Philippines - ReliefWeb News

Syndicate content
ReliefWeb - Updates
Updated: 11 min 18 sec ago

Philippines: 4Ps beneficiaires should be more disaster-prepared

29 December 2014 - 10:04pm
Source: Government of the Philippines Country: Philippines

ILOILO CITY, Dec. 30(PIA)—Lectures focused more on disaster preparedness should be incorporated in the Family Development Sessions conducted with the Pantawid Pamilya beneficiaries.

Evelyn Macapobre, Department of Social Welfare and Development-6 director, said after reports of casualties in evacuation centers for Typhoon Ruby reached her.

Macapobre said even if the deaths were not directly caused by the typhoon and they were not necessarily Pantawud beneficiaries, there is the need to equip the families with ample knowledge on how and what to prepare in emergencies.

“4Ps beneficiaries should be taught what to bring, especially jackets or blankets during the pre-emptive evacuations,” Macapobre said.

Most especially to have the knowhow, Macapobre added, should be the mothers with infants and those pregnant so that they are prepared with family survival kits as they go to the evacuation centers.

Based on the data of the DSWD, the Family Development Sessions, as a condition for the conditional cash transfer program, has 95.65 percent compliance rate.

Vilma Magbanua, a Pantawid beneficiary from Altavas, Aklan, said that integrating disaster preparedness in their FDS, would give her more ideas on disaster preparedness, as theirs is a landslide prone area. (DSWD/ESS/PIA-Iloilo)

Philippines: NHA Yolanda housing funds in the clear

29 December 2014 - 10:03pm
Source: Government of the Philippines Country: Philippines

MANILA, Dec 30 -- Secretary of Budget and Management Florencio “Butch” Abad yesterday said the additional P300-million budget allocation to the National Housing Authority (NHA) made by Senator Nancy Binay in 2014 had already been released to the agency.

Abad said, “Funds amounting to P300 million for the NHA’s Housing Assistance Program for Calamity Victims (HAPCV) as well as their Resettlement Program had already been released during the latter part of this year. These allocations were made part of the 2014 National Budget and they were processed and released following the agency’s submission of the project details and other implementation requirements.”

The P300-million fund was released by the DBM through Special Allotment Release Orders (SAROs), and broken down as follows:


Resettlement Project P200,000,000 BMB-F-14-0016821 27 October 2014

Housing Assistance Program for Calamity Victims (HAPCV) P100,000,000 BMB-F-14-0019977 4 December 2014

Total P300,000,000

The NHA’s Housing Assistance Program for Calamity Victims (HAPCV) is a nationwide program that gives the agency to ability to give low and marginal-income and/or informal settler families affected by calamities immediate shelter and relocation to safe areas. It also gives the provision of housing materials to families whose homes were destroyed or damaged by calamities but don’t require relocation or resettlement.

On the other hand, the NHA’s Resettlement Program focuses on new settlements for families occupying or living along danger areas or those displaced from sites earmarked for government infrastructure projects. This is undertaken in coordination with local government units (LGUs), other government agencies, affected communities, and non-governmental organizations (NGOs).

Abad said, “We must reiterate that what Senator Binay was referring to was the increased appropriation for the NHA’s Resettlement Program, which was already released and allocated to regional assistance for LGUs. This amount of P200 million was not set for calamity victims, as you’ll note in the 2014 General Appropriations Act. Instead, the actual NHA funds for calamity victims in the 2014 budget amounted to P100 million, which was already released.” (DBM)

Philippines: No precondition for resumption of peace talks with communist rebels, says Palace

29 December 2014 - 9:59pm
Source: Government of the Philippines Country: Philippines

MANILA, Dec 30 -- The Palace on Monday reiterated that the government will not consider any precondition for the resumption of peace talks with the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army-National Democratic Front (CPP-NPA-NDF).

“Our emphasis is always -- walang preconditions when it comes to talks. We have said that before. We have always said that when we come to talks with either party -- NDF or MILF (Moro Islamic Liberation Front) -- there are no preconditions with the talks. This is something we have said time and time again,” Presidential Spokesperson Edwin Lacierda said in a press briefing in Malacañang.

