The Philippines is a Southeast Asian country in the Western Pacific Ocean, comprising more than 7,000 islands.
Its geographic location makes it prone to earthquakes and typhoons but also endows it with abundant natural resources and some of the world’s greatest biodiversity.
Signpost started working in Iloilo City on Panay Island in the early 1990’s. As a highly urbanised city, Iloilo has attracted many economic migrants from throughout the Philippines and the population of the city has more than doubled in the past 45 years. This has led to many illegal squatter communities forming in the barangays (neighbourhoods) of the city. Over the last decade, Signpost has focussed its work in three different barangays, San Juan, North Baluarte and West Habog Habog which are all situated along the Batiano River.
Global Food Security Index Score
Considers the core issues of affordability, availability and quality across 113 countries, where 1 is the top scoring country. 79/113
Percentage of people who do not have access to improved sanitation, such as toilets or latrines
Percentage with access to improved water source
Prevalence of undernourishment
Number of primary aged children out of school
Approx. 331,500 males, 70,600 females
These areas consisted of many poorly constructed shanty houses being built on stilts and connected by rickety bamboo bridges which spanned the filthy tidal waters below. One of the first projects was to replace the bamboo bridges with concrete ones. This enabled people to move around their neighbourhood more safely, it increased access for disabled people and enabled local businesses to operate, bringing more income into the area.
The child sponsorship programme has allowed many families to continue to send their children to school. An Alternative Learning System made it possible for older children, who had missed out on education to learn alongside their peers in the evenings or at the weekends.
Promotion of health and hygiene throughout the communities has made a dramatic difference to the areas with less litter being discarded and people learning of the health dangers of open defecation and the importance of hand washing.
We secured a three-year grant from the Big Lottery Fund in 2014. With this we have been able to build communal neighbourhood toilet blocks and install rainwater harvesting systems in two communities and three schools. This has allowed access to affordable, clean water to over 10,000 people.