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Philippines: Philippines: Tulunan, North Cotabato, Earthquakes Situation Report No. 2

Mon, 09 Dec 2019 05:48:01 +0000

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Source: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
Country: Philippines

This report is produced by OCHA Philippines in collaboration with humanitarian partners. It covers the period from 21 November to 4 December 2019.


• More than 349,000 people are affected and in need of assistance after three earthquakes struck an area of 25 kilometres southeast of the municipality of Tulunan in North Cotabato province between 16 and 31 October.

• 25,800 homes were destroyed and 21,700 partially damaged, mostly in the municipalities of Makilala and Tulunan.

• Priority needs are in the areas of protection, shelter/CCCM,
WASH, health and emergency education.

• Displacement in most affected areas is anticipated to continue for at least one year.

• The Government is leading the response with the Mindanao Humanitarian Team (MHT) augmenting efforts in key priority areas.

• A CERF Rapid Response allocation of a little over US$3 million was granted to three projects to jump-start life-saving relief efforts of locally-based humanitarian partners.

1.5M Population in severely affected areas

349,000 People in need of assistance

58,300 People displaced and in recognized evacuation centres

139,000 People targeted for assistance

19,8M Required funding (US$)


As of 4 December, more than 349,000 people affected by the earthquakes remain in need of assistance. The most severely affected provinces are Davao del Sur and North Cotabato. The earthquakes triggered substantial displacements as a result of destroyed, damaged or unsafe homes. More than 58,300 people are currently staying in 103 evacuation centres, and around 130,900 are staying in informal settlements or with host families. The municipality of Makilala in North Cotabato has been hit the hardest, with over 100,000 people affected, many of whom are currently staying in makeshift shelters or open grounds.

Over 25,800 homes were destroyed and 21,700 partially damaged, of which 72 per cent are in North Cotabato province including the municipalities of Makilala and Tulunan. Evacuated families are concerned that their houses are structurally compromised. Many are staying in makeshift shelters next to their homes or in nearby open spaces such as roadsides, which exposes them to monsoon rains, hail storms, health and protection concerns. Because of the risks posed by additional landslides and damaged buildings, the entire population of eight barangays in Makilala had to be evacuated and moved to evacuation sites after the third earthquake. Considering the nature of the disaster and the structural damage to buildings and infrastructure, displacement in many affected areas is anticipated to continue for at least one year.

According to IOM’s 4th Displacement Tracking Matrix published on 25 November, recent heavy rainfall in the affected areas raises concerns regarding the durability of plastic sheets and other light shelter materials considering an anticipated long-term displacement. The provision of potable drinking water remains a priority as only 61 per cent of the assessed population is able to access safe drinking water from springs, rivers, waterways and wells. With prolonged displacement, local livelihoods continue to deteriorate. Some of the worst affected areas are yet to be cleared by authorities, which prevents displaced families from accessing and maintaining their farms and rubber plantations. In Tulunan, none of the evacuation centres are formally recognized by the local authorities, which has led to inadequate camp coordination and camp management (CCCM). CCCM support actors are advised to continue advocating for formal recognition to ensure that IDPs have access to relief goods and services. Government agencies and humanitarian partners agree that the relocation process is of critical importance, considering that many of the shelter materials provided are not suitable for long-term displacement and another natural disaster could gravely worsen the humanitarian situation.

In November, the Mines and Geosciences Bureau-Region XII (MGB-XII) and the local Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Offices conducted geohazard assessments in affected areas. MGB XII confirmed that four barangays in Makilala (Cabilao, Luayon, Bato, and Buhay) and three barangays in the municipality of Tulunan (Daig, Paraiso, and Magbok) are considered as 100 per cent ‘high-risk areas’ and an additional 23 barangays are considered as partially ‘high-risk areas’. These barangays were formerly designated as No-Build-Zones, for which the MGB faced criticism because a majority of these areas are the land and ancestral domains of Indigenous People (IPs) and the decisions were made without their consultation and consent. It is not yet clear if affected communities will be able to return, but reconstruction of houses in ‘high-risk areas’ would be permitted if owners can ensure that the structures are resilient enough to withstand future earthquakes and not exposed to potential landslides.

Supporting the Government-led response

The national Government is leading response efforts, assisted by the Philippine Red Cross in providing water, food, health and relief assistance. In line with the local government code, several LGUs and government departments have issued bilateral requests for humanitarian assistance. The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) is distributing food and relief items to the affected families, and setting up temporary shelters and community kitchens. As of 4 December, over Ph₱87 million (US$1.7 million) worth of assistance has been provided by DSWD, Department of Health (DOH) and Office of Civil Defense (OCD) to the affected families. The private sector complemented relief efforts at the beginning of the response and has started to redirect its interventions towards supporting early recovery since early December.

The Humanitarian Country Team estimates that US$19.8 million is required to meet the priority needs of 139,000 people in need of assistance over the next six months. A Humanitarian Needs and Priorities (HNP) document was compiled by OCHA on behalf of the HCT from technical inputs provided by cluster lead agencies and drawing on a number of general and sectoral assessments conducted by partners in the two weeks following the earthquakes. It was agreed that Protection interventions will be at the core of the response with additional key priorities in the areas of shelter, WASH, education, health and CCCM. Shelter is of particular concern as the displaced population is exposed to incidents, including extreme weather conditions.

A CERF Rapid Response allocation was granted by the Emergency Relief Coordinator (ERC) to jump-start life-saving relief efforts of locally-based humanitarian partners. In total, grants of a little over US$3 million in total were approved for three projects covering life-saving CCCM and shelter assistance, ensuring sexual and reproductive health and Genderbased Violence services to women and girls, and multi-sector emergency response (Education, Child Protection, and WASH) for the most vulnerable populations inside and outside of ECs in the municipalities of Makilala and Tulunan, and Kidapawan City. The response places emphasise on the needs of IPs, which are native to many of the affected barangays and are confronted with the loss of their livelihoods and ancestral lands.

