be empowered to hold governments accountable for delivering on their commitments.


As well as supply-side issues, demand-side constraints at household and community levels (such as gender inequality and lack of knowledge about the importance of immunisation and how to access services) will need to be addressed if every last child is to be reached. Gender-related barriers drive exclusion and affect the likelihood of a child of either sex being immunised. Women are usually responsible for looking after children; therefore, any gender barriers they face are likely to affect their children too. These barriers vary by country and context, but tend to be more pronounced in resource-poor settings.

Better information and communication are also critical. Where communities know their rights, are aware of the benefits of health services, know where, when and how to access services – and crucially – where they trust the service providers, vaccination coverage is higher. To increase demand for and utilisation of services, families must be equipped with the right knowledge about the importance of immunisation, their right to immunisation, and where and when to access services.


We must ensure that every last child – regardless of where they are born, and their level of poverty or social exclusion – has access to immunisation as an early priority in building UHC. Every child has the right to immunisation as part of their right to health. It is the responsibility of actors at all levels to ensure that all children can realise their right to immunisation, by breaking down the barriers that drive exclusion. It is possible – it just requires renewed political leadership, commitment and investment.

We must act now. At the midpoint of the 2011–2020 Global Vaccine Action Plan (GVAP) – when progress has slowed and is off track – more must be done to strengthen commitments and accelerate action.


  • prioritise achieving universal immunisation coverage and reaching every last child, turning political commitments into action to accelerate progress
  • strengthen policies and actions so that they prioritise children left behind, including reviewing policies that may inadvertently exclude some children
  • strengthen immunisation systems as part of comprehensive primary healthcare (PHC), particularly in poor, under-served and excluded areas
  • increase public investment in immunisation as part of growing health budgets, ensuring equitable allocation of resources to neglected regions
  • improve data collection, including disaggregated data, to identify which children are being excluded so that strategies can be designed to reach them
  • empower communities and civil society organisations to engage in immunisation planning, delivery, monitoring and accountability mechanisms.


  • support countries to strengthen immunisation systems and the wider health system, and to increase domestic fiscal space for health and immunisation
  • ensure strong civil society representation in monitoring and accountability processes.


  • make vaccine prices affordable, for Gavi countries and middle-income countries
  • increase the transparency of vaccine prices not only for Gavi-procured vaccines, but for all vaccines from all manufacturers.


  • work with governments to support and strengthen immunisation and health systems, prioritising equity and those left behind
  • hold governments accountable for delivering on health, immunisation and financing commitments
  • engage in monitoring and accountability frameworks at local, national, regional and global levels.

World: Guidance Note on Recovery: Private Sector

7 October 2016 - 12:34am
Source: International Recovery Platform Country: Argentina, Australia, China, Fiji, Haiti, India, Indonesia, Japan, Nepal, New Zealand, Peru, Philippines, Russian Federation, Singapore, Thailand, United States of America, World


The Guidance Note on Recovery: Private Sector draws from the wider body of knowledge on private sector recovery and from documented experiences of past and present disaster planning and recovery e orts. Materials have been collected through desk review and direct consultations with relevant experts. These experiences and lessons learned are classi ed into the following four major issues:

  1. The Disaster Recovery Role of the Private Sector

  2. Engaging the Private Sector in Disaster Recovery

  3. Public Sector Support of Private Sector Recovery

  4. Public Support of Privately Owned/Operated Infrastructure

The materials are presented in conjunction with relevant case studies. Analysis of many of the cases, which highlights key lessons and notes points of caution and clarification, is provided. The case study format has been chosen in order to provide the reader to draw a richer description of recovery approaches, thus permitting the reader to draw other lessons or conclusions relative to a particular context.

While it is recognized that certain activities or projects presented in this Guidance Note may have met with success in the context described, the reader must keep in mind that there is no guarantee that the same or similar activities will generate equal results across all contexts. Cultural norms, socioeconomic conditions, gender relations, and myriad other factors can and do influence the process and outcome of any planned activity. Therefore, the following case studies are not intended as prescriptive solutions to be applied, but rather as experiences to inspire the reader, to generate contextually relevant ideas, and where appropriate, to be adapted and applied in practice.

There exist a number of published documents that recovery planners will d invaluable in building their efforts. It is our intention for this guidance note to complement rather than replace or duplicate these resources. To the extent possible, this document is consistent with these existing publications.