Secretary Lacierda was responding to a question on whether the government would consider CPP founder Jose Maria Sison’s request to release Benito and Wilma Tiamzon before the peace talks resume.

He explained that there is a pending criminal case against Benito Tiamzon and his release is out of the question.

Benito Tiamzon is one of the top leaders of the CPP-NPA-NDF, while his spouse, Wilma, is the group’s Secretary General. Both were arrested in Carcar, Cebu last March 22.

Malacañang said at that time that their arrest was not covered by the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantee, signed with the CPP-NDF in 1995.

“Now, there is a possibility of a resumption of talks. What (Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process) Secretary Ging Deles has always emphasized is, ‘Let’s have a resumption of talks where it is doable and time-bound; and there are certain issues that we need to clarify further,’” Lacierda said. (PCOO)

Sri Lanka: Asia and the Pacific: Weekly Regional Humanitarian Snapshot (23 - 29 December 2014)

29 December 2014 - 7:51pm
Source: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs Country: Bangladesh, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Thailand


Since 19 Dec, Sri Lanka is experiencing heavy rainfall resulting in flooding and landslides in many areas. An estimated 1.1 million people have been affected, with nearly 120,000 displaced in 618 safety centres in 22 of the 25 districts in the country. The worst affected areas are Batticaloa, Ampara and Trincomalee districts. There are reports of 30 deaths with six missing, and another 20 injured. Approximately 4,700 houses are totally destroyed with a further 16,000 partially damaged. Government teams are conducting search and rescue operations as well as conducting evacuations. The Government provided cooked meals and dry rations to those affected and requested humanitarian agencies to support with the provision of non-food items.

  • 1.1 million people affected

  • 120,000 people displaced


Clean-up operations continue for the oil spill in the Sundarbans. 68,000 litres were collected since the spill occurred. Assessment teams, composed of Government, UN, national and international experts reported on the impact of the spill to the aquatic and mangrove environment as well as on communities. They will inform recommendations for continued clean up operations. A debriefing is scheduled for 30 December.


Heavy rainfall in northern Malaysia has killed at least five people and displaced over 160,000. Keletan state is the worst affected. The Government has allocated over US$157 million to support affected communities


Flooding continued in several areas, particularly Aceh and West Java Provinces. In Aceh Province nearly 79,000 people were displaced, the majority of whom in East Aceh District. Flood waters in some areas are receding. In West Java Province, water is also receding but 14,000 people remain displaced in 48 evacuation shelters. BPBDs in each affected districts, along with the Indonesian Red Cross and local NGOs, are responding in affected areas. The National Disaster Management Authority (BNBP) has mobilised support and emergency funding. International assistance was not requested.

  • 79,000 people displaced-Aceh

  • 14,000 people displaced-West Java


Heavy rain in southern Thailand from 14 Dec has caused flooding in 8 provinces. 15 people were killed, over 8,000 displaced and nearly 206,000 households affected. The worst affected provinces are Narathiwat, Yala and Pattani. The Government has distributed NFIs, water, and health kits.

  • 206,000 Households affected


Tropical Storm Jangmi is crossing across the central Philippines. It will continue to move west and weaken into a tropical depression

Philippines: NDRRMC Update SitRep No.5 re Effects of Tropical Strom "Seniang"

29 December 2014 - 7:00pm
Source: Government of the Philippines Country: Philippines

Tropical Strom "Seniang" has accelerated and is now moving towards Cuyo Island.

World: Tsunami: Ten years on, what have we learned?

29 December 2014 - 11:34am
Source: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs Country: Philippines, World

This piece was originally published on the ODI blog Development Progress.

Ten years ago when the Indian Ocean tsunami hit land, killing 230,000 people and destroying the lives and livelihoods of many more, its human cost was immeasurable. The tsunami unleashed an unprecedented national and international response from affected communities, people, governments and many other organizations eager to help.

