child shows their family’s one month supply of hygiene
essentials (i.e. soap and alcohol) distributed by Save the
Children Philippines on April 3, 2020 in Navotas.
Lei Tapang/Save the Children)
Save the Children
launches its biggest ever appeal to protect children from COVID-19
April 7, 2020
MANILA – Save the
Children has launched a global appeal to raise US$100 Million to
manage the spread of COVID-19 and support survival through food
security among the most vulnerable families across 120 countries,
including the Philippines.
The biggest appeal since
the 1918-1920 Spanish Flu pandemic, Save the Children believes that
“early action is critical because a delay will cost lives, and rob
children of opportunities.”
Tagged as #ProtectAGeneration,
the appeal coincides with the World Health Day celebration on April
7, where the roles of nurses and midwives are recognized to keep the
world healthy amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Atty. Alberto Muyot, Chief
Executive Officer of Save the Children Philippines says that the
COVID-19 pandemic spares no one – both rich and poor, young and old,
but those who have the least in life, and not able to cope will be
hit first and hardest, including the vulnerable and deprived
children and their families.
“Children suffer the
consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Atty. Muyot. The rising
deaths of adults leave children without parents, and guardians,
while the loss of income for families is causing widespread hunger
The 100-years of Save the
Children’s expertise in providing a humanitarian response to a
pandemic dates back to the Spanish flu in 1918.
“We need to go back and
remember at how we started as a humanitarian organization,” said
Muyot. “We need to be where we are most needed by children and their
In the Philippines, the
funds will be used to support the most vulnerable children and their
families with hygiene essentials to ward off diseases, cash
assistance to help them recover from the unintended impact of the
enhanced community quarantine, and educate families about the
importance of physical distancing, proper hygiene and other
behaviors needed to prevent and reduce transmission of the deadly
Over half a million
community health workers are currently providing support in 44
countries, including the Philippines. Save the Children Philippines
support community health workers who attend to the health and
nutrition needs of the most deprived children and families in
Southern Mindanao, communities in Samar province, and in the cities
of Navotas, Caloocan, and Malabon in Metro Manila.
Atty. Muyot also said the
funds will support education personnel and government health
agencies to equip local health workers with the required personal
protective equipment and medical supplies, training, and mental
health and psychosocial support.
He also raised concern
that more children now experience hunger, poor health, and
malnutrition as thousands of families face a loss of income,
including those in the informal sector due to limited mobility
during Enhanced Community Quarantine. “School closures also pose
risks on children who will be forced to work to earn a living for
their families while adolescent girls may end up in early marriage,”
said Atty. Muyot.
Dr. Amado Parawan, Health
and Nutrition Advisor of Save the Children Philippines said the loss
of jobs and stable income of parents, guardians during quarantine is
expected to increase the cases of malnutrition in the country.
He said families must
ensure they have at least five (5) servings of fruits and vegetables
every day, and drink 8-10 glasses of water to boost their immune
system. Parents and guardians were also advised to serve healthy
meals to children instead of junk foods.
Prior to COVID-19
pandemic, the country’s child malnutrition rate is one of the
highest in the world, with one in three children under 5 years of
age is stunted due to prolonged hunger resulting in chronic
At the same time, at least
48.2 per cent of babies six to 11 months have anemia due to poor
feeding practices and inadequate food, according to the 2018
Expanded National Nutrition Survey by the Department of Science and
Technology-Food and Nutrition Research Institute (DOST-FNRI).
“The loss of income to
thousands of families immediately translates into not being able to
put food on the table,” said Dr. Parawan.
He said vulnerable
families need financial support to afford nutritious diets –
particularly for pregnant and lactating mothers and children up to
the age of two.
Save the Children’s #ProtectAGeneration
global appeal aims to provide financial support to families in
crisis through cash and voucher assistance in over 30 countries
around the world.
Atty. Muyot said the funds
will also support distance learning and interactive learning
activities for millions of children missing out on school due to the
“We will provide guidance
and resources to help parents and caregivers to support children’s
learning,” he said, adding that “the key to our support will be how
to maintain structure and routine, and how to keep children engaged
in play and learning activities at home.”
