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Author: Allan Jr. Pagkalinawan

In support of the Department of Health’s announcement on May 18, 2022, giving the green light for the administration of second Covid-19 vaccine booster shots, the Philippine Red Cross Bakuna Centers are open to those who are qualified for the booster shots.

The Department of Health explained that the second booster shot is a defense of health workers and the highly vulnerable seniors. It also reiterated that the shots are safe, effective, and free of charge.

Qualified persons — those in A1 category, Workers in Frontline Health Services, and A2, Senior Citizens, who had their first booster shot four months ago — may walk in at a Philippine Red Cross Bakuna Center to have their second booster. There is no need for an appointment.

 Those who plan to avail of the second booster shot must bring their vaccination card showing the date of the first booster dose and any government-issued ID.

The Philippine Red Cross Chairman and CEO, Senator Richard J. Gordon, encouraged those who are qualified to get the jab to visit a Red Cross vaccination center. “Hinihikayat ko ang ating mga kababayan na frontline healthcare workers at senior citizens na fully vaccinated at may first booster shot na kunin na ang second booster shot para sa kanilang proteksyon,” Chairman Gordon said.

The Philippine Red Cross’ vaccination efforts are part of its mandate as an auxiliary to the government in its humanitarian tasks. The Philippine Red Cross started administering Covid-19 vaccines in March 2021. As of May 19, 2022, it has administered 1,176,151 doses of Covid-19 vaccines and boosters, of which 92,712 are boosters. It has fully vaccinated 372,352 individuals.

As the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) declared yesterday, May 18, the start of the rainy season over the western sections of Luzon and Visayas, the Philippine Red Cross (PRC) Chairman and CEO Sen. Richard Gordon reminded the public to take the usual precautions during this period.

PAGASA also stated that the current La Niña may increase the possibility of above-normal rainfall conditions in the coming months affecting some parts of the country.

With this report from the state weather bureau, the PRC advises the public to follow the organization’s 4Ps: Predict, Plan, Prepare, and Practice.

“Laging handa ang Red Cross sa anumang sakuna ngayong tag-ulan. Hinihikayat ko rin ang ating mga kababayan na laging sundin ang proper hygiene at sanitation upang maiwasan ang mga sakit dulot ng palagiang pag-ulan.” Chairman Gordon said.

Upholding its mantra “Volunteers + Logistics + Information Technology = a Red Cross that is Always First, Always Ready, Always There,” the PRC, under the leadership of Chairman Gordon, has maintained its modern operations with assets delivering quick services to emergency situations arising due to hazards caused by heavy rainfall.

In anticipation of rescue and relief operations, the following assets will be mobilized:

•           Pre-positioned items (food and non-food)

•           32 Food trucks

•           179 Ambulance units

•           5 Rescue trucks

•           34 Rescue boats

•           2 Amphibians

•           7 Payloaders

•           5 Six-by-six trucks

•           8 Humvees

•           15 Fire trucks

•           6 Fire tanker trucks

•           2 Military jeeps

In addition, the PRC operates 17 Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (WASH) hubs equipped with trained volunteers and staff, water treatment units, and hygiene promotion materials. Some hubs also maintain water tankers for WASH-related emergencies.

For any emergency assistance, please call the PRC’s Operations Center at 143 or 790-23-00.

Philippine Red Cross celebrates 75th Anniversary

The Philippine Red Cross (PRC) celebrates its 75th Founding Anniversary, commemorating its development as the foremost humanitarian organization in the country that provides timely delivery of services to aid the most vulnerable.

The election of Sen. Richard J. Gordon in 2004 as Chairman and CEO saw the transformation of the PRC into a modern and well-equipped organization. The modernization and expansion program strengthened the logistics side of the PRC allowing for more timely delivery of services. Coupled with the growing number of volunteers inspired by Chairman Gordon’s vision and supported by information technology, the PRC fulfilled the equation “Volunteers + Logistics + Information Technology = A Red Cross that is always first, always ready, and always there.”

Witnessing the development of the Philippine Red Cross under the leadership of Chairman Gordon, many local and international entities are now motivated to find possible areas of partnerships with the PRC. With this, the PRC has become the partner of choice, strengthening other institutions by establishing a strong bond with the premier and most respected humanitarian organization in the country.

“Lubos akong nagpapasalamat sa lahat ng mga volunteers, staff, at partners na nagsisilbing kaagapay ng Red Cross sa walang humpay na pagtulong sa mga apektadong mamamayan ng ating bansa. Saludo ako sa inyong lahat na bumabangon araw-araw upang magbigay serbisyo sa kapwa ng walang pag-aalinlangan. Mabuhay kayong lahat!” Chairman Gordon said.

This year-long anniversary celebration will have the following focal activities.

