WFP Philippines Staff: A Decade of Sharing Humanity

For ten years, these 16 humanitarian workers have dedicated their lives to helping reach Zero Hunger as part of the World Food Programme (WFP) in the Philippines.

These men and women have been with WFP since it reopened its offices in the Philippines in 2006. Whether in operations or support services, they work behind the scenes to deliver food assistance and help rebuild the lives of the most vulnerable communities affected by conflicts and disasters. Read the inspiring words of these WFP Philippines staff members as they continue to share humanity with fellow Filipinos.

Desiderio Atienza

He works as a driver of the Representative and Country Director of WFP Philippines and manages the transportation fleet in the Manila office. He was the first local staff hired when the WFP Philippines office reopened in February 2006.

Photo: WFP/Anthony Chase Lim

"The best part of my job is being able to go to different parts of the Philippines and knowing different kinds of cultures. Being a part of WFP for ten years for me is a great accomplishment already, because WFP is the biggest humanitarian agency in the world."

Bonnie Singayao 

He is the national security officer of WFP Philippines based in the Cotabato sub-office. He joined WFP in March 2006.

Photo: WFP/Sahabudin Kuli

"During my previous work as a journalist covering the war against the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) in Mindanao, I have seen the dire need of the displaced families especially for food assistance. This also led the way for me to see the beautiful work that humanitarian agencies are doing for the displaced families in providing their basic needs and assisting them even in the early recovery period when they were allowed to return to their villages. So when the opportunity came for me to join an international humanitarian organization, which at that time is mandated to assist the conflict-affected population in Central Mindanao, I did not hesitate to apply in the hope that I can use my knowledge and skills in helping others who are in need."

Norlaynie Atar-Mampao 

She works as a finance business support assistant in the Iligan sub-office. She joined WFP in March 2006.

Photo: WFP/Marilou Cezar

"Throughout my ten years with WFP, I consider myself fortunate to have served in several emergency interventions in various places in the country. In all of these, I have acquired a breadth of knowledge in multiple fields and a wide range of skills in responding to emergencies. It has been a great opportunity to be a part of this humanitarian world with amazingly passionate and driven people who share similar ideals and aspirations."

Baicon Macaraya 

She is a national programme officer heading the sub-office in Iligan and leads the gender and protection network in WFP Philippines. She started working with WFP in March 2006.

Photo: WFP/Alicia Pandapatan

"Humanitarian work is the most fulfilling career on earth for me. You are not just pursuing a career goal. You are doing what you love the most, while at the same time making a difference in the lives of others. In my experience with WFP, humanitarian work is actually making my life meaningful by realizing my passion, by realizing my commitment to give back to the people."

Radjemma Lao 

Hired in April 2006 as a logistics assistant, she continues her work in logistics in the Cotabato sub-office.

Photo: WFP/Robert Lu

"I get self-fulfilment doing humanitarian work. It makes me feel that somehow I have contributed something to humanity. Seeing the excitement on the face of the people we assist when we are in the field is fulfilling."

Marlon Laher 

He is a driver based in the country office in Manila. He joined WFP on May 2006.

Photo: WFP/Arlene Robles

"In my work, I have been inspired by the WFP Philippines team as they show their willingness and determination in helping other people. All of my colleagues are passionate about their work and enjoy helping others. I am also inspired by the children who are very brave at their very young age. Despite the calamities and difficulties they experienced in their lives, they continue to smile and show faith and hope."

John Paul Lobaton 

He works as an IT operations associate in the Cotabato sub-office. He began working with WFP in June 2006.

Photo: WFP/Nolieus Labrador

"Seeing everybody connected to the world and being able to effectively communicate especially during emergency situations is the best part of my job. Only when reliable communication systems are in place can humanitarian workers do their job effectively because accurate, reliable and timely information is vital in saving lives."

Rolando Uy 

He is a warehouse management associate in the Cotabato sub-office. He joined WFP in June 2006.