Save the Children
Philippines has developed mobile apps like i-Mulat that is
downloadable in the Google Play Store, to give parents a wealth of
suggested family learning activities for children 0 to 6 years old
that they can do at home.
The i-Mulat app contains
key messages and videos on how parents can support their children to
achieve their developmental milestones. Parents can also log the
activities they do with their children as well as observations on
their child’s development in the app.
The COVID-19 pandemic is a
crisis that goes beyond health systems, said Atty. Muyot.
“Economic recession and
the socio-economic disruption accompanying lockdowns have already
inflicted immense human suffering even in high-income countries with
strong safety nets. The risks now facing vulnerable populations in
poorer countries with high levels of poverty and weak safety nets
are even more serious and much greater,” he said
Atty. Muyot is appealing
to individuals and businesses to support #ProtectAGeneration through
donations on https://donate.savethechildren.org.ph/campaign/covid-19#donatearea
or by calling: Candice dela Cruz at 0929-754-3066 or
continues services despite COVID-19
April 7, 2020
SAN PABLO CITY – As the
national and local government in the Philippines implemented
necessary measures to control the spread of COVID-19, the
livelihoods of MSMEs are critically distressed. Despite the
disruption of the operations of CARD Mutually Reinforcing
Institutions (CARD MRI), efforts are being exerted in order to
continue providing financial and non-financial services to these
Upon the announcement of the enhanced community quarantine on March
16, 2020, CARD MRI announced “Walang Hulog” or the implementation of
moratorium on loan payments of its clients and the suspension of all
center activities to comply with social distancing until April 12,
“This decision will adversely affect our operations, but we must
always go back to our core of existence: our MSME clients who we
need to prioritize in these challenging times,” said CARD MRI
Managing Director Flordeliza L. Sarmiento. She further added that
the moratorium will allow clients to manage their finances better so
that they can prioritize basic needs during the community
Moreover, CARD Mutual Benefit Association, the microinsurance arm of
CARD MRI, also suspended the collection of insurance payments.
Claims, though, are still being processed at the provincial offices
of CARD MBA nationwide. Its efficient strategy of settling claims
with finality within 24 hours is still being observed where
possible, enabling clients to continuously have access to a safety
CARD MRI persistently implements interventions to curtail the impact
of the COVID-19 outbreak. “Day after day, we think of ways on how we
can keep on supporting our clients,” CARD MRI Founder and Chairman
Emeritus Dr. Jaime Aristotle B. Alip said. “With a string of 23
institutions specializing in financial and community development
services, we know that we can do more for the low-income sector
despite the challenges imposed by physical limitations brought by
the community quarantine,” he explained.
With the communities under lockdown and access to basic social
services rendered limited, an integrated online hub was launched by
CARD MRI as an efficient way to reach out to its clients. These
online services include free medical consultation, and educational
sessions on business. Moreover, CARD MRI also launched a pilot
project on mobile palengke, and an online buy and sell group for its
CARD MRI has long recognized health protection as a crucial factor
in achieving development. Over the years, it has created meaningful
partnerships with doctors, hospitals, and clinics who also have the
heart to provide basic health services to the low-income sector.
Since its regular medical missions were put on hold in compliance to
the enhanced community quarantine, CARD MRI brought its health
On March 31, CARD MRI doctors went live on a Facebook page called
“CARD e-Doctor”. The initiative was made possible by the
Microfinance and Health Protection (MaHP) program unit of CARD MRI.
Through their Facebook page, CARD doctors respond to health-related
inquiries through a live video or via private message. The CARD
e-Doctor commenced its first consultation with a live discussion
about COVID-19, its symptoms, and preventive measures to take. Free
online consultations are held Mondays to Fridays, from 8 AM to 5 PM.
To complement this initiative, CARD MRI’s pharmacy, BotiCARD, is
open to serve CARD clients and the general public with affordable
and effective generic medicines. Hygienic products are also
available in the pharmacy.
