Latest update

The Philippines department of health reports that total infections have increased to 269,407, the highest in Southeast Asia, while confirmed deaths have reached 4663. Forty-one percent of new cases are in metro Manila. The government recently allowed malls and restaurants to reopen there. In Manila, Filipinos under 20 years old or above 60 years old are not allowed outside their homes, except for serious medical reasons, according to Human Rights Watch.

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COVID-19 in the Philippines

How is Compassion currently operating in the Philippines?

  • Are Compassion centres open?

    Compassion partner churches and child development centres are still closed for large group activities, but in some districts, youths are able to meet in groups of five to 10 while following social distancing guidelines.

    _Centre workers continue to give relief supplies to families and children. They have been able to distribute 548,435 food packs and 305,296 hygiene kits. Additionally, 36,882 people have been provided with medical support during this season. _

    Partner churches are meeting with parents and providing online resources to support families doing school from home, as well as providing equipment, supplies and emotional support for parents who struggle to help their children with school assignments.

  • Are children receiving letters?

    The majority of letters are delayed in the Philippines, which means it may take longer for you to receive letters from your sponsored child. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t write! We encourage you to continue sending your sponsored child letters of encouragement and hope. What a joyful day it will be when those letters are delivered!

  • Are gifts being delivered?

    Gifts continue to be distributed in the Philippines. Staff members have been given the option to disburse monetary gifts to an appropriate, verified caregiver, if necessary. This applies to family gifts and child gifts (including birthday and final gifts). Families may spend the gift on whatever they consider most important to meet family needs. The caregiver will decide the best use of the money, recognising that sometimes purchasing food or paying rent is in the best interest of a child.

How you can pray

Thank you for praying for children and families in the Philippines who have been impacted by COVID-19—and the local staff and churches who continue to serve them in difficult circumstances.

Please join us in praying for the following:

  • God would give the doctors wisdom as they seek to determine why Blessy and Rozel have been continually not feeling well.
  • God’s comfort and love would be with Jeff and Maril as they each grieve their loved ones’ passing.
  • God would give the strength and endurance that 10-year-old Sophia needs to continue receiving treatment for her leukemia.
  • God's hope and love would be with the youth struggling with all the uncertainty and unknowns that COVID-19 has caused.
  • Praise God for the safe return of two alumnus that made it home safely in the midst of all the COVID-19 travel restrictions.
  • God would encourage fathers to continue to love, care, serve, support, provide, and be there for their children.
  • God’s healing touch and comfort would be with and on the PH0722 staff, who recently received a difficult diagnosis.
  • God would heal PH0351 pastor’s mother from the symptoms she is experiencing.
  • The treatment would be effective for a staff member from PH0961, who is suffering from an eye infection.
  • Praise God that Prosperity didn't need to have an operation to remove the clot in her brain.
  • Creativity, patience and grace for the Training team as they train the staff virtually.
  • God would bless the Partnership Team with new and creative ideas to help as many children as possible.
  • The staff’s health and efficiency as they work to process, translate, and distribute the letters to the sponsors and the children.
  • God’s continued healing and protection against additional cases of COVID-19.
  • God would provide comfort and healing for the children who have been impacted by online sexual exploitation. Pray that the campaign against online sexual exploitation would be effective in helping to bring awareness to this growing crisis.
Offering new support in the Philippines

Offering new support in the Philippines

Compassion’s local church partners in the Philippines are finding creative ways to support children and families during the pandemic—taking to social media and other online tools to help those in need.   Read more open_in_new

Crisis Reports from the Philippines

  • update icon

    Flooding in Paknaan, Mandaue City, Philippines (Final Crisis Update) 21 Sep, 2020

    The situation

    The situation has now normalised in Paknaan.

    Global Compassion impact

    Number of local church partners affected: 0 Number of Compassion assisted children affected: 65

    New information

    All affected children and families have been supported by the local church.

    Prayer

    Thank you for your prayers for the children and families.

  • update icon

    Fire in Agdao, Davao City, Philippines 02 Sep, 2020

    The situation

    A fire caused major damage and destroyed homes in the community of Leon Garcia in Agdao. In this impoverished community, many of the homes are made with light materials which make them more vulnerable to fires.

    Global Compassion impact

    Number of local church partners affected: 0 Number of Compassion assisted children affected: unknown

    New information

    The local church partner is assessing impact and supporting affected families with hot meals and relief items. The affected children and their families are living in a temporary evacuation centre. The local church partner will also help mobilise support from the local government and local organisations.

    Prayer

    Please pray for the affected children and their families as they recover from damages and losses.