Philippines: Filipino Farmers Make a Concrete Improvement

6 October 2016 - 5:46pm
Source: Government of the United States of America Country: Philippines

When farmers in the Filipino village of Dahilig took their unmilled rice to market, their journey, under a scorching sun or through a shroud of humidity, was rough going. They struggled to navigate a narrow foot trail through a marshy grassland—a trail that could be washed away by the rain. Doing their best to keep their footing, farmers and farmhands carried the unmilled rice on their heads in sacks that weighed as much as 110 pounds. Making enough trips to get the whole of a harvest to market sometimes took 2 days.

“We always had a hard time transporting unmilled rice and equipment,” said Reynaldo Razonable, who is a resident of Dahilig, located in the Camarines Sur region of the country.

But this narrow and slippery trail has since been replaced by a 400-yard pathway of broad and solid concrete. The pathway can accommodate padyaks, bicycles with a sidecar that can hold the heavy bags of rice. These days, getting a full harvest to the market is much different—faster, of course, and less strenuous.

“Now it just takes a couple of hours,” added Razonable. “The farmer takes his rice to the pathway, loads it on the padyak, and he’s back home in time for lunch. He has time to attend to other matters, and there is less risk of theft.”

The Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC), a Feed the Future partner agency, funded the pathway as part of an MCC-Philippines Compact community-driven development project. The project is one example of how MCC incorporates strong community relationships and works to empower people in its partner countries as part of its investments to achieve local goals like food security.

It was the residents of Dahilig village who identified the pathway as a priority project for their community. The pathway has not only eased transport, but it has also reinforced a sense of economic security among the people of Dahilig.

The power of the project’s model is that it is community-driven, community-focused and community-implemented. Local communities like Dahilig define their priorities, select and design projects, manage procurements, and work together to implement them with technical assistance provided through the project.

“We never knew that we could work like this with the government,” Razonable’s wife, Visitacion Razonable, said. “We now realize all we had to do was ask.”

Learn more about the Millennium Challenge Corporation, or read more blogs in this series.

Ghana: Cash transfers and improved child nutrition: Where did all the impacts go?

6 October 2016 - 2:43pm
Source: UN Children's Fund Country: Colombia, Ecuador, Ghana, Mexico, Philippines, Zambia

During a recent trip to Ghana, we presented the baseline findings from an impact evaluation of the “LEAP 1000” cash transfer programme to UNICEF colleagues, government and development partners. LEAP 1000, an extension of Ghana’s Livelihood Empowerment Against Poverty programme, targets households with young children. It is designed to improve the nutritional status of children in the first 1000 days of life. Implementers are up for a tough challenge, as most of the evidence to date does not show consistent positive impacts of cash transfers on child nutrition. Why is this the case?

Cash transfers have become an increasingly popular development intervention. An estimated 89 programmes are currently operating in Africa alone, most of them launched in the last 5 years. Cash has become a popular policy tool because rigorous studies have shown that they can have consistent impacts on the well-being of beneficiaries.

For example, findings from the Transfer Project in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) demonstrate a broad range of impacts on household consumption, food security, human capital and productive activity.

But what about impacts on child nutrition? During the latest Transfer Project workshop in Addis Ababa, participants debated the question of why relatively few impacts on child nutrition emerge from evaluations across the African continent while in Latin America cash programmes have shown strong effects on nutrition. But is this actually the case?

In reality, the impacts of the Latin American programmes on nutrition are not as widespread as one might think. A meta-analysis by Manley, Gitter and Slavchevska identified 79 impact estimates from 8 countries on the height-for-age z-score of children, an indicator of chronic malnutrition. It turns out that only 12 of these estimates were statistically significant, and these impacts came from Mexico (5), Colombia (5), Ecuador (1) and Nicaragua (1). The vast majority of programmes did not significantly improve child nutrition. These conclusions are consistent with other evidence reviews conducted in recent years.

But what explains such limited impacts on nutrition? In a recent paper, we use a conceptual model which shows the pathways that lead to better nutrition and we present evidence on how cash transfers could impact on these pathways. In this framework, household income is an underlying determinant of nutrition, and can only have an effect through one of the three pathways at the household level: 1) improved food security, 2) improved care for mothers and children, or 3) improved health environment.

These three pathways lead to improvements in dietary intake and health of the child, which together determine the nutritional status. So, for a cash payment to have an impact on nutrition, there need to be changes at the household level, which should lead to improved nutritional status. One can see that this process can be quite complex and a lot of the impact can be ‘lost along the way’. Cash and Nutrition Blog Conceptual Framework
Of course, there have been some cash transfer programmes showing positive effects on nutrition. What can we learn from them? The impacts observed in Mexico and Colombia are often attributed to the size of the cash grant, which is relatively large, about 25–30 er cent of the household’s pre-programme expenditures.

