Last Updated: 24/09/2020

On Sept. 23, the president of the Philippines extended the national state of calamity by a full year to allow the government to draw emergency funds faster to fight the pandemic and engage the police and military to maintain law and order. Forty-two percent of new cases are in metro Manila. The government recently allowed malls and restaurants to reopen there. In Manila, Filipinos under 20 years old or above 60 years old are not allowed outside their homes, except for serious medical reasons, according to Human Rights Watch.

Compassion partner churches and child development centers are still closed for large group activities, but in some districts, youths are able to meet in groups of five to 10 while following social distancing guidelines. Center workers continue to give relief supplies to families and children. They have been able to distribute 548,435 food packs and 305,296 hygiene kits. Additionally, 36,882 people have been provided with medical support during this season. Partner churches are meeting with parents and providing online resources to support families doing school from home, as well as providing equipment, supplies and emotional support for parents who struggle to help their children with school assignments.

A Message From Compassion Philippines’ National Director

Hear from Noel Pabiona, National Director of Compassion Philippines, as he shares an update on how COVID-19 is affecting Compassion’s ministry in the Philippines.

Updated: 20/08/2020

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 even if centers are closed and letters and gifts are not being delivered, your child and his or her family are being checked in on regularly by staff. We all look forward to the day we will all be able to gather together again!

Are Compassion Centers Open?

At this point, all centers in the Philippines are closed in order to abide by local guidelines. Staff members are still calling and checking in on families, and in some communities they are able to visit children while obeying social distancing guidelines. Because of the generous support of sponsors and donors, they have been able to distribute 548,435 food packs and 305,296 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?

Join us in praying specifically for day laborers and construction workers in the Philippines, as the virus is now spreading rapidly among those groups. Pray for parents who struggle to balance providing for their families and avoiding crowded places where they may catch the virus.

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