As residents evacuated their homes due to rampaging floodwaters that hit the eastern part of Cagayan De Oro last Sunday afternoon, October 16, 2022, the Philippine Red Cross immediately deployed personnel and assets to help families whose houses were submerged, swept away, or completely destroyed by flood waters.
“Nagdeploy agad kami ng aming 6×6 rescue truck sa area para tumulong sa pag-evacuate, binisita namin ang mga evacuation centers at nagpadala rin kami ng aming food truck na may dalang bagong luto at mainit na pagkain. Dalawang daang katao sa Bugo National High School ang nabigyan namin ng pagkain,” said PRC Chairman and CEO Richard J. Gordon.
According to the PRC’s assessment team, 1,532 families were affected by the rampaging floodwaters, damaging 360 houses and taking the life of at least one person.
PRC also plans to distribute non-food items to help 340 families affected by the flooding in Brgy Bago.
The Cabuyao City Bureau of Jail Management and Penology presented the Philippine Red Cross and its Chairman and CEO Richard Gordon certificates of recognition in connection with the organization’s swift response in managing the cases of amoebiasis in Cabuyao City Jail, which affected more than 80 persons deprived of liberty (PDLs).
“Hindi po kami nagdalawang salita at talagang naging napakabilis ng pagdating ng tulong na water tanker ni Red Cross nang malaman nila ang kondisyon ng mga nagkakasakit dito sa Cabuyao BJMP,” JSINSP Shiela Moliquino, the City Jail Warden cited.
Chairman Gordon quickly took action after reports from Red Cross Laguna Administrator Frank Sorromero confirmed clustered cases of diarrhea since September 16. The former solon reasoned that, “The goal of our penitentiary is to rehabilitate these individuals with hopes to have them reintegrated into society and given another chance at life – how can we successfully do that if they will feel neglected? Guided by our Red Cross principles of neutrality and impartiality – we should help all who are in need of help. Nakakulong man sila, basta kailangan nila ng tulong, they should be regarded with dignity and given due aid.”
The PRC was able to supply 470,000 liters of clean water for the whole jail compound with a population of 657 PDLs and 43 personnel. The bladders were also the only water source while pipes were being disinfected. PDLs were also provided with hygiene kits to keep themselves clean and free from diseases. Chairman Gordon also made sure that the “visitorless” PDLs, or those not being visited by their relatives were also given the much needed supplies to maintain their personal cleanliness.
The jail management expressed its immense gratitude to Chairman Gordon for his swift action and contribution to Cabuyao City Jail until its water contamination issue was resolved, further citing that the Chairman’s “work as a leader and a public servant is greatly admired. What you have done and what you will do in the years to come will be valued.”
The Philippine Red Cross (PRC) intensified its actions in public health emergencies as several cases of diarrhea continue to plague the Dumagat community in Tanay, Rizal, after the onslaught of Typhoon Karding (international name: Noru) on September 25, 2022.
On October 8, twenty-eight (28) people from the vulnerable indigenous Dumagat tribe are affected. The latest assessment of PRC, through its Rizal Chapter, traced the contamination found to be from water sources, inlcuding springs, boreholes, and surface water.
PRC Chairman and CEO Richard J. Gordon directed PRC volunteers and staff to provide the appropriate assistance. “Ang PRC (Philippine Red Cross) ay mayroong Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene services na palaging handang magpaabot ng clean and potable water sa ating mga kababayan sa kasagsagan ng mga ganitong health emergency,” Chairman Gordon said.
Communities with limited access to sanitary facilities are vulnerable to diarrheal disease.
PRC immediately provided health and hygiene promotion to 119 individuals and installed Information, Education, and Communication (IEC) materials. The country’s foremost humanitarian organization also provided psychosocial support to 57 persons and delivered food items and face masks to 63 individuals in Sitio Nayon and patients confined in the hydration center.
On October 11, health authorities of Tanay, Rizal announced that diarrhea cases in the Dumagat community had already declined. PRC, however, will continue to monitor the situation and provide support as needed.
PRC has continuously provided assistance to people affected by diarrhea. From September 21 to October 14, PRC deployed 470,000 liters of water through a water bladder and water tanker to Cabuyao City Jail after several persons deprived of liberty (PDLs) suffered from diarrhea due to contaminated water.