Also in the Philippines, where the _Pantawid Pamilya _programme reduced severe stunting by 10 per cent, the grant constituted about 23 per cent of beneficiaries’ income. However, a later report, using a different methodology and looking at a longer time horizon did not find any impacts.

Nevertheless, it makes sense that more cash in the hands of households may have a stronger effect on the pathways laid out in the framework, as well as potential to affect multiple pathways at the same time. Furthermore, supply-side interventions like health infrastructure and providing market access to diverse types of food help recipients to make the most of their cash. For example, the Child Grant in Zambia had an impact on stunting, but only for households with a protected source of water in the home.

For the research community, it is important to pay attention to the mechanisms through which cash transfers affect pathways to better nutrition, instead of looking at the direct impacts. By understanding the way programmes can affect the underlying determinants of nutrition, we can disentangle the relationship between getting cash on the one hand, and improving nutrition of children on the other.

Moreover, the lack of consistent impacts on nutrition has motivated programme designers to implement nutritional interventions on top of their programmes, such as nutrition information sessions, communication efforts or health insurance. This is a smart move, as cash transfers can offer an effective entry point to deliver complementary health and nutrition services.

Fortunately, Ghana LEAP 1000 is among the programmes using this cash plus approach, with linkages to the national health insurance scheme, providing free health insurance to all beneficiaries. We are excited to follow this and other programmes to evaluate their impact, along with the added effect of the “plus” components in addressing malnutrition.

Richard de Groot holds a Master’s degree in International Economics Studies and is currently a PhD fellow at the Maastricht Graduate School of Governance. He has experience implementing evaluations and quantitative research in collaboration with Plan International, the World Bank and UNICEF.

The Office of Research – Innocenti is UNICEF’s dedicated research centre undertaking research on emerging and current priorities to shape policy and practice for children. Subscribe to UNICEF Innocenti emails [_here]( Follow UNICEF Innocenti on Twitter [_here](

Philippines: Oxfam’s countrywide innovative e-transfer solution deployed in the Philippines

6 October 2016 - 11:05am
Source: Cash Learning Partnership Country: Philippines

Motivated by the recurrent occurrence of typhoons on the archipelago, Oxfam partnered with Visa Worldwide Limited, financial service providers, local authorities, vendors and regulators to design a ready for deployment perennial e-transfer solutions in the Philippines. Maria Theresa Niña Espinola-Abogado, Project Manager, describes the key innovative aspects of the system.

How was a solution based on prepaid cards identified as the most appropriate delivery mechanism?

Typhoon Haiyan has been a real eye-opener for Oxfam given the scale of the destruction. While we were able to respond to the needs of disaster-affected communities by providing cash transfers, we realised the great need to find an innovative way to respond to recurring disasters using cash transfers at scale through multiple programmes in geographically diverse locations.

Some of the challenges encountered during previous responses included the legal requirements for cash-transfer recipients to possess approved identification documents and the reliance on usable infrastructures for the provision of assistance. In some remote areas for instance, cash in envelopes would require to be delivered by helicopter. Furthermore, “physical” cash transfers put both staff and recipients at risk and tend to increase risks of diversion.

On the other hand, we realised that digitising the process would provide quick, secure and transparent way of providing cash transfer. This highlighted the opportunity to partner with financial service providers to use technology to overcome those barriers. Furthermore, the use of e-cash is an entry point for financial inclusion as it enables unbanked people to access financial services.

A proof of concept allowed us to identify the solution, tools and partnerships allowing us to provide rapid response at scale in the form of cash transfers throughout the archipelago.

The programme involved a large and diverse set of partners. Could you tell us about their roles?

The first element was to understand which stakeholders need to get involved. And the list of partners is indeed pretty long!

We worked with the following:

  • Policy regulator (Central Bank) to enable the programme;
  • Local governments to produce beneficiaries’ lists;
  • VISA to provide connection to system of payment networks globally;
  • Issuing bank to issue the prepaid cards;
  • Payment processing company to act as a gateway between Oxfam, the issuing bank and merchants;
  • Acquiring bank to accredit and train merchants, inform them on requirements from VISA to authorise payments, process payments and settle transactions;
  • Local merchants, with pre-existing relations with VISA or not.

Mostly invisible to beneficiaries, those entities constitute the ecosystem of the programme, the backbone that allows smooth, quick, and transparent transactions.

The programme successfully negotiated with the regulator to loosen KYC requirements within the context of emergency cash transfers. How was this achieved?

The profile of the programme and of our partners played a key role in enabling that change.

