COVID-19 and Compassion’s Work in the Philippines

An in-depth look at the coronavirus pandemic in the Philippines

Last Updated: 10/09/2020

The Philippines is in Phase 3 of the government’s COVID-19 plan, expected to last until March 2021. More businesses are permitted to operate, and more people are allowed to leave their homes, while abiding by health protocols. The school year began with remote learning on Oct. 6, with most students using packets of printed lessons provided by the government. Teachers answer questions by telephone and pick up students’ homework at designated locations.

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 man and child cleaning their hands

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. Watch this video for a detailed explanation of how COVID-19 is affecting Compassion centers and how local partners are caring for each registered child during this season.

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!

A boy stands wearing a mask

child reading IconStory From the Field

In the Philippines, it is reported that more than 1 million young people will be out of work or unable to find a job as a result of the pandemic. This has caused tremendous stress and anxiety for many of the teens enrolled in Compassion centers throughout the country. But Andy, a youth pastor at a Compassion partner church, remains hopeful and determined to inspire the young people to stay positive and trust God.

“We must not lose hope amidst the pandemic,” says Pastor Andy. “God’s promises of blessings remain true and he has great plans for each one of us, especially the teenagers.” Before the pandemic, Andy had started several youth-focused Compassion programs that had to be put on hold due to social restrictions. But that doesn’t mean Andy has stopped serving!

“We made a few changes in our activities,” he says. “I started online discipleship meetings and worship services for the youth. And I believe they were very effective.”

M-jay, a 16-year-old sponsored youngster at the center where Andy works, says he is grateful for his pastor’s efforts. “We have our online discipleship class every Monday evening and I am never absent,” he says. “I can see in Pastor’s life that there is hope for everyone to be better individuals.”

As restrictions have eased in his region, Pastor Andy has started visiting children at their homes and conducting small Bible studies. He also helps deliver food packs and relief goods to the families of the children he serves.

“This pandemic has greatly affected not only our youth but also their families,” he says. “But with the help of Compassion, we have the opportunity to share blessings to them through relief distributions, giving school and hygiene supplies, and many other ways. I also make sure to tell the youth when I visit them that they are the Lord’s treasured possession. Stay focused on God and continue to build your relationship with him.”

How can I pray for the Philippines?

Pray that God's hope and love will strengthen the youth struggling with all the uncertainty and unknowns that COVID-19 has caused. For more prayer resources, visit Compassion’s COVID-19 prayer page for prayer guides and a virtual prayer wall.

How Can I Help?

Sponsor a Child in the Philippines
Give to Compassion’s COVID-19 Relief Fund
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