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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)

Philippines: Market bomb attack kills 12 in Philippines

2 September 2016 - 1:46pm
Source: Agence France-Presse Country: Philippines

Davao, Philippines | AFP | Friday 9/2/2016 - 20:33 GMT

by Dennis Santos

At least 12 people died and dozens were injured when a bomb tore through a bustling night market in Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte's home city on Friday, authorities said.

The blast occurred just before 11:00pm (1500 GMT), leaving bodies strewn amid the wreckage of plastic tables and chairs on a road that had been closed to traffic for the market in the heart of Davao city.

An improvised explosive device caused the explosion, presidential spokesman Martin Andanar said, adding drug traffickers opposed to Duterte's war on crime or Islamic militants may have been responsible.

"There are many elements who are angry at our president and our government," Andanar told DZMM radio, after referring to the drug traffickers and the militants.

"We are not ruling out the possibility that they might be responsible for this but it is too early to speculate."

Twelve people were confirmed killed and more than 30 others injured, according to Ernesto Abella, another presidential spokesman.

Davao is the biggest city in the southern Philippines, with a population of about two million people. It is about 1,500 kilometres (930 miles) from the capital of Manila.

The blast occurred in the centre of Davao, close to one of the city's top hotels that Duterte sometimes holds meetings in, as well as a major university.

"The force just hurled me. I practically flew in the air," Adrian Abilanosa, who said his cousin was among those killed, told AFP shortly afterwards.

Duterte was in Davao on Friday but was not near the market when the explosion occurred, according to his aides.

They said he went straight into meetings with security chiefs following the blast.

  • Violence-plagued region -

Davao is part of the southern region of Mindanao, where Islamic militants have waged a decades-long separatist insurgency that has claimed more than 120,000 lives.

Communist rebels, who have been waging an armed struggle since 1968, also maintain a presence in rural areas neighbouring Davao.

Duterte had been mayor of Davao for most of the past two decades, before winning national elections in a landslide this year and being sworn in as president on June 30.

Duterte became well known for bringing relative peace and order to Davao with hardline security policies, while also brokering local deals with Muslim and communist rebels.

However in 2003, two bomb attacks blamed on Muslim rebels at Davao's airport and the city's port within a month of each other killed about 40 people.

Duterte has in recent weeks pursued peace talks with the two main Muslim rebel groups. Its leaders have said they want to broker a lasting peace.

  • Abu Sayyaf threat -

However Duterte also ordered a military offensive to eliminate the Abu Sayyaf, a small but extremely dangerous group of militants that has declared allegiance to Islamic State and vowed to continue fighting.

Fifteen soldiers died on Monday in clashes with the Abu Sayyaf on Jolo island, one of the Abu Sayyaf's main strongholds about 900 kilometres from Davao.

Presidential spokesman Andanar referred to the fighting on Jolo when he speculated on who may have been behind Friday's bomb attack.

The Abu Sayyaf claimed responsibility for three bomb attacks in 2005 -- one in Davao, one in a nearby city and a third in Manila -- that killed eight people.

The Abu Sayyaf, notorious for kidnapping foreigners to extract ransoms, said it conducted the 2005 attacks in response to an offensive against it at that time.

Andanar on Friday also raised the possibility of drug lords carrying out the attack as a way of fighting back against Duterte's war on crime.

Duterte has made eradicating illegal drugs the top priority of the beginning of his presidency.

Security forces have conducted raids in communities throughout the country to arrest or kill drug traffickers.

More than 2,000 people have died in the war on crime.

The United States, the United Nations and rights groups have expressed concern about an apparent wave of extrajudicial killings.

But the United States quickly released a statement expressing deep condolences for Friday's blast.


© 1994-2016 Agence France-Presse

Philippines: Turnover of Japan-funded equipment of National Maritime Polytechnic under the Programme For Rehabilitation and Recovery from Typhoon Yolanda

2 September 2016 - 12:24pm
Source: Government of Japan Country: Japan, Philippines

The government of Japan turned over the equipment of National Maritime Polytechnic (NMP) to the Government of the Philippines in a ceremony held on July 27, 2016 in Tacloban City, Leyte as one of the projects under the “Japan-funded Program for the Rehabilitation and Recovery from Typhoon Yolanda”. The ceremony was attended by First Secretary of the Embassy of Japan, Koji Otani and Undersecretary of the Department of Labor and Employment, Nicon F. Fameronag. In the ceremony, the representatives of recipients expressed their deepest appreciation.