The standard KYC requires providing specific identification documents for any financial transaction. Yet, in a post-disaster situation, people may have lost everything and often do not carry any official identification document.

In order to enable rapid payment to disaster-affected populations, the Central Bank agreed to modify their KYC to accept payment to beneficiaries upon presentation of the two following documents:

  • Oxfam project identification cards;

  • Certified list of barangay (smallest administrative division) resident produced by the local authorities.

Those changes to the KYC are applicable not only to Oxfam but to any organisation registered in the Philippines.

What will happen in future emergencies?

Stocks of prepaid cards are ready for distribution and the system can be deployed in any new emergency and cash transfer can be done only within a day, provided that the list of beneficiaries is available! This was also used in conflict areas in Mindanao (Southern Philippines), also affected by El Niño. This solution can be replicated in other contexts.

World: Zika virus, Microcephaly and Guillain-Barré syndrome Situation Report, 6 October 2016

6 October 2016 - 10:59am
Source: World Health Organization Country: American Samoa, Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Aruba (The Netherlands), Bahamas, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belize, Bolivia (Plurinational State of), Bonaire, Saint Eustatius and Saba (The Netherlands), Brazil, British Virgin Islands, Cambodia, Cayman Islands, Chile, Colombia, Cook Islands, Costa Rica, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Fiji, French Guiana (France), Gabon, Grenada, Guadeloupe (France), Guatemala, Guinea-Bissau, Haiti, Honduras, Indonesia, Jamaica, Lao People's Democratic Republic (the), Malaysia, Maldives, Marshall Islands, Martinique (France), Mexico, New Caledonia (France), Nicaragua, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Puerto Rico (The United States of America), Saint Barthélemy (France), Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Martin (France), Samoa, Singapore, Sint Maarten (The Netherlands), Solomon Islands, Spain, Suriname, Thailand, Trinidad and Tobago, Turks and Caicos Islands, United States of America, United States Virgin Islands, Vanuatu, Venezuela (Bolivarian Republic of), Viet Nam, World


  • Countries and territories reporting mosquito-borne Zika virus infections for the first time in the past week:

o None

  • The investigation by the Ministry of Public Health of Thailand confirmed two cases of Zika-related microcephaly on 30 September 2016. This is the first time that Zikarelated microcephaly cases have been confirmed in Southeast Asia. The mothers reported no travel history to areas outside of Thailand.

  • Countries and territories reporting microcephaly and other central nervous system (CNS) malformations potentially associated with Zika virus infection for the first time in the past week:

o Thailand

  • Countries and territories reporting Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS) cases associated with Zika virus infection for the first time in the past week:

o Mexico

Philippines: SitRep No. 01 re Preparedness Measures for Tropical Storm "JULIAN" (I.N. AE E)

6 October 2016 - 10:45am
Source: Government of the Philippines Country: Philippines


05 October 2016

  • The Low Pressure Area (LPA) located in the east of Luzon developed into Tropical Depression (TD) and was named "JULIAN" at 5:00 AM, with maximum sustained winds of 45 kph and gustiness of 55 kph. The location of the center of "JULIAN' was at 720 km east of Calayan, Cagayan and forecasted to move west-northwest at 25 kph. Tropical Cyclone Warning Signal (TOWS) No. 01 was raised in Batanes, Northern Cagayan including Babuyan group of Islands, Apayao, and !locos Norte.

  • At TOO AM, TD JULIAN maintained its strength as it moved towards the extreme Northern Luzon.

  • "JULIAN" continuously moved in a westward direction as it intensified slightly at 4:00 PM and intensified into a Tropical Storm (TS) at 10:00 PM while maintaining its direction. TS JULIAN was expected to pass close over Batanes-Babuyan area with maximum sustained winds of 65 kph and gustiness of 80 kph. TCVVS No. 02 was raised in Batanes and Babuyan Group of Islands and TCWS No. 01 in the rest of Northern Cagayan, Apayao, and 'locos Norte.

06 October 2016

  • At 4:00 AM, TS JULIAN has intensified and traversed the Balintang Channel with maximum sustained winds of 85 kph and gustiness of 120 kph.

  • "JULIAN" passed between Batanes-Babuyan Group of Islands area in the early morning and continues to move towards the western boundary of the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR).

  • TS JULIAN continued to move westward as it approaches the western boundary of PAR at 11:00 AM. "JULIAN" is expected to exit the PAR in the afternoon. Moreover, moderate to occasionally heavy rainfall within the 300 km diameter of the tropical storm is expected. TCWS No. 01 is still raised in Batanes and Babuyan Group of Islands while TCWS elsewhere are now lifted.