Undoubtedly, the livelihoods of CARD MRI microentrepreneurs are
adversely affected by the outbreak. To support those in the line of
food business, CARD MRI’s marketing arm, Mga Likha ni Inay (MLNI),
spearheaded a mobile palengke to provide CARD members access to food
necessities. Through the Palengke on Wheels, basic food supplies
such as vegetables, poultry, and other foodstuff are bought in bulk
from members (vendors and farmers) and are brought closer to
communities under quarantine. Orders can be placed on its Facebook
Page, Likha ni Inay Palengke on Wheels. The mobile palengke is
currently being pilot-tested in San Pablo City, Laguna but is hoped
to be made operational in other areas as MNLI learns from its
initial experience in this initiative.
Last but not the least, CARD MRI also created an online community
for its clients and members where they can continue their businesses
despite restricted mobility due to the ECQ. CARD MRI’s newly
launched Facebook group allows CARD clients to buy and sell their
products. The group, which is searchable on Facebook as “CARD MRI
Buy and Sell”, currently has more than 6,000 members, and closed
more than 30 deals since its launch on March 29, 2020.
This Facebook group also paved the way for linkages between
microentrepreneurs and the local governments who have been supplying
communities with relief packages. For example, one particular CARD
client from Panabo, Davao del Norte was tapped by the LGU to supply
alamang to residents. Through this linkage, the microentrepreneur
was able to secure income even during the ECQ. However, the
restriction on movement threatens the supply of raw materials for
the continuance of this opportunity.
The CARD-MRI Development Institute (CMDI), which offers formal
education and trainings for microfinance clients, staff, and
practitioners, is offering online modules for free during the
quarantine period. Too, mechanisms have been put in place so that
Senior High School and College students can enroll online in the
comforts of their homes. Online classes will also be offered
effective next school year.
CMDI also created an online community for CARD staff, clients, and
members where they can discuss livelihood ideas. Dubbed as CMDI
Kabuhayan Ideas Online, the group provides trivia, information, and
educational videos that can help micro and small entrepreneurs in
A blended approach
The enhanced community quarantine has placed physical limitations in
delivering community development services. But these same
limitations have sparked creativity and innovation among
microfinance institutions like CARD MRI in continuously bringing its
services to the low-income sector.
Being known as an institution that offers tailor-fitted products to
MSMEs, CARD MRI gathered volunteer management and staff to conduct
Kamustahan Sessions via phone calls and online messenger to have a
deeper understanding of the situations faced by its more than 6.7
Million Clients. The reports gathered will serve as a baseline
information for the institution to design responsive policies and
products should national health emergencies happen again. CARD MRI
believes that this information would be critical in further
strengthening its digital initiatives.
“Our digitization journey started way back in 2016. We are now
seeing the fruits of our labor. With our digital efforts paired with
our adequate presence in the field, our support to and solidarity
with our clients is maintained. We will not surrender, we will
continue the fight, and I have high hopes that, together, we will
win. The enormity of the challenges we are facing may tire us, but
we will only rest, but never quit,” declared Dr. Alip.
the sacrifices of health workers, the Almeria Seafarers
Multi-Purpose Cooperative (ASEMCO) provided the Biliran
Provincial Hospital with food packs.
(Photo by Sharmaine
organizations extend assistance amid COVID-19
JOSE ALSMITH L. SORIA
April 7, 2020
NAVAL, Biliran –
Regional Director Stephen Leonidas of the Department of Agrarian
Reform (DAR) in Eastern Visayas commended three DAR-assisted
cooperatives in this province for their efforts to help ease the
effect of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic in their
As everyone is directed to
stay at home with the implementation of the community quarantine by
the different local government units (LGUs) to contain the spread of
COVID-19, three agrarian reform beneficiary organizations (ARBOs)
felt the pressing needs of their members, particularly the elderly
and the daily wage earners.
The Looc Cabucgayan
Agrarian Reform Cooperative in Cabucgayan town through its chairman,
Zacarias Leorag, distributed two kilos of Jaguar rice to each of
their 117 members.
For the Lico Agrarian
Reform Cooperative (LARCOOP) based in the capital town of Naval,
relief assistance consisting of three-kilo rice, coffee, sugar, milk
and meat were distributed to its members.