A sub-national Cash Working Group (CWG) has been activated to support the MHT in coordinating their Cash and Voucher Assistance (CVA) interventions and in guiding the feasibility and details of a joint market assessment.

Recent field visits identified a need for improved communication and dialogue with IDPs, who suffer from high levels of stress and anxiety because of the limited information they have received. Slow process in the registration process is also preventing some IDPs to gain access to relief goods and services. From 29 November to 2 December, OCHA conducted an Information Communication and Accountability Assessment (ICAA) which covered seven IDP sites in the municipality of Makilala with the goal to validate information needs, preferred communication channels and accountability mechanisms across. IDPs expressed that they desire better communication on Government plans on decampment, return and relocation plans, cash assistance and livelihood support in evacuation centres. There is also confusion with regard to the messaging of the local Government, MGB and PHILVOCS on the implications of No-Build-Zones and high-risk areas.

Most IDPs rely on local radio and SMS/calls to receive information and otherwise trust Government agencies such as DSWD, the Department of Health (DOH), Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) or the police. The ICAA recommends the conduct of regular community assemblies to relay information, establish a dialogue between the Government and IDPs, and consult on evolving needs considering the prolonged displacement. The military and police and other designated camp coordinators are expected to leave the ECs by early December, which needs to be properly communicated to IDPs.

Further, IDPs need to be reminded that ECs in schools can only be of temporary nature. The results of the assessment were shared by OCHA with the Local Government Unit (LGU) of Makilala.

Access, safety and security considerations

Security is of potential concern given the remoteness of some affected villages. Cotabato is also one of the provinces with the most security incidents as a result of frequent clashes between the New People’s Army (NPA) and government forces. Martial Law, which was imposed in early 2017, will remain in effect in Mindanao at least until the end of December 2019.

The Department of National Defense issued an instruction to set up check points in areas affected by the earthquakes in Davao del Sur and Cotabato in order to “control the ingress and egress of people in evacuation centers to ensure only legitimate and authorized relief workers are granted access to the evacuation centers”.

UNDSS advised UN organizations to inform on locations and programme activities when planning to conduct operations in affected areas, for them to offer appropriate advice with regard to potential access issues.

To improve coordination between humanitarian actors and military forces, OCHA is planning to conduct two Civil-Military Coordination Trainings in early 2020 with Regional authorities and the military in BARMM and Region XI.

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Sri Lanka: Over 200,000 persons affected by adverse weather

Mon, 09 Dec 2019 05:42:52 +0000

Source: Government of Sri Lanka
Country: Sri Lanka

A total of 70,957 families have been affected by the prevailing adverse weather condition, according to the Disaster Management Centre.Deputy Director of DMC, Pradeep Kodippili said 235,906 persons have suffered from the heavy rains during the past few days.The Department of Meteorology stated that the prevailing showery condition over the island particularly in the Northern, North-Central, Eastern and Uva provinces is likely to enhance to some extent on 09 and 10 December.

Thundershowers accompanied by severe lightning are likely to occur at several places in Western and Sabaragamuwa provinces and Galle and Matara districts during the evening or night.In the meantime, many areas in Kilinochchi including Dharmapuram, Ananandapuram, Sivapuram and Pannankandy have been inundated as the Iranamadu Reservoir has started to spill over, the District Disaster Management Centre in Kilinochchi stated.

All the spill gates of the Iramadu Reservoir have been opened owing to the situation, the DMC officers said.Army personnel, under the instructions of Major General Vijitha Ravipriya, Commander of the Security Forces in Kilinochchi, are engaged in providing reliefs to the affected persons.

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Philippines: More families in Lanao del Sur and Marawi receive livelihood support through the Marawi Recovery Project

Mon, 09 Dec 2019 05:17:26 +0000

Source: Community and Family Services International
Country: Philippines

On 20 November 2019, CFSI distributed livelihood support to families coming from the municipalities of Sultan Dimalondong, Bayang, Lumbatan, Lumbayanague, Balindong, Tamparan, Mulondo, and Marantao in Lanao del Sur and certain areas in Marawi City who have special needs.

The distribution was held at the Marawi City Hall. Twenty-two printing sets, one vulcanizing set, two carpentry sets, and two sidecars were handed over to the receiving households identified as Other Vulnerable Persons (OVP) under the Marawi Recovery Project (MRP).

The OVP households were identified through CFSI’s Fresh Start Project (FSP) Phases 1 and 2, which ran from October 2017 to January 2019 and from March 2019 to December 2019 respectively, by virtue of UN-MILF Action Plan in 2016. About 900 OVP households were added as project participants for the extension and expansion of the MRP. They shall also be recipients of the projects three components: protection support, psychosocial support, and livelihood support.

The Marawi Recovery Project (MRP), implemented by CFSI, is supported by the Australian Government. It aims to promote the protection, psychosocial, and economic recovery of around 6,500 households (approximately 32,500 individuals) affected by the Marawi Siege.

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Philippines: CFSI opens Field Office in Kidapawan to implement Child Protection Emergency Response Project

Mon, 09 Dec 2019 05:16:08 +0000

Source: Community and Family Services International
Country: Philippines

On 5 December 2019, CFSI officially opened its Field Office in Kidapawan (FOK) located in Sitio Santol, Lanao, Kidapawan City to support the government in its efforts to respond to the needs of people affected by the earthquakes. CFSI Field Office in Kidapawan, with 33 full-time Staff Members and the 260 youth volunteers for a total workforce of 293, serves as the base of operations for the Child Protection Emergency Response Project (CPERP).

