Latest update

Our Filipino neighbours face high rates of natural disasters throughout the year as well as extreme poverty and malnutrition. Alarmingly, the nation has also become a global hotspot for the online sexual exploitation of children (OSEC) and children living in poverty are extremely vulnerable to this nefarious crime. Compassion’s holistic child development programs are designed to be adapted to suit the local context and needs. In the Philippines, the current primary areas of focus for our church partners are:

  • Protecting children from abuse and online exploitation
  • Disaster preparation and resilience for local families
  • Helping caregivers, particularly new mothers, to give their children the best start to life

Watch the latest update from our local church partners in the Philippines below.

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Country update

How you can pray

Thank you for praying for the children, families and local church partners we serve in the Philippines.

Please join us in praying for the following:

  • Pray for further education opportunities for local youth, especially those on Higatangan Island.
  • Pray that mums and babies will receive the care and nourishment they need to stay healthy.
  • Pray that God will bless the local child development centres with new staff where needed, and protect the existing workers.
  • Pray for God's protection over children who may be vulnerable to exploitation, abuse or unsafe work.
  • Pray for wisdom for our local church partners as they work to create safe environments for highly vulnerable children.
  • Pray for safety for families and staff during typhoons, heavy rain and extreme weather events.
  • Pray for wisdom and unity among national leaders and government.
Standing by children in the Philippines

Standing by children in the Philippines

Jojin was cared for by her adoptive mother, Carmelita, who worked night and day to provide for her despite suffering from breast cancer. When Carmelita passed away, Jojin was determined to finish her studies to make her proud. Her local church stood by her side to make sure she could achieve her dream.   Read more open_in_new

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.

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


mothers die from pregnancy related causes per 100,000 births


of children are vulnerable to online sexual exploitation and abuse

Made up of more than 7,000 individual islands, the Philippines is home to a population of over 108 million people. The nation has made strong progress in poverty reduction over the past two decades, due in part to the momentum of its tourism, finance and insurance industries. However, this advancement has been significantly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and relentless typhoons and flooding, which have the greatest physical and economic impact on the most vulnerable people—children living in poverty.

Almost 20 million Filipinos live below the national poverty line. 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. More than 2.8 million children of school age lack access to education, with indigenous children and children with a disability disproportionately affected. Eight per cent of children do not finish primary school.

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. More than 80 per cent of children have experienced some sort of violence, including physical, psychological, sexual or online abuse. 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.

These challenges are made even more difficult by perennial destruction caused by tropical storms and typhoons which have become more frequent and more destructive over the past two decades. Sadly, the Philippines experiences more natural disasters than any other country. Moreover, it is usually the poorest households who are the most vulnerable and the least able to rebuild and recover from the devastation.

Yet Compassion's local church partners are committed to sharing God's love with their local communities. They know children by name and work to meet their unique needs so they can know a future free from poverty.

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