Thailand: ASEAN Weekly Disaster Update, 26 September - 02 October 2016

6 October 2016 - 12:49am
Source: Association of Southeast Asian Nations Country: Indonesia, Philippines, Thailand
  • Flooding in two villages in Demak, Central Java affected 110 families, submerging their houses.
  • Mt. Barujari in East Lombok, West Nusa Tenggara erupted. The volcano spewed volcanic ash 2,000 meters above the crater when it erupted. The local authority evacuated 400 tourists and climbers to avoid casualty.
  • The Southwest Monsoon aggravated by Typhoon Helen brought heavy rains that caused flooding in 3 municipalities in the province of Bulacan. 356 families of 1,559 persons were relocated to 6 evacuation centers. Several roads became impassable, flights and classes were cancelled.
  • Heavy rains caused landslides in Brgy. Namnam in San Fernando, Bukidnon. 296 families were affected.
  • Heavy downpour and forest run-off caused flooding in several provinces and numerous villages in the North, the Northeast and Central Plains of Thailand. Around 22,029 families are affected and several thousand hectares of agricultural lands.

Philippines: Philippines: DOST encourages use of science-based tools in disaster management

5 October 2016 - 11:48pm
Source: Government of the Philippines Country: Philippines

BONTOC, Mountain Province, Oct.6 (DOST) - - Disaster managers of the various local government units (LGU) here are advised to use science-based tools to enhance their disaster prevention and mitigation programs.

DOST personnel gave the recommendation after conducting a Training on Science-Based Tools for Disaster Risk Reduction and Management (DRRM) attended by provincial and municipal disaster risk reduction and management officers as well as staff of other key offices involved in DRRM.

The training aims to capacitate LGUs for them to mainstream science-based tools towards efficient and effective disaster risk reduction and management.

Engineer Angel Maguen, Sr. Science Research Specialist of DOST regional office, introduced the various DOST programs, projects and activities as well as initiatives on DRRM including Project NOAH (Nationwide Operational Assessment of Hazards) and the Early Warning Systems (EWS). Maguen said a total of 111 early warning systems such as Automatic Rain Gauge, Water Level Monitoring Station and Automatic Weather Station have been deployed in the whole region.

He added that 15 Flood Warning and Alerting Stations are proposed to be put up in flood- prone municipalities of Abra, Apayao, Ifugao and Kalinga. On the other hand, PAGASA Weather Station, Baguio City Chief Meteorological Officer Engr. Hilario Ezperanza discussed the DOST-PAGASA information products, rainfall measurements and typhoon tracking. Participants were also presented with visualization tools and websites for the access and utilization of Hydromet sensors’ data on project NOAH and EWS.

Gary Pekas who represented Governor Bonifacio Lacwasan, Jr. underscored the importance of science-based tools and technology in DRRM even as he also stressed the need to train and equip DRRM officers so they come up with better disaster management programs for their respective communities. (JDP/ ABD- PIA CAR, Mountain Province)

Philippines: Turnover Ceremony of a Japan funded Two-Storey “Piloti” type Processing Plant for Typhoon Yolanda Affected Areas

5 October 2016 - 1:43am
Source: Government of Japan Country: Japan, Philippines

Embassy of Japan’s First Secretary Kenji Terada, together with JICA Headquarters’ Sectional Representative Atsutoshi Hirabayashi, JICA Philippines Office’s Sectional Representative Yoshiyuki Ueno, Department of Agriculture Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources’s Regional Director Juan Albaladejo, Department of Science and Technology’s Regional Director Edgardo Esperancilla, and around 50 fisher-folks from Barangay Sta. Cruz, led the turnover ceremony of the 2-Storey “Piloti” type Processing Plant under the Quick Impact Project for Typhoon Yolanda Affected Areas, in the Municipality of Tanauan, Leyte Province on September 28, 2016. This project is funded through the Japan Official Development Assistance program.

The facility is constructed of reinforced concrete in a two-story “piloti” type architecture. Pilotis or piers are ground supporting columns that raise a building above ground level. This piloti feature will be useful and prevent damage during storm surges. The facility will enhance the quality of life of Tanauan fisher-folks, reduce their losses and give added value to the processed seafood products.

The Grass-root Technical Cooperation Project on “Development of mariculture and processed products using Oku-Matsushima techniques in typhoon Yolanda affected areas” will complement this project and provide technology development in aquaculture, processing, marketing and capacity building. Though these projects, we look forward to seeing a pilot site of good quality seafood products, and hope this endeavor will expand all over the Philippines.