The CPERP is a 4-month emergency response project being implemented by CFSI in partnership with the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and in close coordination with the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), Department of Health (DOH) and Department of Education (DepEd). It seeks to supports 6,000 families, with 12,000 parents and 18,000 children, in the earthquake affected population in communities, evacuation sites, and schools across Municipalities of Makilala, Tulunan, M’lang, Magpet and City of Kidapawan in the Province of Cotabato.

The ceremonial opening was graced by CFSI’s Executive Director Steven Muncy, Deputy Executive Director and Director for Finance and Administration Neil Sison, Chief of Staff JR Roque, and Director for Mindanao Programme Noraida Abdullah Karim.

CPERP activities include: conduct of Psychosocial support (PSS) sessions and Psychological First Aid (PFA) to children; establishment of Child Friendly Spaces (CFS); Training of Trainers (ToT) on PFA and Child Protection in Emergencies (CPiE) for teachers; training of youth animators as CFS Volunteers; training on PFA and Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) for parents and caregivers; support to creation of youth clubs; case management and referral of vulnerable children and their families, and; support to the referral and coordination mechanism of Child Protection Working Group (CPWG).

More than 52,000 families were critically affected by the three earthquakes that occurred in Mindanao with magnitude 6.3 on 16 October, 6.6 on 29 October, and 6.5 on 31 October. At least 38,000 homes and public facilities were destroyed or damaged and several thousands have been displaced and are living in severely-affected areas. Several thousands of families continue to need urgent humanitarian assistance as they recover from the severe calamity that struck their communities.

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Pakistan: Emergence of two polio cases within seven months in Larkana sends alarm bells ringing

Mon, 09 Dec 2019 04:59:18 +0000

Source: DAWN Group of Newspapers
Country: Pakistan

M.B. Kalhoro

LARKANA: Two polio cases have resurfaced within seven months in Larkana, which had remained a polio-free district for eight years, according to district health officer Syed Amjad Shah.

The officer told Dawn that the latest case reported from riverine Soonharo Gadhi village in Karani union council on Nov 9 was that of Hasnain Gadhi, nine months, who was suspected of having acute flaccid paralysis (AFC) and his stool sample was sent to the National Institute of Health for confirmation of the disease.

The NIH confirmed the case as polio positive despite the fact that the boy had been administered three doses of anti-polio vaccine during routine immunisation campaign and four more doses during special immunisation campaign, said the DHO.

Asked if the NIH indicated in its report about the original place from where the virus had travelled there, he replied in negative saying the boy’s family said they had never migrated from this area, permanently or temporarily, nor travelled to other districts.

He said that health department teams visited the union council recently where the new case had emerged. Specially recruited staff working under WHO’s supervision had to focus attention across the river and carry out immunisation drive there.

He said that the other case was reported in May this year, the second within seven months, when three-year-old Fiza was diagnosed with polio virus in Sehar village on April 17. Both the villages fell within the administrative limits of Dokri taluka of Larkana district, said the sources and linked the virus resurgence to Gadap in Karachi.

Larkana Deputy Commissioner Mohammad Nauman Siddiq had chaired a meeting on Nov 22 on ensuing anti-polio drive from Dec 16 to 20 and urged making the campaign a success. No child falling within the age bracket of one day to five years should be left unvaccinated, he said.

He asked health officials to be vigilant about the staff performing duties in the drive and ensure that no one should be absent during the campaign.

Larkana Commissioner Saleem Raza Khuhro presided over a mee­ting of divisional task force on polio on Dec 3 in which deputy com­­m­issioners of Qambar-Shahdad­kot, Kashmore-Kand­hkot, Jacobabad, additional deputy commissioner-I, health officials and other stakeholders had participated.

The commissioner stressed ensuring proper monitoring of the performance of polio teams while the DCs briefed the meeting about preparations.

The additional commissioner-II who headed Emergency Response Unit at commissioner’s office had also briefed the participants about the polio eradication plans.

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Pakistan: Chief ministers told to lead anti-polio campaigns

Mon, 09 Dec 2019 04:57:03 +0000

Source: DAWN Group of Newspapers
Country: Pakistan

Ashfaq Yusufzai

PESHAWAR: Prime Minister Imran Khan has asked the chief ministers to lead the anti-polio vaccination campaigns in their respective provinces to ensure a quality nationwide campaign from Dec 16 for the elimination of the crippling disease.

In a letter sent to all chief ministers on Dec 4, special assistant to the prime minister on national health services Dr Zafar Mirza revealed that the prime minister had instructed the chief ministers during an August meeting of the national task force on healthcare to play a leading role in the polio eradication efforts by reviewing preparations and inaugurating campaigns in their respective provinces to ensure the elimination of the childhood disease.

PM special assistant says efforts to eliminate virus being reinvigorated

He said the collective hard work had led to a decline in polio cases from almost 20,000 per year in early 1990s to only 12 last year but the dream of eliminating the virus hadn’t been materialised yet.

“Unfortunately, we have witnessed a major reversal of polio gains in 2019 as a total of 91 cases, including 66 from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, 13 from Sindh, seven from Balochistan and five from Punjab, have been reported this year,” he said.

Dr Mirza said though the polio virus was widely detected in sewage samples collected from different geographical zones of the country, the government was committed to addressing all challenges hampering eradication.

He said based on the findings of the programme reviews and recommendations of the Technical Advisory Group and Independent Monitoring Board, the National Emergency Action Plan for 2020 was being devised to re-invigorate efforts and focus on taking the initiative forward as a shared priority across the political divide, regaining the ‘One Team’ approach, and strengthening the delivery of routine immunisation and other basis health services along with high quality door-to-door vaccination campaigns.

The special assistant said the first nationwide campaign of low transmission season was scheduled to begin on Dec 16 and therefore, the chief ministers were requested to convene a meeting of the provincial task force on healthcare to personally review preparations for campaigns and inaugurate them.