In this grant project, equipment of NMP which severely damaged by Typhoon Yolanda (generally known as Typhoon Haiyan outside the Philippines) in November 2013 was rehabilitated so as to enable NMP, one of the major seafarers’ education and training facilities in the Philippines, to continue their training activity for seafarers. The Philippines is the country supplying largest number of seafarers in the world and many Philippine seafarers are working on Japanese ships. The rehabilitation of equipment of NMP is expected to benefit not only Philippine economy but also activities of Japanese shipping companies. The Program for the Rehabilitation and Recovery from Typhoon Yolanda provides assistance for recovery and reconstruction in areas affected by Typhoon Yolanda and focuses on social infrastructure such as healthcare facilities, schools and local government offices; economic infrastructure such as airport, common industrial facilities and power facilities; and disaster preparedness infrastructure such as meteorological radar systems. Through this Program, Japan helps the Philippines to build a resilient society against natural disasters and achieve sustainable growth.

Japan, as the top ODA donor to the Philippines as well as a disaster-prone country itself, has supported the Philippines’ disaster mitigation efforts by sharing its experiences and lessons learned from past natural disasters. This project, with its policy of “Build Back Better”, is expected to further foster the strategic partnership between the two countries and serve as a model for other disaster-prone areas of the Philippines.

World: Briefing: Making cash work for cities and towns affected by humanitarian crises - March 2016

2 September 2016 - 10:58am
Source: International Institute for Environment and Development Country: Haiti, Kenya, Philippines, Syrian Arab Republic, World

Cash transfers can offer value-for-money in humanitarian responses, and cash transfer programming (CTP) has the potential to transform humanitarian architecture. While this type of assistance is established — in 2015 the EU Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection Department issued ‘10 common principles’1 for use of cash — to date it has mostly been used in rural areas. As humanitarian agencies increasingly face emergencies in urban settings, what can CTP contribute and what challenges arise? An IIED literature review2 indicates that cash transfers have a role in the first phase of urban humanitarian response and could contribute to longer-term development objectives. If humanitarian CTP in urban contexts is to be effective and sustainable it requires cooperation, coordination, capacity and commitment. It needs funding that is distributed across key humanitarian, development and private-sector stakeholders, under the leadership of a strategic and accountable body.

Accurate and context-specific response analysis is crucial to humanitarian programme design. However, evidence suggests that an early assumption can be made even as the facts are gathered: cash transfers can and should be prioritised to support populations hit by urban disasters, whether these are rapid, slow onset, or protracted crises. CTP has the great benefit of being a ‘multi-sectoral’ response: it can ensure beneficiaries are able to satisfy a wide array of ongoing needs, such as education, housing and health, which might be compartmentalised by traditional humanitarian responses. The transferable nature of cash also enables households themselves to prioritise their needs. At the same time, locally-spent cash is contributing to market recovery and helping to re-establish livelihoods (see Box 1).

A recognition of the advantages of cash has led to the creation of ‘multipurpose grants’ (MPGs)3 in recent urban emergencies, including the Syrian refugee response. MPGs are a critical instrument for effective urban cash assistance, considered appropriate when several humanitarian objectives (such as improved food security, shelter and access to basic hygiene items such as nappies and soap) can be fulfilled through one single transfer.4 This is often the case in urban settings, where demand is complex and interconnected, and where populations are dynamic in movement, making the traditional single-sector approach both ineffective and impractical.5 Programmes designed to meet beneficiaries’ diverse economic needs in one single transfer are able to contribute to overall wellbeing and resilience, rather than producing specific outcomes in a particular sector.

World: CrisisWatch August 2016

2 September 2016 - 7:30am
Source: International Crisis Group Country: Afghanistan, Algeria, Angola, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, China, Colombia, Côte d'Ivoire, Cyprus, Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Egypt, Ethiopia, Gabon, Gambia, Guatemala, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Haiti, India, Indonesia, Iran (Islamic Republic of), Iraq, Japan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, Lebanon, Libya, Mali, Mauritania, Mexico, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Nepal, Niger, Nigeria, occupied Palestinian territory, Pakistan, Paraguay, Philippines, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Somalia, South Sudan, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Syrian Arab Republic, Tajikistan, Thailand, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Uganda, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Venezuela (Bolivarian Republic of), Western Sahara, World, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe

CrisisWatch is a monthly early warning bulletin designed to provide a regular update on the state of the most significant situations of conflict around the world.

