Latest update

As of 8 February 2021, there were 27,992 active cases of COVID-19 in the Philippines and 11,231 related deaths. Different regions are under different levels of quarantine and restrictions. Curfews are set by local governments. The national government announced that it would launch a vaccination drive when the first batch of vaccine arrives in mid-February.

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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.

    Centre workers continue to give relief supplies to families and children. They have been able to distribute more than 881,000 food packs and 520,000 hygiene kits. Additionally, 91,000 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:

  • Healing, strength and encouragement for Edwin, Johnrey and their families as they undergo cancer treatment.
  • Healing and a quick recovery for Laya after her heart operation.
  • Prayer over the locally-produced movie project undertaken by PH0191; that it would impact many people as it shares God's love and care.
  • Safety and peace for the children, families and staff in Bohol as the rain has made it difficult to reach those who live in these areas.
  • Wisdom and guidance for the National Office leadership team as they meet, plan and prepare to continue to serve the children and their families.
  • God would bless the family discipleship and food security initiatives as local church partners implement them.
  • God would continue to protect and prevent COVID-19 from spreading.
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 Auring, Philippines (Final Crisis Update) 03 Mar, 2021

    The situation

    In late February, several locations in central Surigao del Sur were flooded due to the Tropical Storm Auring that brought heavy rains and strong winds. Local government agencies initiated evacuation, search and rescue, as well as relief goods distribution before and during the storm. The church partners are focused on cleanup efforts and assessing impact to affected children.

    Global Compassion impact

    Number of local church partners affected: 4 Number of Compassion assisted children affected: 22

    New information

    Most of the affected families have returned to their partially repaired homes or are still staying with relatives. Church partners are helping the families gain access to local government support. If needs aren’t met by the government, church partners are able to access emergency funding to provide additional support.

    Prayer

    Please pray for the church partners, affected children and families, as they clean up and recover from losses and damages.

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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

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

16 May, 2018

In The Face of Overwhelming Loss, Hannah Found Hope

This is Hannah from the Philippines. She was abandoned by her mother as a baby and her father died when she was two years old. Each day is a struggle for survival... Read more

13 May, 2020

How Can You Socially Distance in a Slum?

Social distancing is often a luxury for the world's most vulnerable, who live in very crowded communities. How can they still support their families while protecting them from COVID-19?.. Read more