When contacted, national coordinator for the polio eradication prorgamme Dr Rana Mohammad Safdar said the chief ministers had been requested in line with the premier’s directives to lead anti-polio efforts.

He said more than 99 per cent targeted children were vaccinated during a recent campaign in 11 districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and the same spirit would be reflected in national campaigns as well.

“Our biggest success is the development of a consensus that polio eradication is everybody’s concern and is a shared responsibility. We have brought the top political leadership to a common understanding on polio eradication as a high priority national agenda,” he said.

Dr Safdar said the Sindh chief minister took a critical review of the Dec anti-polio campaign preparedness in his province on Friday, while his counterparts in other provinces would follow suit next week.

“A total of 39.5 million children under the age of five years will be vaccinated during the Dec National Immunisation Days to be followed by three more NIDs and thee sub-NIDs next year,” he said.

The coordinator said in a meeting held in Abu Dhabi a month ago, Pakistan presented a four-pronged approach to end the current crisis regarding the circulation of polio virus.

He said the approach was about de-politicising the programme, strengthening the routine immunisation coverage, reviving the One Team approach with stringent accountability, and going beyond the polio virus in highest risk areas to offer an integrated package of basic health services, including routine immunisation, nutrition, water, sanitation and hygiene.

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American Samoa: American Samoa confirms nine measles cases

Mon, 09 Dec 2019 04:51:55 +0000

Source: Radio New Zealand International
Country: American Samoa

The Department of Health in American Samoa has now declared a measles outbreak after confirmation of nine samples sent to Hawaii for testing.

Read more on Radio New Zealand International

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India: With over 14k cases, Karnataka tops dengue list in the country

Mon, 09 Dec 2019 04:49:06 +0000

Source: Times of India
Country: India

Anil Gejji

BENGALURU: Over 35,079 cases of dengue have been reported from across the six states in south India till October this year, with the maximum number of them coming from Karnataka.

According to information given by the government in Lok Sabha in reply to a question in Lok Sabha during the on-going session, Karnataka tops the list of the states that has reported the maximum number of cases in the country with 14,139 cases. The killer virus has been spreading its tentacles across the country with the six major south Indian states registering more than 50% of the cases.The mosquito-borne tropical disease has so far claimed 36 lives till October across the six states of South India including Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh and Kerala.

The data has also revealed that the country has reported 91,457 cases of dengue till October. The western Indian states of Maharashtra and Goa have reported 9,899 and 908 cases respectively. The number could go up further after the figures for November and December are collated, officials said.

Karnataka, which is better placed in terms of having better health facilities both in private and government sectors, has been witnessing a steep increase in dengue cases. The state had recorded 4,427 cases in 2018.

Of the 14,139 cases reported this year, around 70 percent cases were reported in Bengaluru within the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagar Palike (BBMP) limits.

Even majority of dengue deaths have reported from South. While 82 people have died due to dengue in the country in 10 months, 56 deaths have occurred in six states of south with Kerala reporting 16 deaths and Karnataka 13.

So, why dengue is rising in South India? According to public health experts lack of public awareness and failure of authorities to contain the menance has led to the increase in mosquito breeding spots in the state. “The need is to create public awareness, which plays an important role in preventing mosquito breeding, said Pankaj Kumar Pandey, commissioner, health and family welfare department, Karnataka.

The government has initiated a campaign in this regard. “The government has taken up massive IEC (information, education, communication) activities across the state with ASHA workers. The health workers will conduct house-house survey and distribute an educational material and a form to fill up. The head of household can fill the form that has queries on their understanding of mosquito control measures. We call this initiative ‘Nagarikarige Ondu Saval (A challenge to public), which has begun from November 1 and goes on till January 30, 2020,” he added.

Some experts feel that the reporting pattern of dengue cases by the state also could be a reason for Karnataka outnumbering rest of the country in dengue. Only north India states which have reported high number of cases are Uttarakhand (9574 cases) and Gujarat (8,410). As many as 12 people have succumbed to dengue in Uttarakhand and eight in Gujarat.

Interestingly, West Bengal, one of the highly populated states, has reported not even a single dengue case.

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Philippines: OCD-8 leads school-based, community-based Resilience Caravan 2019 in ELCAC barangays in Samar

Mon, 09 Dec 2019 04:45:17 +0000

Source: Government of the Philippines
Country: Philippines

TACLOBAN CITY, Dec 8 (PIA) - A Resilience Caravan was conducted on December 4-5, 2019, in 15 ELCAC identified conflict stricken and vulnerable barangays in Samar.

The Regional Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (RDRRMC), through the Office of Civil Defense (OCD), led the conduct of the Caravan in partnership with the Local Government Units (LGUs) of Calbiga and Pinabacdao, Samar through the Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Officers (MDRRMOs) and Emergency Response Teams (ERTs); 46th Infantry Batallion (IB), Philippine Army (PA); Department of Education (DepEd); Punong Barangays of participating areas in Pinabacdao and Calbiga, Samar; and other concerned stakeholders.

Mr, Rayden Cabrigas, chief, Operations Section/Information Officer-Designate of OCD 8, said the activity included technical experts on the hazards from the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA); and Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB).

The Resilience Caravan 2019, with the theme “Kahandaan Sa Sakuna’t Peligro Para Sa Tunay Na Pagbabago,” was a series of two (2) events: School-Based and Community-Based Disaster Resilience Caravan, which aimed to educate young students and the community, respectively, on protective mechanisms and actions available to save lives and protect people’s livelihood during emergencies and disasters whether caused by natural or human-induced hazards.

