Latest update

As of July 18th, the Philippines is reporting an average of 5,047 cases per day, a decrease from the 6,000 recorded in June. Over 15 million vaccine doses have been administered, enough for 7% of the population. The president of the Philippines has loosened lockdown restrictions, allowing some tourism and expansion of essential businesses. Religious services and celebrations are still banned. Many people remain without work and necessities such as food due to earlier lockdowns. Since the beginning of the pandemic, 4 million Filipinos have become unemployed and 8 million have had their hours reduced. Schools remain closed, but the Department of Education has released the potential start date of August 23rd for in-person learning.

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Country update

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, children and youth are able to meet in small groups while following safety guidelines. Most centres continue to make home visits to check on children and their families, while a few throughout the country are limited to phone calls and supply drop-offs. Local staff continue to give relief supplies to families and children. They have been able to distribute over 1.3 million food packs and over 926,000 hygiene kits. Additionally, nearly 160,000 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 give Camille the strength she needs to recover from dengue fever.
  • Pray for comfort and peace for Mailyn as she grieves her father’s passing.
  • Pray that doctors would be able to treat Jessa’s injuries following a car accident.
  • Pray that Roger would come out of his coma soon.
  • Pray that God would heal all the children, families and staff ill with COVID-19.
  • Pray for strength and encouragement for Jessica as she prepares to receive chemotherapy for breast and lung cancer.
  • Pray that Wilfredo’s platelets would increase so doctors can perform the operation he needs.
  • Pray for comfort and peace for the family and staff of PH0965 as they grieve the passing of a staff member.
  • Pray for the health and healing of staff members from PH0242, PH0895 and PH0975 who have been unwell.
  • Pray that God would allow doctors to provide the treatment and medical care Kristel needs to recover.
  • Pray for wisdom for the doctors as they work to diagnose the cause of Diane’s mother’s back pain.
  • Pray that God would allow Dulce’s brother to make a full recovery from a car accident.
  • Praise God for allowing the virtual National Pastor’s Conference to be such a great encouragement and blessing to the pastors.
  • Pray that God would continue to 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

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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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