Philippines - ReliefWeb News

Syndicate content
ReliefWeb - Updates
Updated: 1 hour 27 min ago

Philippines: Innovative electronic cash transfer programme for emergencies: an Oxfam–Visa case study in the Philippines

8 September 2016 - 11:20am
Source: Oxfam Country: Philippines

Delivering aid to a large, displaced population provides challenges for governments, the private sector and aid organizations in the aftermath of any humanitarian crisis. The increasing scale and impact of disaster events call for innovative solutions for a more efficient and effective delivery of cash to affected populations.

This case study describes how Oxfam and Visa teamed up to develop a safe, simple and efficient solution that allows individuals from the most vulnerable communities to benefit from the power of electronic payment. The goal is to increase efficiency in financial aid disbursement, speed up processing and distribution, and reduce security risks.

World: IASC | Alert, Early Warning and Readiness Report | Outlook Period June - November 2016

8 September 2016 - 3:15am
Source: Inter-Agency Standing Committee Country: Angola, Burundi, Cambodia, Congo, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Gambia, Lesotho, Libya, Malawi, Mozambique, Nigeria, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Somalia, Swaziland, Timor-Leste, Viet Nam, World, Zimbabwe

Introduction

The Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC) Early Warning, Early Action and Readiness (EWEAR) Report is produced bi-annually by the inter-agency Reference Group on Risk, Early Warning and Preparedness to highlight risks with a high probability and impact on humanitarian needs during the next six months (June to November 2016). The Report aims to provide a forward-looking analysis of the most serious risks in support of IASC Reference Group activity and to equip relevant decision makers with key information for preparedness, response, advocacy and resource mobilisation efforts to mitigate and manage these risks.

As a product of a humanitarian inter-agency entity, adherence to the humanitarian principles is a key factor in its production, in particular independence – meaning the autonomy of humanitarian objectives from those of a political, economic, military or other nature. The Report acts as an inter-agency source of information for officials accountable at the global level for preparedness and is in addition to reporting up the normal chain of accountability from Resident and Humanitarian Coordinators. The Report does not aim to provide an analysis of the relative severity of humanitarian need.

Each country or region includes a risk analysis followed by an analysis of IASC response capacity and preparedness. In an effort to support concerted early action to the situations of most concern, the initial list of risks provided by the different agencies has been prioritised to highlight only those risks assessed as having the most acute gap between the potential humanitarian impact and existing capacity and preparedness levels. Countries have been divided into three ‘tiers’ based on the assessed gap between the seriousness of the risk and the level of preparedness and response capacity: very high, high or moderate.

It was agreed that risks relating to existing Level 3 emergencies (L3s) should only be included in the Report by exception, as L3s are already regularly reviewed by the IASC, with every effort made to scale up and enhance the response. A summary of the methodology used to develop risk selection is at the end of this Report.

All information provided is based on extensive research by the various contributing agencies, with the risk analyses drawing from a range of open and public sources, and presents the IASC early warning analysts group’s collective assessment. The IASC Index for Risk Management (INFORM) values, which are based on historic data, have been added to provide a wider risk context.

The IASC early warning analysts group will continue to closely monitor these risks and the wide range of ‘on watch’ risks that were not included in this Report, as part of regular monthly discussions. This Report was collaboratively developed as an inter-agency product by early warning and preparedness analysts from the following IASC partners: ACAPS, FAO, OCHA, OHCHR, UNDP, UNHCR, UNICEF, UN Women, WFP and WHO. WFP provided staff to facilitate the process and compile the text.

Published in June 2016

Philippines: Being displaced in Zamboanga, three years on

7 September 2016 - 11:30am
Source: International Committee of the Red Cross Country: Philippines

Three years after the armed hostilities between government forces and a faction of the Moro National Liberation Front in Zamboanga City, around 13,800 people still live in temporary shelters in 11 transitory sites. Meanwhile, around 2,100 families have moved to permanent houses, according to the latest data from the City Social Welfare Office.

