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We, at the Philippine Red Cross (PRC), express our deepest concern for the 216 people reported by Agusan del Sur Provincial Health Officials, as having been hospitalized on Monday night due to a food- or water-borne illness in Brgy. Tandang Sora in Esperanza, Agusan del Sur.

The welfare of the people is of utmost concern to us and we are doing everything we can to ensure that every individual taken to the hospital is out of harm’s way at the soonest time.

We are comforted to learn from our chapter in Agusan del Sur that as of last night, 90 of the patients were already discharged and our local teams assisted the local government in taking a number of the patients to their respective houses. We will continue to follow up on their situation.

We have coordinated with the local government to ensure that the needs of the affected people are immediately addressed. We have also set up a welfare desk at Esperanza Medicare Community Hospital to help the remaining patients and their relatives. We provided medicines to help patients as some hospital executives alerted PRC of the need for increased medicines.

While the cause of the health emergency remains under investigation by the local government, our hot meals program in the province was suspended until the completion of the probe.

We will wait for the results of the ongoing investigation and extend our support to the authorities as they conduct the investigation. We will remain transparent and will closely coordinate with the local government on this serious matter.

As of 10pm on February 20, we have served 1,142 food packs in Agusan del Sur. For the entire Mindanao operation, from the time the province started experiencing shearline and trough of the low pressure area (LPA), we have provided sleeping kits to 916 families – 211 of which were sent to Agusan del Sur (AgSur); hygiene kits to 1,042 families – 286 of which went to AgSur; non-standard hygiene kits to 96 families; jerry cans to 1,042 families – 286 of which were sent to AgSur; and kitchen sets to 984 families – 518 to families in AgSur.

A total of 432 PRC volunteers and 59 PRC staff showed up to help Mindanao. About 3,020 families received non-food items; and prepositioned 140 pieces of cadaver bags, 50 of which were already utilized.

PRC sent an overwhelming response for Mindanao with eight food trucks, three water tankers, one 6×6 truck, five ambulance units, three relief trucks, three volunteer emergency response vehicles (VERVs), one buffalo tank, and four water bladders composed of 5,000-liter load and 10,000-liter load.

In a press conference on Tuesday, Esperanza Mayor Deo Manpatilan, Jr. was quoted as saying: “This is not the time to point fingers especially since the Philippine Red Cross only wants to help. There is an ongoing investigation. We hope to prevent the same situation from happening in the future.”


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Philippine Red Cross

Born officially in 1947, but with roots that traces back to the revolutionary days, the Philippine Red Cross has truly become the premier humanitarian organization in the country, committed to provide quality life-saving services that protect the life and dignity especially of indigent Filipinos in vulnerable situations.

Address: 37 EDSA corner Boni Avenue, Mandaluyong City 1550
Emergency Hotline: 143
Trunkline +63 2 8790 2300
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