Philippines: CNWD-Primewater assures concessionaire to fast track additional sources of water in Camarines Norte

5 October 2016 - 12:24am
Source: Government of the Philippines Country: Philippines

October 04, 2016 Rosalita B. Manlangit

DAET, Camarines Norte, Sept. 30 (PIA) - The Camarines Norte Water District Primewater has assured concessionaires that it is fast tracking measures to tap additional sources of water to solve the shortage particularly at the end and elevated in its service areas here.

Engr. Froilindo Villaluz, department manager, Contract Monitoring Unit of CNWD, said that the additional sources of water starting with a deep well in Barangay Camambugan, Daet and improvements of the Phase II Dagotdotan Filtration Facility have been considered but not enough to offset the water crisis during the critical months and the abnormally low rainfall in the province.

To maximize the productive use of Phase II of Dagotdotan Filtration Facility, additional transmission lines are being constructed to bring the water to more households.

The low to no water scenario being experienced by concessionaires particularly at the end and elevated portions of the service area of CNWD-Primewater is a recurrent problem during the months of July to November when water stored in the water springs has declined, triggering a water shortage.

He said said that the problem is aggravated by 2016 rainfall records for Bicol released by PAGASA showing that of the 6 provinces in Bicol region, Camarines Norte registered the lowest rainfall at 69.9% of the normal in July 2016 plunging further to 47.3% in August 2016.

Water being piped into households is rainwater collected and stored in the watershed and accessed by water utilities for distribution to their concessionaires.

The PAGASA rainfall analysis for Bicol in percent of normal for July 2016: Catanduanes registered the highest rainfall at 119.4% followed by Sorsogon, 102.7%; Masbate 92.3%; Albay, 89.5% and Camarines Norte, 69.9%.

For August 2016, PAGASA records showed the following rainfall date for Bicol Region: Masbate, 122.1%; Sorsogon, 76.1%; Albay, 71.2%; Catanduanes, 62.8%; Camarines Sur, 53.3% and Camarines Norte, 47.3%.

The dry months during in July to November this year is aggravating the water shortage normally experience during the period. (RBM/CNWD-Primewater-PIA5/Camarines Norte)

Philippines: Ceasefire, amnesty up in Oslo 2nd round of talks

5 October 2016 - 12:22am
Source: Government of the Philippines Country: Philippines

MANILA, Oct. 5 - Negotiating panels of the Philippine government (GRP) and the communist-led National Democratic Front (NDF) are expected to exchange drafts on the proposed bilateral ceasefire and craft an amnesty proclamation as peace talks are set to resume in Oslo, Norway, Thursday, October 6.

Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Jesus Dureza said that they hope to come up with a ceasefire agreement that will include joint monitoring and possibly with a third-party overseer.

“The previous ceasefires were unilateral. We need to craft mechanisms to monitor violations and resolve conflicts and issues arising from them,” Dureza explained.

While the unilateral ceasefires declared by both the GRP and the NDF were indefinite in nature, the presidential peace adviser said the government is eyeing a more permanent cessation of hostilities.

“These can only be done if we are able to agree on the more substantial issues of social and economic reforms. These are the more contentious issues and we expect humps and bumps during the peace negotiations,” Dureza added.

Both panels have already crafted drafts on the Comprehensive Agreement on Socio-Economic Reforms (CASER), which is described as the ‘meat’ of the peace talks.

The end of hostilities and disposition of forces—the other substantive agenda of the peace talks—hinge on the success of CASER, along with political and constitutional reforms.

Dureza, however, is confident that the inspiration provided by President Rodrigo Duterte will enable both parties to pull the peace process through.

“He may not be capable of elegant language, as you have noticed, but he has pure spirit and heart in wanting to have peace in the land," Dureza said on Friday, September 30, at the closing ceremony of the 2016 National Peace Consciousness Month.

GRP peace panel head and Labor Secretary Silvestre ‘Bebot’ Bello III meanwhile said that a draft amnesty proclamation is already ready for submission during the second round of peace talks.

“The list has been narrowed down to just over 400 from a high of more than 500. As per agreement during the formal resumption of the peace talks in August, the proclamation will only cover NDF members currently detained,” Bello elaborated.

He said the president, with the concurrence of Congress, could declare a general amnesty once the peace talks are brought to a successful conclusion.

Bello, however, said both negotiating panels will also have to hurdle issues on political and constitutional reforms in addition to the social and economic reform agenda for the peace talks to succeed.

The Philippine government is confident that it will be able to strike a deal with the communist rebels by August next year.

