Philippines Humanitarian Bulletin Issue 5 | 1 to 31 May 2016



  • Local NGOs respond to emergencies and build resilience in communities affected by recurrent disasters and conflict in Mindanao.

  • Anticipated La Niña may bring above-normal rainfall and strong typhoons to the Philippines in late 2016.

  • The Philippines committed to enhanced national and regional disaster preparedness, strategic private sector engagement in disaster management, and community resilience at the World Humanitarian Summit.

Local NGOs respond to emergencies and build community resilience in Mindanao

Humanitarians at home in coalition

Local NGOs and civil society organizations (CSOs), as part of their own communities, work to reduce poverty and drive sustainable development. When disasters or conflict strike, they are the first to respond with relief assistance and stay to support recovery and build community resilience long after other organizations have left.

Mindanao is home to diverse groups of Muslims, Christians and indigenous peoples who suffer recurrent displacement due to tropical cyclones, seasonal flooding and armed clashes. Here, local organizations have engaged in an array of programmes encompassing humanitarian response, development assistance and peacebuilding. The Mindanao Coalition of Development NGO Networks (MINCODE) is one of the largest NGO coalitions in the Philippines composed of 11 CSO networks with some 700 organizations, a few of which will be introduced below.

Building flood resilience in indigenous villages of Agusan Marsh

The Philippine Partnership for the Development of Human Resources in Rural Areas (PhilDHRRA) is a network of 52 NGOs that run agrarian reform and rural development programmes across the country. PhilDHRRA’s Mindanao chapter recently completed a three-year disaster preparedness project that covered eight municipalities in Agusan del Sur province.

Monobo tribes form the majority of indigenous people who reside in the Agusan Marsh, which floods annually between November and February. The communities rely on fishing during the wet season and farming rice and vegetables during the drier months.

They have also adapted to living in floating villages, complete with schools, daycare centres and health stations, and using pump boats for transportation.

Increasingly severe flooding in recent years has forced the Manobos to elevate their homes and infrastructure.

Disaster risk reduction and preparedness have become their priorities, according to Glenn Bais, Mindanao Regional Coordinator of PhilDHRRA. The group provided these communities with pump boats, a spiral tube water wheel for power-free irrigation, and flood- and pest-resistant rice seeds. It also set up a seed bank to maintain local seed availability and diversity.


UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
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