Ben Bandahal and his family live in one of the stilt houses in the Kasanyangan transitory site, which is 3 km from the city center. He shares how displaced families continue to cope with the challenges they face in the Kasanyangan site.

"While the temporary shelter here in Kasanyangan is better than living in a tent, access to piped water and to electricity is not available. We have to buy water, while the damaged electric lines have not been repaired since June. I hope the authorities will take action," said the father of five children.

Ben used to earn decently from a sari-sari ("variety") store and a small eatery he owned in Barangay Rio Hondo, where they also lived in a stilt house. When the armed clashes struck in September 2013 and affected Rio Hondo, Ben's family sought shelter at the Joaquin Enriquez Memorial sports complex, then the biggest evacuation center for displaced people.

Finding the situation very difficult for him and his young children, Ben decided that his family should leave the stadium and used his savings to rent a house in Barangay Calarian, 7 km from the city center. His family was still displaced—only now they were "home-based" as opposed to those who remained in the evacuation centers.

"I was very grateful for the cash assistance I received from the Red Cross back then. It enabled me to cover our needs. The Social Welfare Department also gave financial aid to pay for our house rent for six months. After that, I shouldered the cost of the rent," he said, adding that his youngest child, whose nutrition suffered as a consequence of their displacement, benefited from a Red Cross feeding program in 2014.

Then in June 2016, Ben asked local officials if his family could move to the Kasanyangan transition site, as it was closer to the city center, where he sells accessories like sunglasses and bracelets. Earning less than PhP 5,000 a month, he needed to lessen the transportation costs of his school children. Still, his income is hardly enough to sustain the needs of the family. Many other displaced families face the same situation after their lives were thrown into disarray in 2013.

xTo help the displaced families in Kasanyangan, the ICRC, with the support of the Philippine Red Cross, implemented a 10-day cash-for-work program in July 2016 to provide temporary income and at the same time address the needs of the community.

The displaced community identified two projects: planting mangroves and constructing an earthen dike footpath for the transitory site residents.

"The mangroves will not only help increase the population of marine life, they will also protect the community from possible storm surges. We also created a 300-meter earthen dike as an alternative pathway, since it was difficult for us to reach the main road, especially when the tides are high," said Ben, who took part in the mangrove-planting project.

The mangrove planting was participated in by 60 displaced people and residents, mostly women, who planted nearly 30,000 seedlings. A similar project was done last year at an adjacent site. Local leaders reported that nearly all the seedlings that were planted last year were thriving.

On the other hand, the creation of the earthen dike benefited 36 people. Freddie Padios, a seasoned earthen-dike maker, supervised the activity.

"Directing and supervising dike-making is not easy. You must know the right mixture of mud and clay, the length and width of the dike itself, and the correct method of piling. If done properly, this dike we built will serve the community for 5 to 10 years," he said.

The income received by the beneficiaries from the projects was used mostly as seed money to start micro-businesses, while the remaining amount was spent on household needs.

From the emergency phase until 2016, the ICRC implemented cash-for-work activities in the various transition sites in Zamboanga to help provide income for displaced families and improve the communities they live in.

"We continued our aid for people who were displaced by the clashes in 2013, as there are still needs. We provided vocational training and helped improve their living conditions through community projects," said Yann Fridez, head of the ICRC subdelegation in Mindanao.

"We hope that at the soonest possible time, the authorities will be able to resolve the various challenges these displaced families have been facing for three years now," he said.

After 10 days of work, the earthen dike footpath was completed and has since improved access for Kasanyangan residents to the main highway during high tide. The new facility will serve the displaced families in the transition site and the neighboring community for years to come.