Global Overview, August 2016

The month saw Yemen’s peace talks collapse with violence there intensifying, and the Syrian conflict escalate following Ankara’s launch of a cross-border ground offensive against Islamic State (IS) and Kurdish forces, days after a major terror attack in Turkey’s south east. Troop deployments in Western Sahara threatened to bring about clashes, and violence flared in the Central African Republic. In Ethiopia and Zimbabwe, security forces brutally suppressed anti-government protests, while in Gabon, the president’s disputed re-election triggered violent clashes. In Asia, a suicide bombing killed over 70 people in Pakistan, while suspected militants in Thailand’s southern insurgency launched attacks on targets outside the traditional conflict zone. In positive news, peace talks between the Philippines government and communist rebel groups resumed after a four-year hiatus. On 24 August, Colombia and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) declared that they had reached a final peace accord, paving the way for an end to 52 years of armed conflict.

World: The Challenge of Climate Disasters - From delivering aid to ending need

2 September 2016 - 7:10am
Source: World Vision Country: Angola, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Haiti, Honduras, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Somalia, South Africa, Swaziland, Timor-Leste, Vanuatu, World, Zambia, Zimbabwe

In the wake of El Niño

We are living in the most unusually warm period in history and this is taking a huge toll on the world’s most vulnerable. 2015 was the hottest year on record and 2016 looks set to be even hotter.
As this year’s El Niño in the Pacific lurches towards becoming a La Nina1 , the run of record temperatures looks set to be broken again. But in some ways, this year is not unique. It has become widely acknowledged among the development community that weather-related disasters are the ‘new normal’.

Over the last twenty years, 90 percent of disasters have been caused by floods, storms, heatwaves and other weather related events. Over this period, weather-related disasters claimed 606,000 lives, an average of some 30,000 per annum, with an additional 4.1 billion people injured, left homeless or in need of emergency assistance.2 60 million people are in need of immediate humanitarian assistance due to El Niño.3 More than 26 million children are at risk from hunger, disease and lack of water in Africa alone.4 On a continent where 70 percent of the population is dependent upon agriculture,5 El Niño is having catastrophic consequences. Economic losses due to disasters can be 20 times greater (as a percentage of GDP) in developing countries compared to developed countries.

World Vision’s Response

A dollar invested in resilience, disaster risk reduction and early action can save around four dollars in emergency relief. Funding needs to support these kinds of programmes as well as humanitarian relief. It also needs to be multi-year and flexible – at least ten percent of development finance needs to be made available to manage climate risks.

World Vision works in and with communities for up to 15 years and is able to release 20 percent of its community development budget for immediate humanitarian support.

Officially, World Vision has emergency responses to the disaster in 16 countries (Angola, DRC, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, South Africa, Swaziland, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Ethiopia, TimorLeste,
Papua New Guinea, Vanuatu, Haiti, Somalia, Honduras)

Recognising the unjust toll that disasters take on those who are already struggling, World Vision has focused on four specific areas in order to minimise the impact of some of the worst weather-related disasters:

• Preparedness & response,

• Resilience,

• Disaster risk reduction; and

• Recovery.

In the Philippines, we have integrated development with emergency response in our nutrition hubs. In Ethiopia, Farmer Managed Natural Regeneration has made communities resilient and resistant to drought. In Zambia, our water programmes have reduced the affects of disasters by reducing the exposure to water borne diseases that so many children are susceptible to.

World Vision has so far reached over five million people affected by El Niño – half of those were children.

World: Weekly Epidemiological Record (WER), 2 September 2016, vol. 91, 35 (pp. 405–420) [EN/FR]

2 September 2016 - 4:05am
Source: World Health Organization Country: Bangladesh, Brazil, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, India, Indonesia, Madagascar, Mozambique, Myanmar, Nepal, Nigeria, Philippines, Sri Lanka, United Republic of Tanzania, World


405 Global leprosy update, 2015: time for action, accountability and inclusion


405 Situation de la lèpre dans le monde, 2015: l’heure est à l’action, à la responsabilisation et à l’inclusion

Philippines: Philippines - Conflict (ECHO, OCD-ARMM, OCHA, ECHO partner)(ECHO Daily Flash of 01 September 2016)

1 September 2016 - 7:46am
Source: European Commission Humanitarian Aid Office Country: Philippines
  • The Philippines armed forces have intensified operations against the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) in Sulu and Basilan after the killing of 15 soldiers. Military operations in the area are ongoing for several weeks affecting the population and causing displacement.
  • As of 31 August, a total of 1 020 families (4 521 people) are displaced in Sulu due to the intensified fighting. Classes have been suspended in five public schools in Sulu affecting 1 140 students. Another 1 047 families (3 947 people) are displaced in Basilan. IDPs are reportedly hosted in houses, the majority either with relatives or friends. The IDPs are advised to not to return to their places of origin yet due to the security situation.
  • The local authorities are monitoring the humanitarian situation and are providing relief assistance (food and temporary shelter) with the support of the Philippine Red Cross. No international humanitarian actors are present in the area due to the high insecurity.

