Compassion started working in the Philippines in 1972. Today, there are over 95,000 children registered in our programs through 364 church partners.
of children experience growth stunting as a result of malnutrition
of people live below the poverty line
of people lack access to proper 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 online threat in particular is growing, with cheap internet access opening children up to different risks, including 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 living with 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.
President Rodrigo Duterte came to power in 2016, promising to shake up the establishment and take a hard line against crime, particularly drug crime. In the intervening years, thousands of people have been killed in a state-ordered “war on drugs”—most of them people living in urban poverty, most of them by law-enforcement agencies or vigilantes acting with impunity. Several human rights organisations and international watchdogs have called for the President to be investigated for encouraging vigilantism and failing to prosecute law-enforcement agents accused of extrajudicial killings, but, so far, without result.
Dear Sponsor, I am Noel Pabiona, and I have been the Compassion Philippines Country Director for 13 years now. I am a proud father of two boys, Nathan and TJ. Just like me, both my sons love sports, having fun and ministering to little children and the poor. My boys constantly remind me to be a patient and responsible father, which in turn, reminds me of my heavenly Father’s love and amazing patience for me.open_in_new Read full letter
April Joy Aquino set out on a lifelong journey to serve the poor ever since her mother told her to be helpful. Despite losing their livelihood when a fire destroyed the public market in 1996, April’s mother (Nanay) did not stop telling her to give to people who were in worse living conditions.open_in_new Read more