Since 2007, DIB has been collaborating with organizations in the Philipines. Our ambitions have been to strengthen the local communities resilience, against the frequent natural disasters hitting their country. In 2017 we established another project do to the Marawi-siege, between armed ISIS-sympathizers and the forces of government of the Philippines, which left local cities, including Marawi, in ruins and displaced thousands of people's from their homes. Since then we have helped organizing those internally displaced persons (IDP's) and tried to rehouse those who were affected the most by the Marawi-siege, and also those who were recently affected by Typhoon in the Guinobatan-area.

We are currently active in Guinobatan, Marawi and Iligan.

2021-2023: Organizing and rehousing people hit by natural disasters.

The Guinobatan area is one of the most dangerous places to live in the Philippines, as the area is on the slopes of one of the most active Volcanos in the world - The Mayon Volcano. The Volcano has erupted seven times in the last 20 years, and furthermore a Typhoon hit the area in late 2020, which flooded the area and resulted in volcanic mudstreams that brought devastation to the surrounding rivers and area.

The Mayon Volcano. - Picture is taken by photographer Jørgen Nielsen.

Therefore, with support from CISU, we have again joined forced with Alterplan and the Local organization Sac Legazpi (Social Action Center and Diocese of Legazpi). We want to secure the most vulnerable villages and create a better infrastructure, make sure that the area has an effective evacuation plan ready, and support the establishing of local organizations that can be representative of the communities and their dire needs.

In some of the most vulnerable area, there is no choice but to rehouse the people affected by the disasters, and we will ensure that the new settlements will have a sufficient infrastructure and offer ways of income, so the prerequisites are there for them to establish a normal life again.
Our main ambition is though to avoid rehousing if possible, if the analysis shows that sufficient infrastructure can be established in the villages. Our ambitions are therefore to strengthen the local communities, in whatever way seems best for them.

The city Legazpi which is approximately a 1 hour drive from Guinobatan. Legazpi were also ravaged by the Typhoon and it is also located along the slopes of Mayon. - Picture is taken by photographer Jørgen Nielsen.

Our project will be situated in three local villages in Guinobatan, with a population of around 16000. people. We've chosen these areas, because of the evaluations deeming that the devastations are most severe in those areas, as well as because the local government has reached out for help to our local cooperative partner Sac Legazpi, to help an stabilize the area. We want to ensure rehousing wherever it's necessary, establish and work towards a capable infrastructure and organize the local communities, so that their voices and needs can be heard by Philippine government.

2018-2022: From emergency aid to rehabilitation

More than half a million people fled their homes as a result of the fierce fighting in Marawi from May 2017 and five months on. The majority were sheltered by friends and family or were housed in unofficial camps or community centers, and therefore received little or no governmental assistance. This is why DIB, in collaboration with our long-standing filippino partner organization ALTERPLAN, the NGO network PHILSSA and the local partner ICESDev, embarked on a project with the most vulnerable IDPs (Internally Displaced Persons) as a target group - that is, those who found shelter outside the official evacuation centers.

The tent camp West Pantar was one of the three sites that the first emergency aid effort was aimed at.

With support from the emergency aid pool Danish Emergency Relief Fund (DERF) (DERF) under CISU, from July 2017 to April 2018, we focused on ensuring the basic needs of the "unofficial" IDPs in the form of funding for various urgent needs, health monitoring and prevention measures and psychosocial support. The effort reached 1539 households, corresponding to approximately 6079 persons, spread over three locations.

During the first intervention period, a civil society organization emerged among the IDPs, called Lombay ka Marawi – Marawi, get up. Our second effort - a six-year project - aimed to strengthen this organization and the IDPs' ability to be heard and have their rights met.

Women rank their wishes and needs at a workshop in the second project with the Marawi IDPs.

In July 2019, we embarked on a third project, which, like the previous one, was supported by CISU's Civil Society Pool. Over the next 2.5 years, we will work to promote inclusive and democratic resettlement and rehabilitation of the internally displaced. The work consists, among other things, in continuing to build the capacity of Lombay Ka Marawi to assert their demands during the rebuilding and reconstruction phase. In total, the project will help 2755 families (about 11,660 people) to be rebuilt, build up skills and find new income opportunities so that they can secure their own living in the long run.

2007-2018: Disaster prevention and development planning

DIB's commitment to the Philippines and partnership with the organization ALTERPLAN goes back over 10 years. Together we have implemented, since 2007, three phases of the project Disaster Risk Sensitive Shelter Planning with disaster prevention and development planning as its purpose. Through the involvement of slum dwellers, civil society organizations and local authorities, we have worked to educate in risk analysis and promote citizen involvement in the preparation of local plans for four cities across the Philippines. All four cities are particularly prone to frequent natural disasters, especially in relation to the many floods, which most often go beyond the poor slums, and can not cope with the massive devastation. With the local plans, slum dwellers have been given priority by the local and regional administration in relation to improvements in the local area and have been trained to develop and manage a local project themselves.

Our partners in the Philippines have produced this film that gives an insight into the project and its importance locally.