Philippines: Philippines Humanitarian Bulletin Issue 8 | 1 to 31 August 2016

1 September 2016 - 1:45am
Source: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs Country: Philippines


  • Mines and Unexploded Ordnances (UXOs) in farmlands, roads, villages and waterways in Mindanao continue to cause harm to the community, with children being the most vulnerable.

  • In preparation for La Niña in the coming months, the authorities have issued a directive for all local governments to carry out disaster preparedness measures and develop La Niña action plans.

  • There is growing capacity and political will in AsiaPacific governments to lead in disaster management.

  • World Humanitarian Day in the Philippines honoured those who brave tremendous difficulties to assist those who are most in need.

  • Armed conflict in Maguindanao that started on 13 July 2016 has ceased following intervention by authorities. Over 30,000 people were displaced, affecting 20 schools.


Southwest Monsoon

Families affected Over 250,000 (1.18M people)
(Source: National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) as of 24 August)

Basilan Displacement

# of IDPs hosted by friends and relatives 19,333
(Source: Integrated Resource Development for Tri-People Inc. (IRDT) as of 15 August)

Zamboanga Crisis

IDPs in transitional sites 13,899
(Source: Zamboanga City Social Welfare and Development Office as of 8 August)

Mines and Unexploded Ordnance (UXO) in Mindanao

In conflict areas, non-state armed groups often use mines and munitions during combat, putting the local populace at risk of death and disability. Unlike weapons that are aimed or fired, mines are explosive containers that lie dormant until a person or vehicle triggers their detonating mechanism. UXOs are munitions that did not explode when they were employed, and pose a risk of detonation. Abandoned ordances such as artillery shells or hand grenades, are stocks of explosives left behind on the battlefield. In Mindanao, mines and munitions are strewn across roads, villages and waterways, putting at risk the lives and limbs of people, in particular children. The long-term damage to people, livestock and farmland greatly hinders development in the region. Mine risk education is aimed at reducing the risk of mines, UXOs and abandoned ordnances by raising awareness and promoting behavioral changes through public information campaigns, training and engaging with communities. Old mines from as far back as the Second World War and UXOs from recent conflicts continue to maim or kill people in southern Mindanao.

Mine Education in Mindanao

From 2013 to July 2016, 107 cases involving UXOs and 6 cases involving old mines were recorded by Fondation Suisse de Deminage (FSD), or the Swiss Foundation for Mine Action, an international non-government organization that is undertaking focused mine risk education in the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (ARMM). Children are the most vulnerable to mine risk. Fifty-four per cent of the victims are under the age of 18. Hand and rifle grenades constitute 66 per cent of the UXO casualties while 51 per cent are caused by M79 grenades.

Philippines: Typhoon survivors get safe homes from DSWD

1 September 2016 - 1:20am
Source: Government of the Philippines Country: Philippines

A total of 95 informal settler families who were affected by Typhoon Vinta that hit Santiago City, Isabela last year are now proud owners of safe and secure homes through the Core Shelter Assistance Program (CSAP) of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).

CSAP is the provision of environment-friendly, structurally strong shelter units that can withstand up to 220 kph wind velocity, earthquakes, and other similar natural hazards.

The said core shelter units located in Bannawag Norte were awarded to the families during the inauguration ceremony held last August 22. The project was made possible in partnership with the local government unit (LGU) of Santiago City.

Santiago City Mayor Joseph Salvador Tan acknowledged the efforts of DSWD in staying true to its mandate of promoting the welfare of the vulnerable sectors.

For her part, DSWD OIC- Regional Director Ponciana P. Condoy encouraged the families to give importance to the many livelihood opportunities available to them so that they can support their families and maintain the upkeep of their new houses.

“Now that you’re out of danger, focus on enhancing your skills as there are lots of livelihood opportunities available to you from your LGU, DSWD, other agencies and private enterprises, “said OIC-Dir. Condoy.

DSWD Secretary Judy M. Taguiwalo, on thexother hand, emphasized that the implementation of rehabilitation programs of the Department for the victims of disasters should be efficient as these families need them the most.

“Maagap at mapagkalingang serbisyo ang kailangan ng mga nawalan ng bahay dahil sa sakuna, maging ang mga pamilyang nakatira sa di ligtas na lugar (Efficient and compassionate service is urgently needed by those who lost their houses due to calamities and/or those living in highly dangerous areas),” Sec. Taguiwalo said.

On her first day in office, Sec. Taguiwalo said that the Department under her leadership will ensure the timely and adequate response to emergencies and calamities.