Philippines: Philippines: National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council Update - Incidents monitored covering the period of 051700H - 060800H September 2016

6 September 2016 - 11:59pm
Source: Government of the Philippines Country: Philippines
  1. Effects of Southwest Monsoon "HABAGAT"

A. Situation Overview:

  • The Southwest Monsoon "HABAGAT" brought moderate to occasionally heavy rains over Ilocos Region, Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR), Metro Manila, and the Provinces of Batanes, Benguet, Zambales, Bataan, Tarlac, Pampanga, Cavite, Batangas, and in the Islands of Babuyan from 29-30 August 2016.

  • The effect of Southwest Monsoon "HABAGAT" has weakened on 30 August 2016, however brought light to moderate rains and isolated thunderstorms.

  • A Low Pressure Area (LPA) located at the Northeast of Itbayat, Batanes developed into a tropical storm and was named "ENTENG". The Southwest Monsoon enhanced by TS "ENTENG" brought moderate to occasionally heavy rains over Pangasian, La Union and Benguet.

- The Southwest Monsoon continuously affects the Northern and Central Luzon from 02 September 2016 as another LPA developed at the Northeast of Itbayat, Batanes on 03 September 2016. The Southwest Monsoon continues to persist as of 5:00 AM, 06 September 2016.

World: Transforming broken relationship: Making peace with the past

6 September 2016 - 11:19am
Source: Conciliation Resources Country: Colombia, Georgia, Ireland, Philippines, World

Transforming horizontal and vertical relationships

Reconciliation is the process of building or rebuilding relationships damaged by violent conflict: horizontal relationships between people and groups in society; and vertical relationships between people and institutions, both within and outside the state. This understanding places reconciliation programmes and strategies at the heart of political processes and transitions in conflictaffected or fragile societies. Too often reconciliation is seen as supplementary or peripheral: an exotic distraction or utopian aspiration.

Such an approach also stresses the pragmatic value of reconciliation at the intersection of peacebuilding and statebuilding efforts, conceived not merely as technocratic exercises to build the capacity of ‘strong’ rather than ‘fragile’ states, but rather as essentially political endeavours to transform tainted relationships between state and society – or the cultivation of ‘civic trust’, as some have coined it. As noted by David Bloomfield (see page 16), this perspective salvages reconciliation from the realm of the ‘fluffy’ or ‘soft’ dimensions of peacebuilding, or as exclusively localised or intimate. On the contrary, reconciliation programming is pivotal to sustaining peace and preventing new or re-emerging violent conflict.

Strategic implications for building peace

Understanding reconciliation as transforming both horizontal and vertical relationships has three main strategic implications for practitioners and policymakers. Firstly, it is resistant to crude, binary strategies of either ‘bottom-up’ or ‘top-down’: bottom-up, which ties reconciliation to local politics and geography, based on simplistic assumptions that rebuilding relationships must be driven from the local or community level, up to the national or global level; and top-down, which exclusively values elitist or state-centric processes. National or regional dynamics can all too easily undermine even the bestlaid plans for local-level relationship building. And, equally, national peacebuilding or peacemaking can be unravelled by the ignition of local conflict.

‘Middle out’ approaches to building reconciliation are also important and may be effective: intermediaries that span different layers in society, such as civil society organisations capable of both ‘listening down’ and ‘speaking up’; distinct social constituencies who cut across diverse levels, like women, youths or victims; or even the potential of social and state institutions as platforms for building reconciliation, which similarly straddle and operate across levels. Clearly top-down, bottom-up and middle-out approaches should not be viewed as mutually exclusive.

The rich and complex country case studies examined in this volume contribute creative insights, strategic options and conceptual challenges based on these different levels of engagement and the diverse tactical points of entry that they offer for transforming damaged relationships. Each respects the fundamental importance of context-specificity (and conflictspecificity), but also provocatively challenges us to think across contexts and different timeframes, about how we connect and reinforce diverse strategies and levels of engagement, and appreciate their potential cumulative effect.