  • update icon

    Flooding in Paknaan, Mandaue City, Philippines 28 Aug, 2020

    The situation

    Heavy rainfall caused the Paknaan River to overflow and flooded the homes near the riverbanks.

    Global Compassion impact

    Number of local church partners affected: unknown Number of Compassion assisted children affected: unknown

    New information

    Our local church partner PH0907 is assessing impact and supporting affected children and their families.

    Prayer

    Please pray for the provision and safety of affected children, families and local church partners.

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Please note: Due to the current pandemic, most child development centres in the Philippines are temporarily closed. Our local church partners continue to meet the urgent needs of the children through home-based care.

A snapshot of Compassion's Child Sponsorship Program in the Philippines

Compassion’s program is contextualised across countries and communities, as well as age groups.

  • Children aged 1 to 3 receive home-based care.
  • Children aged 3 to 5 visit the Compassion centre for eight hours on Saturdays, or for four hours a day, two days a week.
  • Children aged 6 to 11 attend for six hours every Saturday.
  • Students aged 12 to 18 attend for four hours on the weekend, while those over 19 attend for six hours.
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Compassion Program Activities in the Philippines

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Compassion assisted children in the Philippines typically attend program activities at their local child development centre on Saturdays. Here is an example of what a typical program day looks like for children in the Philippines.

8:00am - A time of prayer and devotion.

9:00am - Spiritual lessons where children sing songs and learn Bible stories.

10:30am - Break time where children can play in a safe environment and develop friendships. A nutritious snack is provided often in the form of bread or soup.

11:00am - Social-emotional lessons from conflict resolution to developing healthy self-esteem and a godly character.

12:00pm - Lunch time where the meal usually consists of fish or meat, vegetables and rice. Many children don’t receive regular meals at home due to food scarcity.

1:00pm - Health lessons where children are taught practical health and hygiene tips. An example topic is how to prevent malaria.

2:00pm - Letter writing and career planning. Older children work with local staff to identify their strengths and interests and set goals for their future.

Children also often have opportunities to join in extracurricular activities such as camps, sporting events and talent shows. Parents can attend general assemblies and orientation, and there are some churches that have initiated activities like Bible studies and care groups. Mothers are also involved in letter writing.

The greatest needs impacting children living in poverty in the Philippines

121

mothers die from pregnancy related causes per 100,000 births

21.6%

of people live below the poverty line

26%

of people lack access to improved sanitation

The Philippines has made strong progress in the past two decades and more Filipinos have climbed out of poverty. Yet, more than 22 million Filipinos—slightly more than one in five—still struggle to meet their basic daily needs. More than 30 per cent of children live in poverty.

For these children and their families, challenges abound—including meeting their most basic needs. Many children don’t get enough nutritious food, to the extent that one in three has experienced stunting because of malnutrition. Others lack a safe place to grow and develop. More than 80 per cent of children have experienced some sort of violence, including physical, psychological, sexual or online abuse.

The threat of online exploitation is growing, with cheap internet access making more children vulnerable to sexual and physical abuse that is livestreamed to an online audience. Some children are promised a respectable job but tricked into the cybersex business; others are threatened or coerced, often by neighbours, friends or even a family member. The Philippines has been identified as a global ‘hotspot’ for online exploitation due to poverty, cheap technology, high rates of English and established money-wiring services.

More than 2.8 million children of school age lack access to education, with indigenous children and children with a disability disproportionately affected. Only 78 per cent of children complete their basic education.

These challenges are made even more difficult by regular destruction caused by tropical storms and typhoons which have become more frequent and more destructive over the past two decades. Usually the poorest households are the most vulnerable and the least able to rebuild and recover from the devastation. In 2013, Typhoon Haiyan, one of the most powerful tropical cyclones ever recorded, smashed the Philippines and other parts of southeast Asia, affecting 11 million Filipinos and killing more than 6300.

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Stories from Compassion around the world

20 Mar, 2019

Meet the Midwives Saving the Most Vulnerable Babies in the World

For millions of people living in poverty around the world, hospitals can be difficult to access and doctors in short supply. A midwife is a vital source of strength for mums and families in need. Meet some of the birthing heroes in these communities. .. Read more

04 Oct, 2016

How Cybersex Trafficking Is Threatening Kids in Poverty

Vulnerable children, predators and the internet. The emergence of fast technology has become the worst possible enabler for the abuse of children online. This darkness is prevalent across the globe but also lurks much closer to home than we’d like to think. .. Read more

28 Mar, 2019

25 Photos of Family Dinner Time Everyone Should See

Take a journey around the world at dinner time. Your dining table and kitchen may not look like this, but for these families living in poverty, it’s the time where the laughter and good times occur despite their hardship. .. Read more