Aside from the members,
chairperson Rebecca Payos said, LARCOOP also provided snacks and
coffee to frontliners manning the provincial border checkpoint, as
well as barangay checkpoints in Lico and PS Eamiguel villages.
LARCOOP Manager, Anamie
Villegas Ibano, added that the members’ Interest on Capital and
Patronage Refund (ICPR) were released early so the latter could use
them at this point while we are facing this kind of crisis.
Meanwhile, the Almeria
Seafarers Multi-Purpose Cooperative in the municipality of Almeria,
which is also into catering service, through its manager Anita Corto,
provided food packs for the health workers at the Biliran Provincial
DAR Secretary John
Castriciones appreciated the acts of generosity by the various ARBOs
He described the farmers
as the silent frontliners against COVID-19.
In his Facebook comment,
Castriciones said, “Ito po ang kailangan nating gawin sa panahon na
ito. Mabuhay po kayo and God bless po!”
46IB foils ambush
of CNTs to COVID-19 frontliners in Calbiga, Samar
DPAO, 8ID PA
April 7, 2020
CAMP LUKBAN, Catbalogan
City, Samar – Four improvised explosive devices (IEDs) were
discovered by the elements of the 46th Infantry (Peacemakers)
Battalion (46IB), 8th Infantry Division (8ID), Philippine Army
foiling the attempt of the CPP-NPA Terrorists (CNTs) to conduct an
ambush against the government forces in the vicinity of Brgy.
Hubasan, Calbiga, Samar on April 6, 2020.
An information was
obtained from a concerned civilian that the CNTs are planning to
conduct an ambush using the aforementioned IEDs targeting the troops
of 46IB who are serving as frontliners in battling COVID-19
pandemic. The mines were placed along the only trail connecting
barangays Hubasan and Binanggaran of same municipality.
The residents expressed
their utmost gratitude to 46IB as the troops prevented the IEDs to
explode which could have wounded, or worst, could have taken their
lives just like what happened in Borongan, Eastern Samar.
Lieutenant Colonel Rhomel
R. Langcauon, Commanding Officer, 46IB remarked, “We are thankful
that a concerned citizen alerted our troops about the IEDs planted
by the NPA. This is evidently laid to victimize frontliners as all
our troops are conducting COVID-19 prevention efforts. This could
have harmed or killed the civilians passing by the said trail.”
Colonel Camilo Z. Ligayo,
Commander of 801st Infantry Brigade said, "We will continue to
protect the people of Samar from the terroristic acts of the NPA
such as the planting of IED during this Covid 19 crisis. We thank
the people for their help and we call on them to unite against all
forms of terrorism".
Major General Pio Q Dinoso
III, Commander of 8ID, stated that, “We condemn, in the strongest
terms possible, that despite the existing unilateral ceasefire and
global COVID-19 pandemic crisis, the planting of IEDs here in Samar
and recent attacks against uniformed personnel in Luzon and tribal
leaders in Mindanao; the CNTs are consistently displaying barbaric
acts, violating human rights and disregarding the safety of the
civilians who might turn victims just like what they did in Borongan
a few months ago.”
It may be recalled that
four individuals were killed in an IED exploded by NPA in Borongan,
Eastern Samar in December 13 last year. The fatalities were three
civilians including an elderly woman, a van driver and another woman
who expired in the hospital while the fourth fatality is a
policeman. Wounded were 14 others including an infant and two other
DTI to enforce
30-day grace period for residential, commercial rent during ECQ
April 6, 2020
MANILA – The
Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) released Memorandum Circular
(MC) No. 20-12, Series of 2020 on 4 April 2020 granting a 30-day
grace period for residential rent as well as a similar grace period
for Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) with their
commercial rent during the Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ)
“To provide economic
relief to Filipinos and MSMEs during the COVID-19 public health
emergency, DTI is implementing these guidelines to ensure their
survival during the ECQ, as well as to help brace them afterwards,”
said Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez.
