Latest update

On 30 November, the Philippine president announced a general community quarantine for the capital city of Manila and seven other cities and provinces during the Christmas season. As of 8 December, there were more than 25,000 active cases of COVID-19 in the Philippines and 8670 related deaths. Large public gatherings and in-person school classes are banned. Shopping malls, restaurants and essential shops are continuing to operate. All regions remain under some level of quarantine with restricted movement. Face masks are required, and curfews are set by local governments.

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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 710,800 food packs and 408,400 hygiene kits. Additionally, 59,400 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 of a five-year-old child from PH0668 as he prepares to receive an operation to remove the multiple masses in his kidney, liver, and spleen.
  • Healing for Rafael's body as he recovers from a motorcycle accident.
  • Praise God for protecting each of our sponsored children’s homes from the typhoon.
  • God would heal PH1906’s pastor from hypertension.
  • God would guide the doctor’s hands as they perform heart surgery PH0923’s centre director.
  • God would bring healing to a centre director’s mother-in-law, so she no longer needs dialysis.
  • God would continue to keep the staff of PH0924 safe and healthy.
  • Praise God for the provision and opportunity that PH0807 had to serve even more children in their community.
  • God would continue to use PH0722 and grow the church as they seek to share God’s love with others.
  • God would comfort Francis and Rodel as they grieve the passing of their loved ones.
  • Continued safety of the staff as they begin to revisit centres.
  • God would bless the family discipleship and food security initiatives as local church partners implement them.
  • Provision and comfort for those who were impacted by the recent typhoons and earthquakes.
  • 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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    Typhoon Vamco (Ulysses) in the Philippines (Final Crisis Update) 23 Dec, 2020

    The situation

    Fortunately, the local government took action early and was able to evacuate most people living in high risk areas.

    Global Compassion impact

    Number of local church partners affected: 5 Number of Compassion assisted children affected: 988

    New information

    Some families are still living with relatives or in evacuation centres. Home repairs and rebuilding will be supported by an Infrastructure project.

    Prayer

    Thank you for your prayers for the affected children, families, and church partners. Please continue to pray for protection for the families as they are still at risk for COVID-19, due to crowded living conditions.

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    Super Typhoon Goni (Rolly) in the Philippines (Final Crisis Update) 23 Dec, 2020

    The situation

    The Super Typhoon made landfall in the Philippines and there were extensive damages in the Aurora–Quezon area with strong wind and rain which caused home damages, power outages, and communications to be down.

    Global Compassion impact

    Number of local church partners affected: 27 Number of Compassion assisted children affected: 3681

    New information

    Most of the impacted families have returned to their homes. Affected families were supported by the church partner using Disaster Relief funds. An Infrastructure project is helping to rebuild homes and churches.

    Prayer

    Thank you for your prayers for the affected children, families, and church partners.

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    Tropical Depression Vicky in the Philippines 17 Dec, 2020

    The situation

    The tropical depression brought heavy rains to Mindanao initially, and then brought heavier rains and flooding to the Caraga Region, particularly in Agusan del Sur. The people in this area are mainly dependent on fishing, farming and daily wage labour and therefore their livelihoods are impacted by the flooding.

    Global Compassion impact

    Number of local church partners affected: 8 Number of Compassion assisted children affected: not yet confirmed

    New information

    Current information indicates that over 600 families, several local church partners, and church partner staff are affected. They are working to provide more information as quickly as possible.

    Prayer

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

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    Fire in Looc, Manadue City, Cebu, Philippines 06 Dec, 2020

    The situation

    A fire displaced over 90 families in the heavily populated Looc Baranguay. The affected families are temporarily living in a local gymnasium and public elementary school. The local government agencies provided meals, as well as starter kits with essential items for the affected families.

    Global Compassion impact

    Number of local church partners affected: 0 Number of Compassion assisted children affected: not yet confirmed

    New information

    Several Compassion assisted children from PH0917 were affected by the fire. They are being supported by the church partner and the local agencies. The church partner staff are assessing impact and what support is still needed that hasn’t been provided by the local government. They will provide additional essential items using Disaster Relief funds, as needed.

    Prayer

    Please pray for the safety and provision for the affected children and families living in temporary shelters.

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    Typhoon Molave (Quinta) in the Philippines (Final Crisis Update) 26 Nov, 2020

    The situation

    The situation in the Philippines where Typhoon Molave hit is now mostly back to normal.

    Global Compassion impact

    Number of local church partners affected: 2 Number of Compassion assisted children affected: 366

    New information

    Most families have returned to their homes. The local church partners will continue to support the families with materials to repair homes and funds to re-start their businesses using Disaster Relief funds.

    Prayer

    Thank you for your prayers for the affected children, families, church partners, and staff.

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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

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

12 Apr, 2018

What Possessions Do Children Living in Poverty Treasure Most?

From remote, isolated tribal communities to bustling cities and crowded slums, 10 children in our Child Sponsorship Program share their treasured possessions. These are their beautiful, surprising and funny answers... 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