The city of Lipa is situated in the province of Batangas, about 80 km south of the capital Manila.
Lipa is an important commercial town in the province. Traditionally people here lived off agriculture and fishing, but more recently the city has become home to many businesses and industries. With around 400,000 inhabitants, the city is growing fast—at an estimated 2.5% a year. As more land is used for the city's industrial and residential expansion, less land is available for farming.
Since 1967, SOS Children’s Villages has been supporting children, young people and families and advocating for their rights in Lipa.
In order to escape grinding poverty in rural areas, many people move to Lipa in search of a better life. However, the city's economic development has not reached everyone.
Investment in education has been low and so access to education is a further concern for families with children. Around 2.8 million children don’t go to school, and only 78% complete basic education.
Although schooling is free of charge, many parents cannot afford the extra costs of sending their children to school, and they can only do so with the help of scholarships.
The people of the Philippines are also one of the most vulnerable to climate change in the world, due to 60% of the population living in coastal areas. Coastal cities are therefore at increased risk from rising sea levels, increasing temperatures, and storm surges. Tropical storms and typhoons, floods, landslides, earthquakes, tsunamis, volcanic eruptions and droughts are common.
Between 2000 and 2017, the Philippines experienced 273 natural disasters linked to climate change. When a natural disaster happens, many parents and children are displaced and have to start a new life elsewhere.