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History of the Philippine Red Cross

1899, February 17
Through the initiative of Apolinario Mabini, the Malolos Republic approved the Constitution of the National Association of the Red Cross. Mrs. Hilaria del Rosario de Aguinaldo was appointed President of the Association.

1900, August 29
Felipe AgoncilloInternational Delegate of Diplomacy, met with Gustave Moynier, an original member of the Committee of Five and ICRC President, for the recognition of the Filipino Red Cross Society and application of the 1864 Geneva Convention during, the Filipino-American war.

1905, August 30
The Philippine Branch of the American National Red Cross (ANRC) was organized by Filipino and American leaders at the Ayuntamiento.

1917, December 4
The Philippine Branch was officiary recognized as a Chapter of the ANRC.

President Manuel L. Quezon took the initiative to establish an independent Philippine Red Cross. Not until the Philippines became independent did this materialize because the Commonwealth cannot sign the Geneva Conventions.

A Japanese-controlled Philippine Red Cross was created to take care of internment camps located in the country.

Upon the liberation of Manila, local Red Cross officials and the ANRC undertook to reconstitute the organization.

1946, December 1
Thirty-six Red Cross chapters were initially set up in the country. The first Filipino Red Cross Manager, Dr. J. Horacio Yanzon, was appointed.

1947, February 14
President Manuel A. Roxas signed the Treaty of Geneva and the Prisoners of War Convention.

March 22
President Roxas signed the Philippine Red Cross (PRC) Charter, Republic Act 95.

March 29
Mrs. Aurora Aragon Quezon, the first PRC Chairman, received a cable from Geneva indicating that the ICRC approved to recognize the PRC.

April 15

A humanitarian organization that serves as an arm of help during disasters and emergencies was established. The Philippine Red Cross (PRC) was inaugurated in colorful ceremonies at the Malacañang Palace.

Sept. 17
The PRC was admitted as a bonafide member of the League of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (now known as the Federation).

1981, July 31

Blessing and inauguration of the Philippine National Red Cross Headquarters at Bonifacio Drive, Port Area, Manila.


The year 1992 was a busy one for the PNRC. Around this time, PNRC had already made its mark not only in Blood Services, but also in Disaster Responses.

June 12

The PNRC chapters in Tarlac and Zambales had their hands full, and evacuation centers eventually became overcrowded that makeshift shelters had to be set up. To help ease the plight of the evacuees, then Olongapo City Mayor Richard Gordon came to offer assistance in San Marcelino, Zambales. He mobilized a fleet of trucks and jeepneys that transported a large number of evacuees from San Marcelino to Olongapo City.


The PNRC Training Center in Tagaytay, which was funded by the Danish Red Cross, was inaugurated.


The new Vision-Mission of the PNRC was set towards becoming the premier humanitarian organization in the Philippines and Southeast Asia.

1997, April 15
The PRC celebrated its 50th Anniversary.

2003, September 2

The new PNRC hotline, #527-0000, was established to immediately respond to emergencies.


January 15 – Richard Gordon was elected by his peers as Chairman of the PNRC.

February 26 – After hearing of the Super Ferry tragedy (piers 14 and 15), PNRC Chairman Richard Gordon sent staff and volunteers, who provided first aid and transported the injured to various hospitals. The PNRC also set up a welfare desk to help trace missing persons and provided psychological support to 515 survivors.

December 23 to 31 – Chairman Gordon led rescue and relief efforts in Aurora and Quezon province for Typhoon Ruby, spending Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve with the victims of the tragedy.


February 4Chairman Gordon was first on the ground to instill order in the chaotic rescue effort and recovery of bodies at the ULTRA Stampede during the Wowowee anniversary show.

October 7 – PNRC was the first to initiate relief and rehabilitation efforts for the 8,000 families affected by Typhoon Milenyo in the Southern Tagalog and Bicol regions, especially in Sorsogon, which received scant attention as the media focused on billboard incidents in Metro Manila.

Project 143 (I Love You Red Cross) was established to saturate the country with volunteers who will be trained to know what to do in times of disasters. Said volunteers, the backbone of the PNRC, would act as the “eyes and ears” of the organization in times of disasters.


The PNRC Operations Center (OpCen) launched its Power Text Messaging System, a nationwide texting system for easier, dependable, purposeful emergency alert messages to and from local chapters and other key personnel and volunteers.


In February, the PNRC officially turned over newly constructed facilities such as barangay halls, health centers, and public schools to the Municipality of St. Bernard, Southern Leyte. The project was established in coordination with the Japanese Red Cross Society.

The consolidation of the Senate Bill 3285 and House Bill 6509 was signed by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, and is now known as Republic Act No. 10072 or The Philippine Red Cross Act of 2009.

The said act is basically an affirmation of the country's "conformity with the Geneva Conventions of 1949 and their additional protocols, and the Statutes of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement," as well as a confirmation of Philippine Red Cross' stand as a "voluntary, independent and autonomous nongovernmental society auxiliary to the authorities of the Republic of the Philippines in the humanitarian field."


Republic Act 10072 or “The Philippine Red Cross Act of 2009,” authored by Senator and PNRC Chairman Gordon, was signed into law by then President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, officially changing the name of the organization from PNRC to Philippine Red Cross (PRC).


The nationwide Red Cross Million Volunteer Run was held, in celebration of the UN Declaration of the year 2011 as International Year of Volunteers, and December 5 as International Day of Volunteers.


The PRC leadership called for an emergency meeting with Movement Partners to discuss actions to be taken to address the needs of the vulnerable population affected by Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan).

PRC mobilized its staff and volunteers to dispatch cadaver bags to assist the government in the retrieval and management of the dead. A refrigerated van was also deployed to store bodies waiting for proper identification.


To solve access problems encountered in delivering relief to affected areas of Typhoon Yolanda, PRC and delegates from Partner National Societies and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) agreed to purchase a 195-foot military prototype vessel that can dock even on the shallowest water. Said vessel would be used to aid the movement in its humanitarian efforts in the Philippines and Asia Pacific.

August 5, 2015

PRC Chairman Gordon led the inauguration of the Philippine Red Cross Tower. The PRC's new building stands as a symbol of the PRC’s growth through the years and a mark of its strong commitment to humanitarian service.


As of March 24, 77,066 shelters have already been built for the victims of Typhoon Haiyan. Five hundred fourteen classrooms and 85 health facilities have also been rehabilitated and reconstructed.

May 9

On its 70th Anniversary, the PRC welcomes the country’s first ever humanitarian ship, the M/V PRC Amazing Grace. PRC launched its humanitarian vessel at the Philippine Navy National Headquarters, Roxas Boulevard, Manila, with the President of the Republic of the Philippines, Rodrigo Duterte, as the guest of honor.

June 6

The Philippine Red Cross, through the effort of its staff and volunteers has incessantly stepped up its humanitarian efforts for the affected people since the conflict started in Marawi.


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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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