–           Recognition of Best Red Cross 143 Volunteers

–           Donors Recognition Ceremony

–           Million Volunteer Run 6 Culminating Activity (Face-to-Face at MOA Grounds)

–           Blood Donor Recognition Day

–           Pledge 25 Olympics Awarding and Members Appreciation Day

–           Inauguration of Additional Blood Banks

–           PRC Over the Years Trivia and Online Quiz for Staff and Volunteers

–           Awarding of Ten Outstanding RCY (TORCY)

–           33rd Biennial Convention

–           2nd Humanitarian Media Award

–           PRC 75th Anniversary Ball

–           Launching and Distribution of 75th Anniversary Commemoration Coin

Million Volunteer Run 6

This year’s annual Million Volunteer Run: Virtual Bike and Run Edition, organized by the Philippine Red Cross (PRC) and RUNRIO, is extended up to June 12, 2022. The International Humanitarian Million Volunteer Run (MVR) 6: Virtual Bike and Run Edition is a fun virtual duathlon, for cyclists and runners and those who want to get into shape or have a healthy lifestyle.

It is a non-competitive event that allows participants to finish their selected distance within a certain period, at their own pace, time, and venue. The event is open to Philippine and international participants. The MVR 6 culminates in a face-to-face activity on June 12, 2022.

Compared to the pre-pandemic MVRs, in which participants run together on the same date, time, and place, the MVR virtual edition allows participants to run and/or bike anytime during the race period. They are to record their activity through a GPS-tracking app or watch. They then upload their results to their account dashboard. 

The MVR is a way for the public to join a community of volunteers who give their time, resources, and talents to help those who are made vulnerable by disasters and emergencies, such as the current COVID-19 pandemic and anticipated typhoons. The MVR is organized in collaboration with Holiday Inn Express, Ayala Foundation, Gatorade, Salonpas, and Pocari Sweat. To join, register at www.runrio.com.

Chairman Dick Gordon talking to patient who is getting free hemodialysis treatment

The Philippine Red Cross (PRC) Dialysis Center was established in November 2018. Located in the old headquarters of the Philippine Red Cross (PRC) on Radial Road 10, Port Area Manila, the Center has provided 15,006 treatments to 73 patients.   

Dialysis is a treatment that helps mitigate the effect of Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD). PRC’s nephrologist warns that CKD may not manifest its symptoms during the early stages. PRC Chairman Senator Richard J. Gordon echoes the recommendations of nephrologists to get blood tested for creatinine and a urinalysis every six months. A history of kidney injury or an increase in creatinine levels may necessitate more frequent tests.

Those who may need to avail of the services of PRC’s Dialysis Facility may call (02) 8527 0000 or send an email to [email protected] to get more detail on how to avail of PRC’s services.

Philippine Red Cross personnel taking the Saliva RT-PCR Test

As the National and Local Elections 2022 are concluded, the Philippine Red Cross (PRC), under the leadership of its Chairman and CEO Richard Gordon, reminded the public to get vaccinated and observe COVID-related symptoms.

To assist the government with its vaccination efforts, the PRC also deployed its 20 Bakuna Buses to different communities across the country. Each is designed with a spacious interior for vaccination, storage of supplies, and patients’ waiting area.  The PRC also continues to offer one of the most affordable reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) tests, including the cheaper and less invasive saliva-based test administered only by the organization’s 14 molecular laboratories.

“Muli kong hinihikayat ang ilan sa ating mga kababayan na hindi pa nababakunahan na magparehistro o mag-walk in lamang sa Red Cross upang kayo’y mabigyan ng vaccination schedule at maprotektahan laban sa kumakalat na virus. Nariyan pa rin ang ating abot-kayang RT-PCR test at mga Bakuna Buses na lumilibot sa iba’t ibang parte ng bansa upang magbigay serbisyo. Sama-sama tayo laban sa COVID-19,” Chairman Dick Gordon said. 

Aside from offering these services, the PRC encourages the public, particularly the elderly and immunocompromised patients, to observe the minimum public health standards, which include immediate isolation if COVID-related symptoms are experienced. This is in response to the Department of Health’s latest National COVID-19 Case Bulletin last May 9, 2022, which reports over 1,000 COVID-19 new cases, 14 of which are severe and critical.

“Nariyan pa rin ang banta ng COVID-19 sa ating paligid, kaya nais nating paalalahanan ang publiko na sundin palagi ang itinakdang guidelines ng ating gobyerno. Red Cross is always ready to help, particularly in administering COVID-19 vaccine, RT-PCR test, and other humanitarian services.” Chairman Gordon added.

To date, the PRC has administered 1,169,428 vaccination doses and tested patients using either the swab or saliva method. 

The Philippine Red Cross (PRC) provided emergency medical and welfare services to more than 5,000 clients and patients on election day, May 9, 2022, in various polling places across the country. 

“Ang Philippine Red Cross ay mananatiling laging una, laging handa, at laging nandyan para sa ating mga kababayan kapag sila ay may medical emergency, eleksyon man o ordinaryong araw.” PRC Chairman and CEO Sen. Dick Gordon said.

As of 2:00pm, May 10, 2022, 35% of PRC chapters across the country have submitted their report to PRC’s operations center. Based on the reports, PRC’s emergency medical services (EMS) and welfare teams served 5,059 clients and patients who had their blood pressure taken (4,830), experienced minor medical issues (87), experienced major medical issues (2), were transported to medical facilities (3), provided psychosocial support (9), referred to other specialists (48), and provided other assistance (80).

