Latest update

Amid an alarming surge of COVID-19 infections, the Philippine government extended its lockdown of Metropolitan Manila and four outlying provinces until at least 11th April. With more than 10,000 new infections reported daily, hospitals are unable to meet the demand for care, and the government announced on 5th April that it would set up mobile intensive care units around the capital city. As of 6th April, the country had administered enough doses to fully vaccinate 0.4% of its 109.2 million people. In-person instruction at schools and universities is suspended. Once it resumes on a trial basis, students will attend for half days in order to decrease crowding and risk of infection.

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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 small groups while following social distancing guidelines.

    Local staff continue to give relief supplies to families and children. They have been able to distribute more than 1 million food packs and almost 622,000 hygiene kits. Additionally, over 107,000 people have been provided with medical support during this season.

  • 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:

  • Pray that God would heal the children and families with COVID-19 and prevent it from spreading to others.
  • Pray that God would continue to heal Lowella and she would have a quick recovery.
  • Pray for wisdom for the doctors as they seek to diagnose the swelling occurring in a child’s chest.
  • Pray that a child’s hernia operation would be successful without any complications.
  • Pray for peace and comfort for Ly Anne as she grieves her father’s passing.
  • Pray that God would continue to protect the project staff and volunteers as they distribute food, supplies and medicine.
  • Pray that God would heal Pastor Oscar from the flu so he can continue to serve the people in his community.
  • Praise God for allowing Genara, a project director, to make a full recovery from a blood infection.
  • Pray for the successful implementation of the different initiatives and campaigns designed to serve the children and their families in the Philippines better.
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

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    Tropical Storm Crising, Philippines (Final Crisis Report) 05 Jun, 2021

    The situation

    A tropical storm in Mindanao on 15th May caused heavy rain, flooding and landslides. The affected communities are in low elevations along the Sibugay River, which is in the Zamboanga Sibugay Province. Approximately 1,500 families were evacuated from the submerged communities due to waist-deep water, damaged homes and power interruptions. In partnership with the local government, the church partners distributed food and other relief items to affected families.

    Global Compassion impact

    Number of local church partners affected: 5 Number of Compassion assisted children affected: 242

    New information

    The evacuated families have now returned to their homes. Damaged homes and buildings are being repaired and affected families have been provided with the relief items and support they need.

    Prayer

    Thank you for your prayers for the staff, churches and families who were affected by the flooding and landslides.

  • update icon

    Tropical Storm Crising, Philippines 15 May, 2021

    The situation

    A tropical storm in Mindanao has caused heavy rain, flooding and landslides. The affected communities are in low elevations along the Sibugay River, which is in the Zamboanga Sibugay Province. Approximately 1,500 families were evacuated from the submerged communities due to waist-deep water, damaged homes and power interruptions.

    Global Compassion impact

    Number of local church partners affected: 5 Number of Compassion assisted children affected: 208

    New information

    Affected families are in evacuation centres provided by the local government. The local church partners are distributing food and other relief items, as well as assessing the impact to families and understanding how they require support.

    Prayer

    Please pray for the protection and provision of affected children, families, and 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

16.7%

of people live below the poverty line

11.8%

of people lack access to improved sanitation

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 in society—children living in poverty.

More than 18 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. 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 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. 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. October and November 2020 saw a string of typhoons, including Goni and Vamco, that caused catastrophic flooding and subsequent damage to homes and livelihoods.

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Stories from Compassion around the world

09 Jun, 2020

What Does Justice Look Like?

Racism, oppression, exclusion and poverty—our broken world is full of injustice. So how should we respond as followers of Jesus? Compassion Australia CEO Clare Steele reflects on what justice looks like at God's table and how injustice can be defeated... Read more

04 Jul, 2019

What do Sponsored Children Pray for You?

You pray for your sponsored child, but did you know they’re probably praying for you, too? Five children in the Philippines share how they ask God to bless, protect and strengthen their sponsors... Read more

29 May, 2020

How Will COVID-19 Affect the Developing World's Economy?

The COVID-19 pandemic will have a major impact on those living in poverty, likely for years to come. Learn how... Read more