Through this lens, there is great value in applying systems thinking to the field of reconciliation. This demands that practitioners move beyond the notion of working discretely or sequentially at different levels, or even multi-track engagement – important as this may be. Rather, it requires attention to the ‘connective tissue’ or ‘social fabric’ that connects and integrates these diverse engagements, and the spectrum of tactical points of entry within a wider understanding of reconciliation strategies as systemic and multi-faceted, as well as non-linear in both cause and effect.

Secondly, a systems-based approach to vertical and horizontal reconciliation challenges assumptions about a segmented temporal frame, which consigns reconciliation exclusively to phases of ‘post-conflict social reconstruction’, and which divorces reconciliation from other peacebuilding strategies.

Philippines: DSWD ready to augment resources of LGUs for families displaced by armed conflict

6 September 2016 - 3:45am
Source: Government of the Philippines Country: Philippines

The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) is assisting local government units (LGUs) of Basilan that have been affected by the on-going clashes between government troops and the Abu Sayyaf (ASG).

The clash between military troops and the ASG occurred on July 2 and 6 in the hinterlands of Albarka, Ungkayapukan and Tipo-Tipo in Basilan. The government has sent more troops to the area.

As of September 5, some 1,729 family heads with 6,218 dependents from the municipalities of Sumisip, Tuburan, Moh Ajul and Akbar have evacuated to safer areas and are staying with friends and relatives. These evacuees are being provided with food and non-food assistance by the concerned LGUs.

Since the fighting erupted, the LGU of Basilan has distributed a total of 2,311 family food packs to the internally displaced persons, while DSWD-Field Office (FO) IX has delivered 6,000 family food packs to the province.

The Field Office has also earmarked some 5,000 family food packs for Sulu. Repacking of additional food packs is being done to ensure availability of relief supplies.

The Field Office is maintaining 25,000 food packs at any given time to ensure preparedness, while the Sulu and Basilan encounters are being pursued by the government.

“*Tuloy-tuloy ang ating ginagawang koordinasyon sa mga lokal na pamahalaan na apekatado ng kasalukuyang armed conflict upang agad ding matulungan ang mga pamilyang lumikas sa mas ligtas na lugar* (We continuously coordinate with LGUs affected by the ongoing armed conflict so they can also immediately help the families who evacuated to safer places),” stated DSWD Secretary Judy M. Taguiwalo.

“We also want to ensure the safety and security of the civilians forced to evacuate by monitoring their situation and helping them make their needs known to other government agencies that also have a responsibility to assist them. Civilians are always the ones who suffer because of military operations and civil war, and we must do all that we can to mitigate the impact of armed strife on the innocent and non-combatants,” she added.

The Secretary also gave her full support to President Duterte’s aim to stop acts of banditry and terrorism that would eventually lead to peace and development in Mindanao.

Philippines: DSWD ready to augment resources of LGUs for families displaced by armed conflict

6 September 2016 - 3:45am
Source: Government of the Philippines Country: Philippines

The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) is assisting local government units (LGUs) of Basilan that have been affected by the on-going clashes between government troops and the Abu Sayyaf (ASG).

The clash between military troops and the ASG occurred on July 2 and 6 in the hinterlands of Albarka, Ungkayapukan and Tipo-Tipo in Basilan. The government has sent more troops to the area.

As of September 5, some 1,729 family heads with 6,218 dependents from the municipalities of Sumisip, Tuburan, Moh Ajul and Akbar have evacuated to safer areas and are staying with friends and relatives. These evacuees are being provided with food and non-food assistance by the concerned LGUs.

Since the fighting erupted, the LGU of Basilan has distributed a total of 2,311 family food packs to the internally displaced persons, while DSWD-Field Office (FO) IX has delivered 6,000 family food packs to the province.

The Field Office has also earmarked some 5,000 family food packs for Sulu. Repacking of additional food packs is being done to ensure availability of relief supplies.

