AKSYON K! TABANG PARA SA MAYON: Disaster Response for Mayon Eruption 2018

On January 13, 2018, Mayon generated a steam driven explosion that produced 2.5km high grayish ash plume. It prompted the officials of the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council of Albay to order the immediate evacuation of residents within the 6 kilometer radius of the Permanent Danger Zone..


Alert Level 4 was raised by the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS) on January 22, 2018 due to the relatively high level of unrest of Mayon Volcano. Likewise, the danger zone was extended from 6-8 kilometers to 9 kilometers.


As per report of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council, a total of 88,528 persons or 23,054 families were affected in 61 barangays in the towns/cities of Daraga, Camalig, Guinobatan, Legazpi City, Ligao City, Sto. Domingo, Malilipot, Bacacay and Tabaco City.





A. Rapid Assessment


From January 15-19, 2018, the DIDRRM Coordinator, together with SIMON’s Emergency Response Team, conducted rapid assessment in the evacuation centers throughout the province to assess the prevailing condition and immediate needs of the families - particularly that of the vulnerable sectors such as persons with disabilities, children, elderly and other vulnerable groups.



B. Relief Distribution


Relief operations were carried out by SIMON’s Aksyon K! Team from January 23 to 26, 2018 in the municipalities of Guinobatan, Camalig, Daraga and Ligao City.


Distribution of the relief items for the families of persons with disabilities was course through the MSWDO and Area Project Coordinators of the said LGUs.


Contents of the relief packages include:


  • Food Items – rice, milk, tuna in can, bihon, cooking oil, potable water in a water container
  • Hygiene Kit – laundry soap, bath soap, shampoo, toothpaste, toothbrush, pail, water dipper


Breakdown of the distributed relief goods per barangays are as follow:

C. Child-Friendly Spaces in Emergencies


As part of its child protection program, SIMON provides Child Friendly Spaces (CF) for children in the evacuation centers to care for their psychological well-being and promote a happy and safe environment.


The Aksyon K Team facilitated various play activities, storytelling and artwork sessions for children ages 3-12 years old in Bariw National High School on February 15, Taladong Elementary School on February 24 and Comun Elementary School on March 1, 2018.


Snacks were served after the activities. Prizes and giveaways were also distributed.

D. Eye Screening and Provision of Reading Glasses


The Aksyon K! Team conducted eye screening and provided free reading glasses for the Mayon evacuees in Taladong Elementary School and Bariw National High School on February 15 and 24, respectively.


The activity is part of SIMON’s advocacy campaign to promote good eyesight and prevent secondary disabilities.



  • On March 29, 2018, the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council of Albay ordered the full decampment of over 6,000 remaining evacuees following the downgrading of Mayon’s status to Alert Level 2 by the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology.


  • As of August 15, 2018, Alert level 2 currently prevails over Mayon Volcano. This means that Mayon is at a moderate level of unrest.




A. Problems and Challenges Encountered


  • Identification of evacuees


  • Lack of disaggregated data of evacuees particularly those who belong to the vulnerable sector such as children, the elderly and persons with disabilities.
  • No standard template on the listing of evacuees particularly the vulnerable sectors in the evacuation center.
  • No uniformity of data in municipal and barangay level. The data/evacuation status report on barangay and municipal level do not match.


  • Shelter and Accessibility


  • Most of the schools being used as evacuation centers are not accessible. They don’t have ramps and handrails, accessible WASH facilities and medical area. Lack of accessible features creates physical barriers for persons with disabilities and other vulnerable sector.
  • Congested public school classrooms being used as evacuation center for displaced people. Approximately, 15 families or 60 individuals are staying in a room.
  • Due to congested and inaccessible evacuation centers, some evacuees particularly the elderly and persons with disabilities opt to rent out private houses or stay in their relatives’ house for privacy and comfort.
  • In order to reduce overcrowding in schools, some families built makeshift temporary shelters in vacant spaces within the evacuation centers using materials such as tarpaulins, nipa, wood, and bamboo.
  • Due to the large number of evacuees, WASH facilities are insufficient and inaccessible. Most comfort rooms in the evacuation centers don’t have bathing facilities and are only used for urinating. Because of these predicaments, most evacuees take a bath out in the open or go back to their respective houses to take a bath and answer the call of nature.


  • Food Nutrition and Health


  • Local Government Units distribute food packs regularly containing rice, canned goods, noodles, coffee, sugar, etc. However, in order to ensure proper nutrition, there is also a need to provide for fresh goods such as fresh meat, fish and vegetables.
  • Evacuees got sick from sleeping on concrete floors, with nothing but thin sleeping mats to fight the cold bite of the cement. As a result, they suffer from cold, cough and fever. Evacuees slept on the floor, using sleeping mats which leads them on catching coughs, colds and fever.

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DSWD Authority No. DSWD-SB-A-1647-2017