The School-Based Resilience portion of the Caravan was conducted in Brgy. Pelaon, Pinabacdao, Samar on December 4, 2019, Wednesday with a total of 120 participants coming from barangays Pelaon, Magdawat, Manaing, Canlobo, and Layo.

On the other hand, the Community-Based Resilience portion of the Caravan was conducted in Brgy. Literon, Calbiga, Samar on December 5, 2019, Thursday with a total of 150 participants coming from barangays Literon, Caamlungan, Gimbanga, Antol, Sinalangtan, Daligan, Biri, Buluan, Burong, Mahangcao, Hubasan and Lubang.

In adherence to Executive Order No. 29 issued by President Rodrigo Roa Duterte on June 28, 2017, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) shifted its focus from Disaster Awareness Building to Disaster Resilience and conduct activities relative to building disaster resilience covering the four (4) thematic areas of disasters namely; disaster prevention and mitigation; disaster preparedness; disaster response; and disaster rehabilitation and recovery.

Meanwhile, in compliance to Executive Order No. 70, “Institutionalizing the Whole-Of-Nation Approach In Attaining Inclusive and Sustainable Peace, Creating a National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (ELCAC), and Directing the Adoption of a National Peace Framework,” particularly on Section 1 which states that “the Government shall prioritize and harmonize the delivery of basic services and social development packages in conflict-affected areas and vulnerable communities, facilitate societal inclusivity, and ensure active participation of all sectors of society in the pursuit of the country’s peace agenda,” hence, this Resilience Caravan was conducted in 15 of the 31 priority barangays for ELCAC. (PIA-8)

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Philippines: Kadamay members surrender to the government

Mon, 09 Dec 2019 04:39:23 +0000

Source: Government of the Philippines
Country: Philippines

By William L. Beltran

MALOLOS CITY, Dec.8 (PIA) -- A total of 185 members of the Kalipunan ng Damayang Mahihirap (Kadamay) in Bulacan voluntarily surrendered to government peacekeeping forces.

The surrenderees, who submitted themselves to the Army 48th Infantry Battalion (48IB) and Bulacan Police Provincial Office (BPPO), came from different resettlement areas of Pandi town who forcibly occupied units of the National Housing Authority in March 2017.

They also turned over six firearms that include one Garand rifle, one caliber .45 pistol with one magazine, three caliber .38 pistol and one Ingram pistol as well as several subversive reading materials.

Governor Daniel Fernando commended the efforts of 48IB led by Lieutenant Colonel Felix Emeterio M. Valdez and Pandi Municipal Police Station led by Police Major Joy Placido.

Fernando initially distributed gift packs to the surrenderees and promised to provide them with livelihood, scholarship and health grants.

Valdez, for his part, assured the former Kadamay members of 48IB’s continued support.

“We at the 48IB, together with other government agencies, will continue to be your instrument of change as you choose to embrace and support the government for internal peace and development,” he said.

In a statement, 7th Infantry Division Commander Major General Lenard T. Agustin lauded the 48IB and BPPO for delivering a new milestone in the government’s fight against insurgency.

“The sudden increase in the number of surrenderees in Central Luzon, particularly in the province of Bulacan, is a clear manifestation of the success in our campaign to end local communist armed conflict,” Agustin affirmed. (CLJD/WLB-PIA 3)

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Philippines: Iligan, private groups join End Polio Now campaign

Mon, 09 Dec 2019 04:27:02 +0000

Source: Government of the Philippines
Country: Philippines

By Lorry V. Gabule

ILIGAN CITY, Nov. 25 (PIA) --In averting the polio outbreak status in Iligan, the local government unit (LGU), through the City Health Office (CHO) partner with private stakeholders for wider advocacy to the public.

In September 2019, the Department of Health (DOH) confirmed that Polio is re-emerging in the Philippines, 19 years after the country was declared polio-free by the World Health Organization (WHO).

One polio case was confirmed from a three-year old girl from Lanao del Sur and another in Maguindanao. Considering that these areas are adjacent to Iligan City, there is a high risk of spreading the polio virus in our environment and to the public especially to under five years old children.

While Rotary has been working to eradicate polio for more than 30 years, its goal of ridding the ‘world’ of this disease is closer than ever. As a founding partner of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative, Rotary reduced polio cases by 99.9 percent since its first project to vaccinate children in the Philippines in 1979.

Polio is an infectious disease which spreads rapidly. It can cause paralysis and, on rare occasion, can be fatal. There is no cure for polio and it can only be prevented with multiple doses of polio vaccines that have been proven safe and effective.

A first round Mindanao-wide Oral Polio Vaccination (OPV) is slated on November 25 to December 7, 2019.

The Council of Presidents, Zone 2, Iligan City, Rotary International (RI) District 3870, with representations each from the ten clubs, has been active since the campaign started, by attending coordination meetings, and celebrating the World Polio Day on 24 October annually to raise awareness about the polio disease and efforts for eradication.

World Polio Day was established by Rotary International over a decade ago to commemorate the birth of Jonas Salk, who led the first team to develop a vaccine against poliomyelitis. Polio is a crippling and potentially fatal infectious disease.

During the World Polio Day, the Zone 2 Council of Presidents has conducted a Polio Walk, and had a ceremonial Polio Patak to 10 infants below one year old, after a message on Polio eradication was shared by Dr. Cherlina Canaveral, city health officer of Iligan.

A zumba dance exercise was also performed by all Rotarians, early morning of the Polio Day.

In this endeavor of the DOH Polio Mass Immunization dubbed “Sabayang Patak Kontra Polio” the Rotary Clubs’ support is having members to assist the Polio Patak Team in all Patak Centers, or either to be with the team in a house-to-house Patak vaccination.