The Field Office is maintaining 25,000 food packs at any given time to ensure preparedness, while the Sulu and Basilan encounters are being pursued by the government.

“*Tuloy-tuloy ang ating ginagawang koordinasyon sa mga lokal na pamahalaan na apekatado ng kasalukuyang armed conflict upang agad ding matulungan ang mga pamilyang lumikas sa mas ligtas na lugar* (We continuously coordinate with LGUs affected by the ongoing armed conflict so they can also immediately help the families who evacuated to safer places),” stated DSWD Secretary Judy M. Taguiwalo.

“We also want to ensure the safety and security of the civilians forced to evacuate by monitoring their situation and helping them make their needs known to other government agencies that also have a responsibility to assist them. Civilians are always the ones who suffer because of military operations and civil war, and we must do all that we can to mitigate the impact of armed strife on the innocent and non-combatants,” she added.

The Secretary also gave her full support to President Duterte’s aim to stop acts of banditry and terrorism that would eventually lead to peace and development in Mindanao.

Indonesia: ASEAN Weekly Disaster Update, 29 August - 4 September 2016

6 September 2016 - 1:12am
Source: Association of Southeast Asian Nations Country: Indonesia, Philippines, Thailand, Viet Nam

PHILIPPINES

Flood

1,212 people were reportedly affected by the flooding in Zambales and Pangasinan Provinces

THAILAND

Flood

Flashflood hit Taku Pa, Phang Nga Province. 40 houses and 200 people were affected. In Uthai Taini Province, flood submerged 40 houses and farming areas

INDONESIA

Wind

76 Houses were damaged by wind in Lampung Province. Strong wind also damaged houses in Deli Serdang, North Sumatra Province (41 houses), Jakarta (67 houses) and Sukabumi, Wes Java Province (110 houses).

Flood

Flood affected 756 people in Cianjur, West Java Province. Moreover, 600 people were evacuated due to the flooding in Deli Serdang, North Sumatra Province .

Landslide

Landslide in Pontianak, West Kalimantan Province, damaged 57 houses.

VIET NAM

Flood

Flood inundated 27 houses and 500 ha of agriculture areas in An Giang Province..

Philippines: DSWD continues to reach out to victims of Davao blast

5 September 2016 - 12:51pm
Source: Government of the Philippines Country: Philippines

QUEZON CITY, Sept. 6 - Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Secretary Judy M. Taguiwalo said today that the Department is ready to provide augmentation assistance to the local government unit (LGU) of Davao City for the wake and funeral expenses of the victims of the bombing incident which occurred in the city last week.

Likewise, based on the assessment of the members of the DSWD-Disaster Action Team who met with the families of the victims, they are recommending that financial and food assistance be provided for the victims’ families whose economic activities were interrupted.

The DSWD-Disaster Action Team also reported that the Davao LGU has assigned coordinators to respond to the various needs of the victims and family members, such as, taking care of medical needs and hospital bills, coordinating for the funeral services, and arranging for transportation requirements in going to the respective provinces of the victims. The LGU also gave hospital watchers P100 allowance per meal for a maximum of two family members.

DSWD social workers also started to conduct psycho-social sessions to traumatized victims by allowing them to express their problems, worries and ill-feelings relative to the incident, however, most of them were not yet ready.

DSWD-Field Office XI also continues to coordinate with other DSWD-Field Offices in locating for the family members of some of the victims.

Earlier, Sec. Taguiwalo expressed her deepest sympathies for the victims of the bombing and said that the Department will provide whatever assistance it can to the survivors and the relatives of those who were killed.

Philippines: Dengue cases down in Pangasinan by 14%

4 September 2016 - 8:00pm
Source: Government of the Philippines Country: Philippines

DAGUPAN CITY, September 5 (PIA) – Dengue cases in Pangsinan from January to August 30 this year have decreased by 14 percent compared to the same period last year, the Provincial Health Office of Pangasinan reported.

