Philippine Red Cross Chairman and CEO Richard J. Gordon directed staff and volunteers of the premier humanitarian organization in the country to provide the immediate needs of the families affected by the Low Pressure Area (LPA) and Intertropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ) in Mindanao. On 17 November, PRC volunteers and staff served hot meals to 1,691 internally displaced persons (IDPs) in the evacuation centers of the following local government units: Barangays Baluntay, Poblacion, and Maribulan in Alabel, Sarangani; Barangay Buayan in General Santos City; Barangay Poblacion in Malalag, Davao del Sur; and in Santa Maria, Davao Occidental.
“The Philippine Red Cross goal is to be always first, always ready, and always there for our fellow Filipinos in distress because of disasters and emergencies. We are able to meet the immediate needs of people affected by weather hazards because we have RC143 volunteers in the villages trained and ready to respond, we have prepositioned logistics, and we have state-of-the-art information technology for efficient and effective coordination,” explained Gordon.
Trained PRC volunteers and staff set up a Welfare Desk in Davao Del Sur. They facilitated child-friendly activities (CFA) designed as psychological first aid and treated five individuals in General Santos City.
PRC is currently conducting assessment of damage and needs in coordination with local governments. It has also alerted its army of RC143 volunteers in the barangays to respond when needed.
Heavy rainfall and consequent flooding brought by Severe Tropical Storm Paeng (international name: Nalgae) left communities in Laguna without access to clean safe water aside from the massive cleanup required to clear roads of mud and other debris. The Philippine Red Cross (PRC) deployed its water tankers and payloaders to these affected localities to speed up the recovery of the most vulnerable.
“Ang Philippine Red Cross ay katuwang ng ating mga komunidad hindi lang sa kasagsagan ng bagyo kung hindi pati na rin pagkatapos nito. Ipagpapatuloy namin, sa PRC, ang pagde-deploy ng water tankers at payloader para mas maraming komunidad sa malalayong lugar ang maabutan ng ating mga tulong,” Chairman and CEO Richard J. Gordon explained.
Since PRC Paeng operations, the PRC WASH (Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene) unit had distributed a total of 286, 300 liters to storm-affected areas in Laguna. PRC installed a water bladder in Alonte Arena Evacuation Center Biñan, Laguna, providing 20, 000 liters of water to 731 displaced individuals. Meanwhile, 2, 868 persons from Dela Paz Main Elementary School and Saint Francis Covered Court evacuation centers received 24, 000 liters of water from water tankers. Biñan City was placed under a state
of calamity on 31 October due to extensive damage caused by STS Paeng.
In addition, PRC’s payloader conducted clearing operations in Canossa School, Barangay Kanluran Santa Rosa, Laguna to make roads accessible for more relief operations. Over 210 cubic meters of mud were cleared in the area.
On 15 November, PRC served hot meals and bread to 511 persons in the Barangay Dila evacuation center. PRC distributed sleeping kits to 40 families and hygiene kits to 192 families in several affected municipalities. PRC Welfare Services, under the Psychological Support System (PSP), provided psychosocial services to 47 persons and Child-friendly Spaces (CFS) to accommodate the needs of 136 affected children.
PRC is in full-blast in providing assistance to Paeng-affected families across the country and vows to continue its relief and recovery efforts to alleviate the sufferings of the most vulnerable.