Children's finger are then marked with ink after having taken the OPV.As emergency response to this polio outbreak status, Iligan City has a target of 44,259 children 0-59 months old or age below five years old to be administered with Oral Polio Vaccine. (lvg/PIA Iligan)

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Philippines: Manila North Road still impassable due to landslide, clearing operations ongoing

Mon, 09 Dec 2019 04:23:23 +0000

Source: Government of the Philippines
Country: Philippines

By Mark Djeron C. Tumabao

TUGUEGARAO CITY, Cagayan, Dec. 8 PIA) - Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) region 2 personnel are now conducting clearing operations along Manila North Road portions due to landslide.

DPWH OIC-Regional Director Loreta Malaluan informed motorists and passengers going to and from the Ilocos Region of the closure of some roads and bridges along Manila North Road especially in Sanchez Mira and Santa Praxedes towns in Cagayan province due to incurred severe damages.

As of 6:30 am today [Dec. 8], Malaluan said in a post through the department’s official facebook page that a road portion in Santa Praxedes, Cagayan is still impassable due to series of landslides caused by torrential rains.

The director also said that a bridge in Sanchez Mira, Cagayan is closed to traffic due to severe damage.

Malaluan said warning signs are now installed in the area and advised travellers and motorists to take the Sanchez Mira bypass road instead.

On the other hand, a road portion at barangay Union in Claveria, Cagayan was also damaged but still passable to light vehicles only. (ALM/MDCT/PIA-2)

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Philippines: DSWD gives relief supplies to flood-hit families in Cagayan, Isabela

Mon, 09 Dec 2019 04:20:31 +0000

Source: Government of the Philippines
Country: Philippines

By Chester Carlo M. Trinidad (DSWD-2)

TUGUEGARAO CITY, Cagayan, Dec. 8 (PIA) - The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Field Office 2 has conducted relief operations for families in various municipalities affected by rains and flooding caused by the surge of the Northeast Monsoon and the tail end of a cold front.

As of yesterday, Dec. 7, at least 9,194 family food packs (FFP), 1,136 sleeping kits, and 893 kitchen kits were distributed to the affected families in the municipalities of Alcala, Amulung, Iguig, Solana, Enrile and Tuguegarao City, all in Cagayan province and in the municipalities of Delfin Albano, Santa Maria, Cabagan, San Pablo, Tumauini, Sto. Tomas, Aurora, Roxas and City of Ilagan, all in Isabela province.

Field office workers also visited various evacuation centers in Cagayan and Isabela to check on the condition of evacuees, conduct psychosocial intervention, and ensure that there are child- and woman-friendly spaces.

The DSWD assures that standby funds and relief supplies are enough to augment the resources of partner-local government units (LGUs) for their constituents.

In order to properly handle its functions during calamities, the DSWD maintains 23 Regional Disaster Management and Response Teams (RDMRTs) working on a rotational basis, five Social Welfare and Development Teams (SWADTs) deployed in five provinces of the region, and 87 City/Municipal Action Teams (C/MATs).

Under the Local Government Code, LGUs are the first responders before, during, and after a disaster. They are primarily responsible for disaster preparedness, mitigation, and response. While the DSWD augments the resources of the LGUs, as needed, to respond to the needs of affected families and individuals. (MDCT with reports from Chester Trinidad/PIA-2)

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Philippines: Albay under state of calamity due to typhoon Tisoy

Mon, 09 Dec 2019 04:18:28 +0000

Source: Government of the Philippines
Country: Philippines

By Sally Atento - Altea

LEGAZPI CITY, Dec 4 (PIA) – The provincial government of Albay has declared the province this afternoon under state of calamity due to typhoon Tisoy.

In a resolution signed by the members of the Sangguniang Panlungsod, the declaration aims to implement, complement and sustain the disaster quick response and recovery activities of the affected LGUs in the province.

“Tisoy has ravaged Albay on December 2 and 3, causing damage to infrastructure, agriculture and vital livelihood in the province,” as stated in the resolution.

According to the Albay Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (DRRMO), assessment of city and municipal DRRMOs on the damages and relief needed by affected population is ongoing.

Albay DRRMO said there was no casualty in the province due to the typhoon.

The Legazpi City domestic airport has also been severely damaged by the typhoon but the runway has been cleared. Some flights from Philippine Airlines and Cebu Pacific will resume on December 5, 2019.

However due to manual check-in and manual baggage inspection, passengers are enjoined to come to the airport earlier.

All national roads in the province are passable as reported by the Department of Public Works and Highways Region 5.

Meanwhile, Albay Power and Energy Corporation (APEC) spokesperson Patria Guiterez said assessment on damages in power lines and facilities is ongoing.

“There is no date or schedule yet on the restoration of power supply but back-up facilities and manpower are ready for replacement and deployment,” she said.

The Legazpi City Water District (LCWD) has likewise resumed water services in almost all parts of the province. Moreover, the public is advised to save and store extra water as the back-up power or generators currently used for operation require one-two downtime hours

“As of the moment we are working on restoration of supply to Matanag, pawa, Dita, San Joaquin, Tamaoyan including Oro Land and Bliss, Bagong Abre. There are electrical concerns preventing us from operating Bogna source using a generator,” LCWD stated in its advisory.

Telecom services are back to normal in some areas but are still intermittent and not yet available in other parts of the province.

Classes in all levels is still suspended and will resume on Monday, December 9, 2019. (SAA-PIA5/Albay)

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Philippines: Benguet people donate vegetables, non-food items to Apayao

Mon, 09 Dec 2019 04:15:02 +0000

Source: Government of the Philippines
Country: Philippines

By Redjie Melvic M. Cawis

LA TRINIDAD, Benguet, Dec. 6(PIA) -- Benguet farmers and other stakeholders of the La Trinidad Trading Post donated tons of vegetables and other non-food items to disaster- affected province of Apayao.

More than five tons of assorted vegetables, other non-food items and cash were sent off to Apayao by the people of Benguet last Monday.