Photo: WFP/Anthony Chase Lim

"I wanted to work with the United Nations World Food Programme as I was challenged by the kind of work that the organization is doing. Being assigned with WFP Logistics, my colleagues and I always have to be ready to make available and deliver human and physical resources needed at the shortest possible time so we could reach the people affected by disasters. Turning challenges to outcomes make us resourceful, innovative, and creative."

Shennilane Sapilo 

She is a logistics assistant based in the Cotabato sub-office. She began working with WFP in June 2006.

Photo: WFP/Sahabudin Kuli

"There are many things which I like in my job. But the best part is I am able to give a part of myself in helping and making a difference in the lives of so many people in need."

Samsia Santiago 

He works as a driver in the Cotabato sub-office. He started working with WFP in July 2006.

Photo: WFP/Sahabudin Kuli

"The best part of my job is that despite the difficulties, you know that you are saving lives; you are helping your fellow man. Another good thing about my job is having the freedom to express myself – to laugh when I need to de-stress, to speak and actually be heard, and to perform not just because I’m paid to do it but because I'm inspired to be the best."

Nolieus Labrador 

He is a driver based in the Cotabato sub-office. He joined WFP in July 2006.

Photo: WFP/Anthony Chase Lim

"The most inspiring people I see are the children in remote areas who keep on going to school even if they have to walk long from their homes. These children are recipients of WFP’s school meals and they persevere in their school work despite the challenges. They inspire me to continue to help in any way I can through WFP."

Marlon Sunga 

He is a driver in the Cotabato sub-office. He joined WFP in July 2006.

Photo: WFP/Hananie Macapeges

"In my ten years of service to WFP, my greatest accomplishment is the dream of every parent – to send their children to school and have a decent living. As a WFP driver, I am able to support our projects that provide food to people displaced by conflict and disasters and at the same time also provide the financial needs of my children in school and I am very thankful that they were able to finish their studies."

Jaslin Masbud 

She works as a monitoring assistant and helps colleagues as a peer support volunteer based in the Iligan sub-office. She joined WFP in September 2006.

Photo: WFP/Marilou Cezar

"The most memorable moment for me was when I was made Officer-in-Charge [of the Iligan office] for a year. This was after Typhoon Haiyan hit and my other colleagues were out to support the other regions affected by the typhoon. It made me realize that I have the capacity to run an office. I am grateful that my bosses and colleagues trusted and encouraged me to survive heading the Iligan sub-office for a year."

Niel Catolico 

He is a driver based in the Cotabato sub-office. He started working with  WFP in September 2006.

Photo: WFP/Lizoil John Donayre

"It’s a challenge to ensure the safety of my passengers especially during field missions. The road conditions and terrain in Mindanao is sometimes very challenging. Aside from muddy and slippery roads, there are also ravines and rivers that we have to traverse. My job would really depend on my skills and abilities to ensure that we will reach our destination and return to our duty station without any untoward incident."

Fahima Abdulaziz 

She is a monitoring assistant in Cotabato sub-office. She came on board with WFP in October 2006.

Photo: WFP/Dale Rivera

"As a humanitarian worker, I have to maintain neutrality amidst the varying dynamics in the field where you hear different stories, views, and opinions. Humanitarian workers need to balance all of these because our goal is to reach the people in need. Sometimes you run out of options how to think strategically in times of deadlock especially when you cannot gain the full support of a partner. Humanitarian workers are also vulnerable. The security situation is unpredictable when you are in the field. Peace and security is a challenge especially in our area of work."

Arniel Mascod 

He works as a driver based in the Cotabato sub-office. He joined WFP in December 2006.

Photo: WFP/Sahabudin Kuli

"I started as a volunteer serving conflict-affected communities in Maguindanao and North Cotabato. As a volunteer then, I felt happy helping others even if there was no compensation. I think Allah gave me the opportunity to be hired by WFP as a driver so that I could continue serving other people who need assistance by bringing my colleagues in the field. Until now, I still have a strong resolve and I am still very happy to be a humanitarian worker for WFP."