Rhodhalia Binay-an, nurse coordinator of the Provincial Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit of PHO, said there are 1,938 dengue cases listed this year, already a high number, but it is still lower than the 2,241 cases in the same period in 2015.

“Comparison of dengue cases reveal that the month of August has the highest number of cases with 563, still lower than the 869 cases in August last year. The least number of cases was during the summer months of April and May ranging from 73 to 89,” Binay-an said.

Mortality rate also decreased from 14 death cases last year down to eight this year.

The recorded casualties included a seven month-old baby from Calasiao, six year-old from Urdaneta City, 11 year-old from Mabini, two year-old from Binalonan, 53 year-old from Umingan, seven year-old from Dagupan City, a 61year-old from Asingan and a 10 year- old male from Dasol.

Age of dengue victims ranges from seven months to 94 years old. Most commonly affected age group is 10-14 years old with 412 cases. Majority of cases were males with 1,027 cases.

PHO has listed 12 municipalities and cities under their watch list for dengue cases. These include Asingan (150), Pozzorubio (135), San Carlos City and San Fabian (78), Mangaldan (77), Alaminos City (75), Malasiqui (70), Calasiao (68), Umingan (62), Mabini (53) Bayambang and Sta Maria (52).

Provincial Health Officer Anna Theresa De Guzman said the provincial government has been doing vector management and has been providing insecticide to the top local government units under the PHO watchlist to counter the increasing number of dengue cases.

PHO has also advised rural health units to conduct clean-up drives before fogging or misting operations. Technical assistance on dengue control program is also being extended.

Philippines: UN Secretary-General condemns bomb attack on night market in Philippines

4 September 2016 - 5:47pm
Source: UN News Service Country: Philippines

4 September 2016 – United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has condemned Friday's bomb attack on a night market in Davao City in the Philippines that killed at least 12 people and injured dozens, his spokesman said today.

“The Secretary-General stresses the need to ensure accountability and to bring to justice the perpetrators of these terrorist attacks,” the spokesman added in a statement.

The Secretary-General extends his deepest condolences to the families of the victims and wishes a speedy recovery to those injured, and stands with the Government and people of the Philippines, the spokesman said.

Davao is located on the Southeast Asian country's Mindanao Island.

Philippines: DSWD coordinating with Davao LGU on efforts to help bombing victims

3 September 2016 - 11:45pm
Source: Government of the Philippines Country: Philippines

QUEZON CITY, Sept. 4 - Department of Social Welfare and Development Secretary Judy M. Taguiwalo expressed her deepest sympathies for the victims of the bombings in Davao and said that the department through its field office in the region will provide what assistance it can to the survivors of the attack and the relatives of those who were killed.

She said that DSWD social workers will provide stress debriefing help to the survivors and all families of the victims, and that the department will closely coordinate with the local government authorities regarding other measures that need to be undertaken to help them.

Davao City mayor Sara Duterte has already stated that the LGU will shoulder all the hospitalization expenses of those injured,and pay for the burial of those killed.

Sec. Taguiwalo also expressed full support for the efforts of Pres. Rodrigo Duterte to address the aftermath of last night’s horrific bombing and to ensure the safety and security of the citizenry not only in Davao, but in the rest of the country.

“Again we as a people are called upon to show and prove our resilience against tragedies and attacks against our collective safety and security. We must not be divided in our response against attacks such as this and unite in the call for justice for the victims and survivors of the Abu Sayyaf’s terrorism. We must be united in condemning and opposing all efforts and attempts to undermine the rights, safety and security of the Filipino people, ” she said.

Sec. Taguiwalo said that the DSWD leadership continues to monitor the security situation not only in Davao but in the rest of the country as well so that its units can take immediate action in the event of any emergency.

She again appealed to the Filipino people to cooperate with the department and other government agencies when it comes to reporting developments that need to be addressed because they are connected to the people’s immediate welfare. (DSWD)