Nora Ganase, president of the League of Associations at the La Trinidad Trading Post, said they started an outreach program within their organization to provide support to the people of Apayao who were recently affected by continuous rains causing massive floods and landslides.

The outreach program raised more than five tons of assorted vegetables like sayote, potato, carrots, cabbage, Chinese cabbage, tomato, bell pepper, radish and other leafy vegetables. Donations included cash which was used to buy at least 28 cavans of rice. Hygiene kits, clothing, and assorted groceries were also collected.

The league composed of farmers, traders, porters, packers, and truckers annually conducts outreach program targeting the indigent people of the Benguet municipalities.This time they chose Apayao as their main beneficiary in their annual “share-your-blessings” program.

“This is a way for the league to give back to the people in need and this time to their fellow Cordillerans in Apayao,” Ganase said.

The donation drive was in coordination with the La Trinidad Municipal Police Station, the Benguet Provincial Police Office, the Police Regional Office – Cordillera and the Department of Public Works and Highways-Cordillera who provided the truck used to deliver the donations.

On Monday night, La Trinidad officials led by Mayor Romeo Salda with league officials Ganase and coordinator Agot Balanoy sent off the truck load of vegetables with La Trinidad MPS Chief, Major. Roldan Cabatan as team leader.

After at least 14 hours of travel, the team reached the Apayao Provincial Capitol in Luna town where the donations were received by Provincial Administrator Maria Elena Ravelo and Apayao PPO Director Col. Byron Tegui-in who expressed gratitude to the people of Benguet in behalf of Gov. Eleanor Bulut-Begtang.

The vegetables were then distributed to the different municipalities and barangays particularly those who were mostly affected by the continuous heavy rains and those in isolated barangays.

Gov. Begtang even personally helped in distributing the goods to far flung barangays of Calansan despite the heavy downpour on Thursday.

Meanwhile, the Cordillera Career Development College had delivered a week earlier at least three tons of sayote in their version of Operation Sayote donation drive.

CCDC Vice President for Administration Annabelle Gondales said that upon noting the devastation of Apayao, their school launched the Operation Sayote asking their students for at least one sayote each. She was surprised that more brought sayote and at least 3000 kilos were collected and were given to the province of Apayao on November 26. (JDP/RMC- PIA CAR)

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Syrian Arab Republic: Identical letters dated 3 December 2019 from the Chargé d’affaires a.i. of the Permanent Mission of the Syrian Arab Republic to the United Nations addressed to the Secretary-General and the President of the Security Council (S/2019/922) [EN/AR]

Mon, 09 Dec 2019 03:04:54 +0000

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Source: UN Security Council
Country: Syrian Arab Republic

Upon instructions from my Government, I have the honour to submit herewith a table clarifying the number of civilians killed and injured as a result of terrorist attacks, including those involving mortar shells and explosive devices, committed by armed terrorist groups against safe neighbourhoods in different Syrian cities and areas from 22 October to 21 November 2019.

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Bangladesh: Dengue Situation, Updated on 08.12.2019

Mon, 09 Dec 2019 02:53:15 +0000

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Source: Government of Bangladesh
Country: Bangladesh

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Micronesia (Federated States of): FSM Prepares for Massive Measles Vaccination Campaign Throughout the Nation, With Emphasis on Outer Islands

Mon, 09 Dec 2019 02:37:31 +0000

Source: Government of the Federated States of Micronesia
Country: Micronesia (Federated States of)

By Richard Clark

FSM Information Services

Press Release

FSM Prepares for Massive Measles Vaccination Campaign Throughout the Nation, With Emphasis on Outer Islands

PALIKIR, Pohnpei—On December 6th, 2019 His Excellency David W. Panuelo, President of the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM), called a meeting with Marcus Samo, Acting Secretary at the Department of Health & Social Affairs, and Carter Apaisam, Immunization Program Manager, to discuss the FSM’s current vaccination rates against Measles and other viruses. The purpose of the meeting was to brief the President on contemporary vaccination measures, and to strategize how the FSM National Government can embark on a massive vaccination regimen to protect the Nation against the Measles epidemic currently affecting the Independent State of Samoa and other islands. The primary outcome of the meeting is that the President will formally request $500,000 of supplemental funding for the Nation to prevent Measles from affecting the FSM’s children.

“The spread of Measles abroad is truly heartbreaking,” the President said. “I want to get an overview from you on where we are in preventing Measles, and what the Department of Health [and Social Affairs] recommends we do next.”

Acting Secretary Samo and Immunization Program Manager Apaisam explained that the Measles vaccine requires two doses to be effective. At present, approximately 73% of the FSM’s population has received the Measles, Mumps, and Rubella (MMR) vaccine. This can be interpreted as both good news and bad news—the good news being that the vaccination rate is relatively high compared to many other Pacific Islands (e.g. Samoa reportedly had a vaccination rate of approximately 34% in November), the bad news being that a minimum vaccination rate of 95% for the whole country is what medical experts suggest the FSM needs to reach. In other words, the FSM has a lot that it can and must do in a short period of time.

“Let me ask this,” the President said, “If someone who isn’t vaccinated against Measles catches it—the ones who ARE vaccinated, are they…?”

“Protected, yes,” said Acting Secretary Samo. “That’s precisely why we try to increase the coverage as high as we can. And for kids, the most vulnerable group, the total vaccination rate is around 84%.”

Principals and teachers across the Nation are aware that students, in order to be enrolled in school, need their families to submit elemental documentation beforehand—these include one’s birth certificate as well as one’s evidence of receiving appropriate vaccinations (commonly called the “yellow card”). The FSM School Accreditation process implemented by the National and State Departments of Education look for these documents, among others, when they visit schools.

“What are the rates for each of the states?” the President asked. “For very young children.”