Peace talks between Philippine government and the NDF have been going on and off over the last 30 years with over 40 rounds of formal and informal talks.

Every time, however, the negotiations are scuttled due to hard line demands from both sides.

In July, President Duterte ordered the release of 22 detained NDF consultants, 16 of them later joined the first round of Oslo talks in August, to fulfill a campaign promise and to jumpstart the peace negotiations.

He also declared a unilateral ceasefire during his State of the Nation Address only to lift it later after the communist rebels ambushed a combined Army-CAFGU patrol.

The president nevertheless re-imposed the unilateral ceasefire on the eve of the August Oslo talks, which the NDF reciprocated with an indefinite and unilateral ceasefire of their own. (OPAPP)

Philippines: FAO Philippines Newsletter - 2016 Issue 3

4 October 2016 - 10:53am
Source: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations Country: Philippines

Featured Stories:

  • Strengthening climate change adaptation in agriculture

  • FAO expands El Niño response in Mindanao

  • Hope flows in Altavas, Aklan (Water impounding system project)

  • Electronic tool for monitoring food and nutrition insecurity

  • FAO and DENR work together to restore forests and other landscapes

  • Promoting internationally-accepted voluntary guidelines on the responsible governance of tenure

  • Philippines hosts four international study tours and missions in Q3

Philippines: Philippines Humanitarian Bulletin Issue 9 | 1 to 30 September 2016

4 October 2016 - 12:02am
Source: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs Country: Philippines
  • Three years after the Zamboanga conflict, over 12,800 persons remain displaced in Zamboanga City waiting for permanent housing and sustainable livelihoods. Home-based IDPs in Zamboanga City were surveyed in July 2016 to help the government track and assist displaced families.

  • UN-led Country Task Force on Monitoring and Reporting, together with government and NGO partners, verify grave child rights violations in armed con ict in Northern Mindanao.

  • A rapid damage assessment in Maguindanao by the ARMM Regional Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council and Mindanao Humanitarian Team highlights need for WASH facilities, medicine and food assistance.

  • Humanitarian agencies are taking positive steps towards securing equal rights for the LGBT community in the Philippines.

In this issue:
  • Home-based IDPs in Zamboanga
  • Verifying child rights violations
  • Maguindanao rapid assessment
  • LGBT in humanitarian response

Philippines: DA-ACPC turns over P90M credit funds for climate change adaptation

3 October 2016 - 10:21am
Source: Government of the Philippines Country: Philippines

PASIG CITY, Oct. 4 - The Department of Agriculture (DA)-Agricultural Credit and Policy Council (DA-ACPC), provided a total of P90-million to nine (9) partner-cooperative banks for the implementation of the Climate Change Adaptation Financing Program (CCAFP) under the Agricultural Fisheries Financing Program (AFFP).

ACPC Executive Director Jocelyn Alma R. Badiola led the turn-over ceremony on September 27, 2016 at the ACPC Office in Pasig City.

The CCAFP is a special financing program that aims to encourage small households to cope or adapt to the adverse effects of climate change thru the provision of loans for climate change-resilient practices and technologies. The program is under the P3-billion credit fund of 2013 and 2015 General Appropriations Act (GAA).

Under CCAFP, the cooperative banks will provide loan assistance to individual small farmers and fisherfolk (SFF) registered in Registry System for Basic Sectors in Agriculture (RSBSA).

To encourage the SFF to participate in the program, the DA regional field units (DA-RFU) shall be responsible of the determining the possible technology packages for the area. DA-RFU will also help in identifying and endorsing Technical Service Providers (TSP) and potential borrowers to the participating cooperative banks. ACPC will provide incentives to SFF to encourage them to comply with climate change adaptation practices and technologies.

CCAFP will initially cover the provinces included in the 18 priority major river basins in the country and the provinces affected by typhoon Yolanda. These include the provinces of Ilocos Sur, Isabela, Tarlac, Quezon, Camarines Sur, Iloilo, Negros Occidental, Bukidnon, Davao, and Cotabato.

The program is in pursuant of the financing response for the Adaptation and Mitigation Initiative in Agriculture (AMIA) program under DA Systems - Wide Climate Change Office (DA-SWCCO).

