Last Updated: 03/23/2021 

The Philippines began a COVID-19 vaccination program on March 1, the day after receiving a supply of vaccines. Active cases of COVID-19 were reported to be 33,610 on March 3, and the entire death toll was 12,369. Different regions are under different levels of quarantine and restrictions, and curfews are set by local governments. In-person instruction at schools and universities is suspended. Once it resumes on a trial basis, students will attend for half days to decrease crowding and risk of infection. 

Compassion partner churches and child development centers are still closed for large group activities, but in some districts, children and youths are able to meet at centers in small groups while following safety guidelines. Centre workers continue to give relief supplies to families and children. They have been able to distribute more than 970,000 food packs and 574,000 hygiene kits. Additionally, over 94,000 people have been provided with medical support during this season. 

How is Compassion Currently Operating in the Philippines?

Below, you will find the latest information on how Compassion is currently operating in the Philippines, including status updates on center openings, letter delivery and gift delivery. This is the most current information we have, though it can change quickly. Please know that all children and their families are being checked in on regularly by staff, either in person or by phone, even if the Compassion center is not open for programming.

Are Compassion Centers Open?

Some centers have reopened for small group meetings for children and youth.  Staff members continue to make home visits and phone calls to check on children and families. Because of the generous support of sponsors and donors, they have been able to distribute over 970,000 food packs and 574,000 hygiene kits to children and their families 

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 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 be notified whether a gift has been designated as a child gift or family gift. The caregiver will decide the best use of the money, recognizing that sometimes purchasing food or paying rent is in the best interest of a child.

Story From the Field

When the Philippine government imposed restrictions to address the pandemic and businesses closed throughout the country, 14-year-old Alvin was worried. He had seen how hard his mother worked in a junkyard to feed them. When the junk shop was forced to close, Alvin felt he needed to help his family out.

“I thought of looking for work or begging in the streets for money but quarantine meant I couldn’t do either,” says Alvin. “So I decided to post something on my sister’s Facebook account.”

Ma’am/Sir, good afternoon. May I ask help from any of you. My mother works by cleaning bottles in a junk shop and her income is not enough to feed us. Our father is dead. We are four siblings and our mother now has no work because of the quarantine. Our rice is almost empty and the help from the government has not come. We are saving our little food to stretch it for days. Thank you and God bless.

Little did Alvin know that help was already on the way. Soon after he posted, staff from the Compassion center arrived with a relief bag containing rice, noodles, milk, vegetables, canned goods, vitamins and other essentials that would last until the next bag arrived.

“[Now I know] I do not need to beg because I know God will supply through the church and my sponsor,” says Alvin. “I miss going to the student center and playing with my friends. Thank you to my sponsor and my big brothers and big sisters [the staff] in the student center for your continuous care for us even though we can’t go there for now. God bless you.”

How can I pray for the Philippines?

Pray for God’s provision and comfort for those who were impacted by the recent typhoons and earthquakes.

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