Following Republic Act
(RA) No. 11469, or the “Bayanihan to Heal as One Act,” DTI will
enforce a 30-day grace period for commercial rents that fall within
the duration of ECQ to give respite to MSMEs that have temporarily
ceased operations. These enterprises will also not incur interest,
penalties, fees, and other charges under the grace period.
Similarly, DTI will ensure that a minimum of 30 days grace period
shall be granted for residential rent that fall due within the ECQ
under the same terms.
Under the MC, the grace
period will be determined as 30 calendar days following the last due
date of the rent during the ECQ. Cumulative amount of rents that
need to be paid within the ECQ must be amortized equally in the six
months following the end of the said period. This can be added to
the rent owed for succeeding months without interest, penalties,
fees, and charges.
On the other hand, lessors
are not obligated to refund residential and commercial rents already
paid by lessees during the ECQ. However, lessors must grant a
minimum of a 30-day grace period from the next due date of
residential and commercial rents without interests and other
penalties as well.
Likewise, the MC calls on
lessors of MSMEs to extend their generosity, if possible, the
following: total or partial waiving of commercial rents due during
the ECQ; granting a reprieve or discounted amount of commercial
rents due after the ECQ; opening renegotiation of the Lease Term
Agreements with lessees; and using other ways to mitigate the impact
of the ECQ for MSMEs.
More importantly, the
trade chief emphasized that there should be no eviction for failure
to pay residential or commercial rent due within a 30-day period
after the lifting of the ECQ.
“No Filipinos should lose
their residence during the ECQ period. Moreover, the importance of
MSMEs in jumpstarting our economy once the ECQ has been lifted
cannot be understated,” Sec Lopez said.
“Through these measures,
we ensure that our fellow Filipinos have a future after the ECQ with
homes that they can live in and through jobs and employment provided
by our MSMEs,” Sec. Lopez added.
Complaints of violations
of the MC can be brought to DTI in person or electronically by
emailing the agency, either through the Fair Trade and Enforcement
Bureau (FTEB) through FTEB@dti.gov.ph or with the regional offices.
Lessors who violate these guidelines will need to answer the Notices
of Violations (NOVs) issued by DTI.
As provided under RA
11469, lessors that are found guilty of refusing to provide the
30-day grace period to lessees shall be penalized with imprisonment
of not less than two months or a fine of not less than P10,000, or
awarded to 26 rebel surrenderees in Samar
DPAO, 8ID PA
April 2, 2020
CAMP LUKBAN, Catbalogan
City, Samar – A total amount of P1.855M grant were awarded to 26
former rebels (FRs) who availed of the national government’s
Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-CLIP) and the
Province’s Local Social Integration Program (LSIP). The financial
grant is a way of helping the FRs to return back to mainstream
society as they live normal lives. The activity dubbed, “Peace
Towards Prosperity Initiative”, was conducted in separate ceremonies
held in Matuguinao, Paranas and Calbiga; all in Samar on March 30,
Said activities were
attended by Major General Pio Q. Diñoso III, Commander of the Army’s
8th Infantry (STORMTROOPER) Division; Most Rev. Bishop Isabelo C.
Abarquez, Diocese of Calbayog; Ms. Anita R. Taran, OIC, Provincial
Administrator of Samar; Police Colonel Andre Dizon, Provincial
Director of Samar Provincial Police Office; Mr. Judy Batulan, DILG
Provincial Director; Hon. Aran D. Boller, Mayor of Matuguinao; Hon.
Eunice U. Babalcon, Mayor of Paranas; Hon. Melchor F. Nacario, Mayor
of Calbiga; and other military and local government officials.
Additional financial aid
under the LSIP and E-CLIP programs will be awarded once the FRs
completed the needed requirements.