Any sudden-onset disaster poses response difficulties, but the post-tsunami challenges were heightened by the sheer number of people involved in response efforts and the disaster’s geographical spread, spanning more than a dozen countries.

Read the full article

Philippines: Fight against human trafficking in Sarangani strengthened

29 December 2014 - 8:20am
Source: Government of the Philippines Country: Philippines

GENERAL SANTOS CITY, December 29 (PIA)--- The Sarangani Provincial and Municipal Inter-Agency Committee Against Trafficking (P/MIACAT) is bent to continuously making significant efforts to counter Human Trafficking in the province.

According to Atty. Elmer Lastimosa, provincial prosecutor and chairperson of PIACAT-VAWC of Sarangani, human trafficking is a “faceless enemy” making it quite difficult to stop.

Nevertheless, he added, this enemy must be defeated at all cost.

He explained that, in most cases, the victims are deceived with the promise that a job awaits them.

“And they are unaware that they are already being exploited by the perpetrators trading them even for a certain amount,” Lastimosa lamented.

He then explained the elements of a crime for human trafficking which include acts, means, and exploitative purpose. He said the absence of one cannot qualify it to be a human trafficking case but only an illegal recruitment.

He further said that prostitution is the most common form of exploitation and that selling of vital organs is also a form of trafficking.

The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) XII through its Recovery and Reintegration Program for Trafficked Persons (RRPTP) is giving non-stop assistance to the victims.

Data show that from year 2011 up to the third quarter of 2014, the DSWD XII has served a total of 255 cases in the whole region.

In South Cotabato, there are 15 cases served, North Cotabato, 73 cases, Sarangani, three cases, Sultan Kudarat, 26 cases, General Santos City, 42 cases, Tacurong City, 8 cases, Cotabato City, 32 cases, Koronadal City, 8 cases, and in Kidapawan, 3 cases were served.

According to Naira Aratus, social welfare officer III/RRPTP in-charge of the DSWD XII, the program gives a temporary housing and food to the victims while it also provides a psychological support and counseling.

Under the program as well is a 24-hour call center for crisis calls and an economic assistance of P10,000.

At the recent Training Orientation on RA9208/ RA 10364, participants who were mostly social-development workers were further oriented on the new RA 10364 known as the “Expanded Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act of 2012,” an act amending RA 9208.

During the discussions, Lastimosa expressed a strong compassion to the victims advising the PIACAT members to educate the victims of their rights and to orient them on the various government resources they can avail of. (CT Apelacio/Lipsy Grace Carayo, PIA-12 General Santos City)

Philippines: TS ‘Seniang’ brings heavy rain, strong winds, displaces 2,403 individuals in Caraga

29 December 2014 - 8:07am
Source: Government of the Philippines Country: Philippines

BUTUAN CITY, Dec. 28 (PIA) – Four of Caraga region's provinces are placed under Public Storm Warning Signal (PSWS) number two as Tropical Storm (TS) Seniang enters the region early Monday morning.

Regional Disaster Risk Reduction and Management (RDRRMC) chairperson and Office of Civil Defense (OCD) regional director Liza Mazo has recorded a total of 623 families or 2,403 individuals who were evacuated in 34 identified evacuation centers of the region, as of 11:30 a.m. today.

Tropical Storm ‘Seniang’ made landfall at 3:45 a.m. at Barangay Bakulin, Hinatuan in the province of Surigao del Sur.

As of reporting time, impassable roads and bridges are reported in the provinces of Agusan del Sur, Surigao del Sur and Butuan City. Power outage is also experienced in the provinces of Agusan del Sur, Surigao del Norte, Surigao del Sur and Butuan City.

According to Mazo, different areas of the region are currently experiencing interruption in power and landline connections.

All local DRRMCs have already activated 24/7 their Operation Centers and continue to monitor the weather situation especially in the low lying, flood-prone and landslide-prone areas.

In Butuan City, rescue teams, rescue and heavy equipment are on standby for possible rescue operations.