The PRC deployed 51 ambulance units and 221 first aid stations to polling places across the Philippines. It also set up five welfare stations to provide psychosocial and other welfare services and assigned four foot-patrol personnel to monitor precinct premises for any health emergencies. A total of 837 EMS and welfare personnel were mobilized for this year’s National and Local Elections Operations.

Guinobatan, Albay — The Philippine Red Cross (PRC) turned over Certificates of Occupancy to 165 new homes for families made homeless by lahar flooding in Daraga and Guinobatan, Albay. The lahar flooding was caused by Super Typhoon Rolly (international name: Goni), which made landfall in Albay on November 1, 2020, and debris from Mayon Volcano’s eruption on January 18, 2018.

Goni, considered the world’s most powerful tropical cyclone in 2020, affected 522,600 families, or 2,030,130 persons, in Regions II, III, CALABARZON, MIMAROPA, V, VIII, CAR, and NCR.

Immediately after the damage assessment in Albay, Chairman Gordon initiated a search for a suitable place to relocate those who lost their homes to the lahar flood.

“Gusto natin makabangon kaagad ang tao. Sabi ko nga kay Governor Bichara, kailangan ko ng lote na malaki, na pwede paglagyan ng mga tao. At dali-dali naman, umaksyon na kaagad si Governor Bichara. At ngayon, nalagay na natin dun ‘yung mga bahay para sa mga pamilyang nawalan ng tahanan dahil sa lahar na dulot ng Super Typhoon Rolly at Mt. Mayon eruption,” Chairman Gordon said.

Each house costs more than Php200,000.00. Each family also received the first tranche of Php10,000.00 cash assistance to help them rehabilitate their livelihoods. The relocation site, in Bubulusan, Guinobatan, is assessed to be safe, compared to the locations of the beneficiaries’ homes before the super typhoon.

PRC collaborated with local governments in Albay and various government agencies, such as the Albay provincial human settlement office and the provincial engineering office to make the housing project possible. The project was made possible through partnership with International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, Canadian Red Cross, Embassy of the Republic of Korea, British Embassy, Thai Red Cross, Spanish Red Cross, Singapore Red Cross, and online donors.

Supported by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), the Philippine Red Cross (PRC) Chairman and CEO Sen. Dick Gordon ordered the quick deployment of Bakuna Bus to help the government in its vaccination program in Zamboanga City last May 2, 2022.

“Patuloy na maglilingkod ang PRC para sa mga kapatid natin sa Zamboanga City at iba pang karatig probinsiya dito sa Mindanao. Sa katunayan, walang humpay ang deployment ng ating Bakuna Buses upang makamit natin ang herd immunity sa lalong madaling panahon. Taos-pusong pasasalamat sa ICRC para sa agarang tulong upang maisakatuparan natin ang ganitong gawain,” Sen. Gordon said.

Since the pilot deployment in Mindanao on April 14, 2022, the PRC Bakuna Buses have already served around 1,000 individuals, including those in Manolo, Fortich, and Impasug-ong, Bukidnon and Malalag, Kiblawan, and Hagonoy, Davao del Sur.

The PRC, aiming to provide an efficient mobile COVID-19 vaccination program, designed every Bakuna Bus’s interior with facilities following the vaccine administration protocols, COVID-19 vaccines and other supplies, and space for vaccinators, volunteers, and staff. Besides administering COVID-19 vaccines through these Bakuna Buses, the PRC aimed to educate its target communities in Mindanao about the importance of participating in the organization’s vaccination programs to achieve herd immunity amidst the pandemic.

The PRC has recorded 1,158,745 vaccination doses with 20 Bakuna Buses deployed in different areas in the Philippines.

In efforts to reach more people in need and to offer reliable help, Philippine Red Cross (PRC) and PRC Chairman and CEO Senator Richard ‘Dick’ J. Gordon welcomed a new branch of the Laguna Chapter in the multipurpose building of Barangay Wawa, Siniloan, Laguna on April 29. In attendance at the opening ceremony were Chapter Administrator Frank Gray Sorromero and members of the Laguna Chapter Board of Directors. The establishment of the PRC branch in Siniloan was made possible through the support of Mayor Rainier Leopando, whom Senator Gordon acknowledged in his speech.  

Senator Gordon reminded the audience members at the opening ceremony that PRC is not a government entity, that volunteers compose it, that they do it without a salary, to uplift human dignity and alleviate human suffering. He lauded Red Cross volunteers for their leadership shown through action.

He emphasized the importance of “pagmamalasakit,” or compassion, which he and the PRC have stood for since its founding in 1947. He cited the Republic of Korea’s donation of a water tanker to the PRC and PRC’s assistance to other nations, like Ukraine. He also referred to the PRC’s contribution to the RT-PCR testing for Covid-19 in the Philippines; the PRC has conducted more than 5.5 million tests.

Senator Gordon also emphasized that even though the Red Cross helps the people, it is not about just giving away provisions but about empowering people. He says that as a leader, his goal is to strengthen people’s abilities. “Tumutulong tayo para may dangal at dignidad tayo,” Senator Gordon said.

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
Hotline: 143 Trunkline +63 2 8790 2300
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