Under the program, ACPC tapped nine financial institutions which include: Cooperative Bank of Ilocos Norte (P10M); Ilocos Sur Cooperative Bank (P10M); Cooperative Bank of La Union (P10M); Cooperative Bank of Nueva Vizacaya (P10M); First Isabela Coopeartive Bank (P10M); Cooperative Bank of Negros Oriental (P10M); Negros Cooperative Bank (P5M); Cooperative Bank of Misamis Oriental (P10M); Bukidnon Cooperative Bank (P10M); and Cooperative Bank of Cotabato (P10M). (DA)

China: Asia and the Pacific: Weekly Regional Humanitarian Snapshot (27 September - 3 October 2016)

3 October 2016 - 2:43am
Source: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs Country: China, China - Taiwan Province, Japan, Myanmar, Philippines


On 27 September, Typhoon Megi, made landfall in Taiwan Province of China killing four people and injuring over 160 people. Megi caused power outages which affected over 3 million houses – the worst disruption of electrical supply in Taiwan Province of China since Typhoon Soudelor in 2015 (which cut power to more than 4 million houses).

After hitting Taiwan Province of China, Typhoon Megi made a second landfall in Quanzhou city, Fujian Province, in eastern China early on 28 September as a Category 1 typhoon. The state media reported that heavy rainfall triggered landslides in Zhejiang Province killing eight people while 19 people are still missing. Local authorities are providing assistance to the affected communities. Megi was the third typhoon to hit China within the past two weeks. 1

12 people killed


An estimated 5,600 people have been relocated in Myaing Gyi Ngu village, Hlaingbwe Township, Kayin State, as a result of intensified fighting near their homes. Many of the affected people were temporarily evacuated by authorities in anticipation of conflict between the military and the Democratic Karen Buddhist Army splinter group. Kayin State authorities are leading the response and report that most needs, including food, NFIs, education and health, are being met with support from humanitarian partners. 2

5,600 people relocated


As of the end of September, 2,250 families (12,880 people) displaced by the 2013 conflict between the Armed Forces of the Philippines and a faction of the Moro National Liberation Front remain in transition sites in Zamboanga City. Humanitarian partners report that water and sanitation conditions in the sites continue to deteriorate. Of the 6,500 permanent housing units planned, the National Housing Authority has completed about 4,000, however most are still without functional plumbing and access to electricity. To date, 1,850 houses have been transferred to displaced families. 3

12,880 people displaced


On 3 October, Typhoon Chaba strengthened into a Category 4 typhoon as it moves towards the Okinawa Prefecture in southern Japan at 20 km/h. As of early morning 3 October, Chaba was located about 190 km south of Naha with maximum sustained winds of 180 km/h and gusts of up to 252 km/h. Chaba is expected to hit the islands around the evening of 3 October. Authorities have issued storm, high wave and storm surge advisories for the southern islands. In Kumejima (Okinawa), an evacuation advisory was also issued for 4,000 households (8,000 people) as a precaution. Local media report that public schools and transport networks have been suspended.4

Philippines: Philippines: Mindanao Humanitarian Snapshot (as of 27 Sept 2016)

3 October 2016 - 2:18am
Source: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs Country: Philippines

Philippines: Peace is for Everyone: Bangsamoro stories of hope, survival, pain and resistance

1 October 2016 - 11:10pm
Source: Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies Country: Philippines


Some stories can’t be left out. They need to be told; and they need to be listened to. Many, if not all, among the millions of Bangsamoro men and women have storiesto tell abouttheir experiences of injustice, exploitation, human rights violations and discrimination during the Mindanao conflict.
And they need mechanisms to address these grievances.

This publication brings the stories of almost 300 of these men and women in the provinces of Maguindanao, Cotabato Province, Sultan Kudarat, Lanao del Sur, Lanao del Norte, Zamboanga Sibugay, Zamboanga del Sur, Basilan,

Sulu and Tawi-Tawi, and the cities of Marawi, Iligan, Cotabato and Isabela1 .
Stories of the past, of life before conflict.

Stories of suffering, pain, dispossession and dislocation.

Stories of resilience and resistance.

Stories of the reaction to the events around them.

Stories of hope, generosity and longing for peace.

In this book ordinary men and women share their experiencesfrom the last decades of conflict in Southern Philippines. They also voice their hopes for a peaceful, better and more harmonious future.

This publication uses a “PeaceHistory” approach. Thismethodology looks at the intersections between personal experiences and collective accounts. By weaving together individualstories, we aim to present a complex, nuanced, rich description of shared experiences. We also aim to share the diversity of opinions and sentiments in regards to the future of this part of the world following the signing of the peace agreement between the MILF and the Government of the Philippines in 2014.

By reading this book, we hope that you will accompany the Bangsamoro people in their journey through the past decades; in their journey to peace. And in journeying with them in the following pages, we ask you to pay attention to what they have to say to all of us.

Be with them.