Also, Agusan del Norte PDRRM officer Erma Suyo reported that PDRRMC chairperson governor Ma. Angelica Rosedell M. Amante-Matba has issued an Executive Order No. 42 for the activation of PDRRMC and Incident Command System Incident Management Team on December 28.

Suyo also reported that the municipalities of Jabonga and Carmen have already conducted pre-emptive evacuation to families along riverbanks and flood-prone areas.

In an interview over the Philippine Information Agency’s Advanced Forward Emergency Broadcasting System (PIA AFEBS) Suyo said that as of 7:30 a.m., nine families or 43 individuals from Poblacion Jabonga, 80 families in Nasipit were already evacuated to safer grounds. Forced evacuation is currently ongoing in Brgy. Magsaysay, Jabonga. The local disaster councils are also continuously monitoring and local government units (LGUs) have prepositioned the relief goods.

All roads in the province are passable so far.

The Cabadbaran City Emergency Response Team (CERT) in the province of Agusan del Norte together with the BDRRMC of Brgy. La Union also facilitated the preemptive evacuation of around 20 families with houses built of light materials in Purok 1 due to the threat of flooding and strong winds brought by TS Seniang, Suyo added.

Butuan City mayor Ferdinand M. Amante, Jr. also said that there are 149 families that are already evacuated and 3,500 family packs are ready for distribution. “Let's continue to pray for the safety of our fellow Caraganons. God bless Butuan," he said.

The Philippine National Police (PNP) Caraga Regional and Provincial Disaster Operations and Monitoring Center were also activated. Red alert status was raised and Search and Rescue (SAR) personnel and equipment are placed on standby for possible deployment.

Meanwhile, as of 6 a.m. today, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Caraga has 22,000 family food packs now available at the Tiniwisan Warehouse in addition to the 14,852 prepositioned family packs in the strategic areas of each province. Selected workers have been mobilized for the continuing packing of goods with target 30,000 standby family packs.

Butuan City and the province of Agusan del Norte officials have declared suspension of work in both public and private offices except banking, utilities and agencies involved with public safety. (Nora L. Molde, PIA-Caraga)

Philippines: Exec declares Misamis Oriental under state of calamity

29 December 2014 - 8:02am
Source: Government of the Philippines Country: Philippines

DECEMBER 29, 2014 (PIA) – Governor Yevgeny Vincente B. Emano declared today the province of Misamis Oriental under a state of calamity due to the devastation brought about by Tropical Storm Seniang (named internationally as JANGMI).

In a press conference held this afternoon, Governor Bambi Emano declared state of calamity in Misamis Oriental, after a special session was conducted by the Sangguniang Panlalawigan, approving the declaration of the State of Calamity in the province. Board Member Heckert Emano, served as the OIC-vice governor.

Tropical Storm Seniang is now bearing the province under signal number 2, which brought the following damages: major roads and bridges are destroyed and impassable, thus disrupting the flow of transport and commerce; disruption of lifelines such as electricity, potable water system, transport system, communication system, and other related systems; and widespread destruction of fishponds, crops, poultry and livestocks and other agricultural products, the governor said. (PIO MisOr/EOR/PIA)

Philippines: Earthquake shakes southern Philippines

29 December 2014 - 6:40am
Source: Agence France-Presse Country: Philippines

Manila, Philippines | AFP | Monday 12/29/2014 - 11:27 GMT

A 6.1 magnitude earthquake shook parts of the southern Philippines on Monday but was too far offshore to cause serious damage, Philippine and US agencies said.

The quake's epicentre was in the Sulu Sea, about 205 kilometres (127 miles) west of the southern port city of Zamboanga, said Philippine government seismologist Ishmael Larag.

The quake set furniture swaying in Zamboanga but there were no immediate reports of damage or casualties.

"It was too far from inhabited areas to cause damage," Larag told AFP in Manila.

No tsunami warning was issued although there may be aftershocks, he said.

The US Geological Survey said the quake was 37 kilometres (23 miles deep).


© 1994-2014 Agence France-Presse