Major General Diñoso III,
in his remark, stated that “We are happy whenever one of your fellow
rebels surrenders to the folds of the law. The Communist
-Terrorist-Groups (CTGs) deceive and agitate members by injecting
ideologies against the government. You are just victims of such
“Seryoso ang ating
gobyerno, ang ating presidente, si governor, sila mayor, ang mga
kapulisan at kasundaluhan para tulungan kayo. Ito ang magandang
dulot ng pagtutulungan at pagkakaisa. Pakiusap lang namin sa inyo na
ipaabot din sa inyong mga kasamahang patuloy na nasa kabundukan na
handa ang ating gobyerno na tulungan kayong magbagong buhay.” Diñoso
A former rebel-beneficiary
was very much thankful and stated, “Damu an amon pagpasalamat nga
guin bubuligan kami san tinuod nga gobyerno kay buwa ngay-an an
esplekar san NPA nga sira an nabulig san mga tawo. Ine ngay-an an
tama – an aton kasundaluhan an nabulig. Sanglit kita nga mga
nagsurender pagburublig kita para mabuligan an aton gobyerno nga
magpanawagan san adto pa sa kabukiran nga lumugsad na liwat para
sira makatagamtam san kaupayan.” (We are grateful to the legitimate
government for helping us realize that the NPA’s claims of helping
the people were all lies. The truth to the matter is – our soldiers
are the true ones who help us. Let us then help our brothers who
were led astray by the NPA to return to the government so that they
too may experience prosperity and return to the mainstream society.)
collaborative efforts of the government in the enforcement of the
Whole-of-Nation Approach amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, is a
reaffirmation of its commitment to provide peaceful, resilient,
sustainable and economically developed Eastern Visayas.
them dead” order denounced by international human rights group
April 2, 2020
MANILA – The
International Coalition for Human Rights in the Philippines (ICHRP)
strongly condemns the shoot-to-kill order of President Rodrigo Roa
Duterte on April 1. “We are raising the alarm in the international
community on President Duterte’s directive to kill unruly violators
of the coronavirus quarantine. This pronouncement is a dangerous
order that allows authorities to target and kill anyone in a public
space. It is also a complete violation of the fundamental rights of
Filipinos especially in this time of global pandemic,” says ICHRP
chairperson Peter Murphy.
addressed the whole nation hours after the incidents of unrest and
people massing up for food and relief in the country’s capital. In
his televised speech, his tirade of violent threats included “I will
not hesitate. My orders are sa pulis pati military...na pagka ginulo
at nagkaroon ng okasyon na lumaban at ang buhay ninyo ay nalagay sa
alanganin – shoot them dead,” (I will not hesitate. My orders to the
police and military…if they caused any disorder, and they fight back
and your lives are on the line – shoot them dead).
The same day, 21 citizens
were arrested for going out of their homes and demanding the relief
promised by the national government. Residents of an urban community
in the biggest city in Metro Manila staged a rally asking for food
and aid amid the government’s lockdown to contain the coronavirus,
which in turn has left millions of Filipinos jobless and hungry.
“Our support goes to the
poor Filipinos whose only crime is to be hungry and demand what is
rightfully theirs. The right to food and basic social services
should be ensured especially in times like these,” ICHRP asserts. A
video circulating in the social media shows citizens demanding for
food being violently dispersed by authorities.
"Naintindihan ninyo? Patay.
Eh kaysa mag-gulo kayo diyan, eh 'di ilibing ko na kayo (Do you
understand? Dead. Instead of causing trouble, I'll send you to the
grave),” Duterte added in his recorded address. Recently, the
president was given special powers to distribute P200 billion
(US$3.9 billion) to more than 18 million poor households. But after
a week the aid remains unreleased.
criminal negligence coupled with brutal measures to address the
pandemic is taking its toll on Filipinos. Millions of informal
workers have been displaced and right abuses have been rampant all
over the country,” says Murphy.
“The police and military
who have been deployed to enforce social distancing are not trained
for this task and have been the very perpetrators of human rights
violations,” ICHRP underlines. The authorities have been detaining
homeless people, putting curfew violators in cages and using torture
methods to punish them, and even arresting citizens over “provoking”
posts on social media.
Netizens showed their
anger online over the president’s pronouncement to “shoot them dead”
and called for his ouster. The #OustDuterte have been trending in
the Philippines for two days now.
The World Health
Organization states that “Measures that limit individual rights and
civil liberties must be necessary, reasonable, proportional,
equitable, non-discriminatory, and in full compliance with national
and international laws.”