In the Target Group of 1-5 year olds, 69% of Chuuk State children have received their second dose of MMR vaccine, compared to 75% in Pohnpei State, 81% in Yap State, and 89% in Kosrae State.

In the Target Group of 6-17 year olds, 79% of Chuuk State children have received their second dose of MMR vaccine, compared to 87% in Pohnpei, 98% in Yap, and 92% in Kosrae.

“It’s the remote, outer, or neighboring islands that we need to reach the most,” Immunization Program Manager Apaisam said. “Though on big islands, the data may be counterintuitive. Pohnpei State Hospital is located in Nett, for example, and Nett has the lowest vaccination rate on Pohnpei proper.”

It was also explained that, because medical teams haven’t been able to visit Yap in some time, that the presented vaccination rate has likely fallen.

Acting Secretary Samo and Immunization Program Manager Apaisam explained that, at present, the current stock of MMR vaccine in the FSM is 3,000 doses. Approximately 15,000 doses are required for the Nation to implement a mass vaccination campaign.

“There’s a 12,000 dose gap,” Acting Secretary Samo said.

“How do we get them?” the President asked.

“All the vaccines come from the [U.S.] Federal Government through the [Centers for Disease Control],” said Immunization Program Manager Apaisam. “We receive one million dollars per year through the Immunization for Children program.”

It was explained that the FSM National Government’s Department of Health & Social Affairs works in conjunction with the State Departments of Health in order to provide essential health services to citizens, including vaccinations. It was explained that approximately $500,000 would be the necessary supplemental funding for the Government to successfully implement a Nation-wide vaccination campaign, with emphasis on the remote outer islands.

“We agree that we need 12,000 more doses of vaccine, a mass information campaign on the importance of vaccinations, and funding for the operational costs of implementing a vaccination campaign including to our most remote and vulnerable populations,” President Panuelo said. “I want you [Department of Health & Social Affairs] to develop a plan on the logistics. Meanwhile, I’ll write to the Governors of each of the States to seek their support, and I’ll write to Congress and speak with [the Honorable Wesley W. Simina, Speaker of the 21st Congress of the FSM].”

The President emphasized that the Government must do everything it can to protect the Nation’s population, especially children. Acting Secretary Samo and Immunization Program Manager Apaisam agreed, and advised that until the supplemental funding is received that the Government will be continuing to implement its regular ongoing vaccination programming.

On November 20th, 2019, President Panuelo reaffirmed the FSM’s commitment to the UN Convention on the Rights of Child. The third right is entitled “Best interest of the Child”, and says that “when adults make decisions, they should think about how their decisions will affect children. All adults should do what is best for children.”

The 24th right is entitled “Health, water, food, environment” and says that “Children have the right to the best health care possible….”

To find out more about how you and your family can protect yourselves and your community from Measles, call your local public hospital or the FSM Department of Health & Social Affairs.

  1. FSM Department of Health & Social Affairs: +691-320-2872
  2. Chuuk State Public Hospital: +691-330-7936 (Immunization Program: +691-330-3945)
  3. Kosrae State Public Hospital: +691-370-3012 (Immunization Program: +691-370-2125)
  4. Pohnpei State Public Hospital: +691-320-2213/3805 (Immunization Program: +691-320-3144)
  5. Yap State Public Hospital: +691-350-2115 (Immunization Program: +691-350-2115)

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Philippines: DSWD DROMIC Report #13 on Typhoon "TISOY" as of 08 December 2019, 6PM

Mon, 09 Dec 2019 02:17:59 +0000

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Source: Government of the Philippines
Country: Philippines

Situation Overview

On 29 November 2019, “KAMMURI” intensified into a Typhoon as it slows down while moving west-northwestward. “KAMMURI” entered the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR) on 30 November 2019 and was named “Tisoy” as the 20th Philippine tropical cyclone for 2019. On 05 December 2019, “TISOY” weakened into a Tropical Depression and exited PAR. Tropical Depression TISOY is no longer directly affecting the country. However, heavy rains may still be experienced over most of Batanes, Cagayan, and Apayao due to the combined effects of the surge of Northeast Monsoon and the Tail-End of a Cold Front. This rainfall may trigger flooding and landslides in highly susceptible areas.


I. Status of Affected Families / Persons

A total of 360,765 families or 1,560,463 persons are affected in 3,044 barangays in Regions III, V, VIII, Caraga and CAR (see Table 1).

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Philippines: NDRRMC Update: Situational Report No. 14 regarding Response Actions and Effects for Typhoon "TISOY" (I.N. KAMMURI), 09 December, 8:00 AM

Mon, 09 Dec 2019 02:01:54 +0000

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Source: Government of the Philippines
Country: Philippines


A. Affected Population (TAB A)

  • A total of 360,765 families / 1,560,463 persons were affected in 3,044 barangays in Regions Ill, V, VIIl, CAR, and CARAGA.

  • Of which, a total of 18,322 families / 80,068 persons are taking temporary shelter in 450 evacuation centers while 3,456 families / 15,163 persons are served outside ECs.

Source: DSWD DROMIC Report No.13 on TYPHOON “TISOY”
Note: Changes in figures are due to ongoing validation and verification. Moreover, the decrease in figures was due to validation of data. Previous reports from Region I! were effects of the Northeast Monsoon.

B. Casualties (TAB B)

A total of 5 dead and 322 injured persons were reported in Regions CALABARZON, MIMAROPA, V, and VIII.

Note: As per ongoing validation and verification of DOH-HEMS and DILG-MDM.

C. Damage to Infrastructure (TAB C)

A total of 328,296 infrastructures in Regions |, Ill, CALABARZON, MIMAROPA,
V, VI, Vill, CAR, and CARAGA were reported damaged due to the incident as shown below:

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