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Author: Allan Jr. Pagkalinawan

COVID-19 vaccines rollout by Philippine Red Cross

The Philippine Red Cross (PRC) administered 15,249 doses of Covid-19 vaccines and boosters in Marawi City through the PRC Mobile Bakuna Team, fully inoculating 7,657 persons from 2021 to 2022. The PRC Bakuna Team supports the city government’s vaccination efforts at the City Hall Gym in Barangay Bangon, Marawi City.

PRC Chairman and CEO Richard J. Gordon encouraged Filipinos again to get vaccinated and those who are qualified to have the first or second booster shots to get them. “When the world no longer watches, the Philippine Red Cross does what must be done. We will support the local governments in the fight against Covid-19, until our country is safe from the threat of the pandemic,” Chairman Gordon said.

Other places in Mindanao where PRC conducts Covid-19 vaccination and boosting are Agusan del Norte, Bukidnon, Cotabato City, Davao City, General Santos City, Gingoog City, Iligan City, Maguindanao, Misamis Oriental, Sarangani, Surigao del Norte, Sultan Kudarat, and Zamboanga City. To date, 120 vaccinators have been mobilized and one Bakuna Bus has been deployed in Mindanao.

 The Covid-19 vaccinations are part of PRC’s Covid-19 response across the country. As of 17 November 2022, PRC has administered 1,252,865 doses of Covid-19 vaccines and boosters in the whole country, fully vaccinating 377,388 persons.

PRC Bakuna Buses in Mindanao, ICRC impressed

PRC bakuna buses goes to Mindanao with ICRC Vice President

The Covid-19 pandemic upended the lives of vulnerable people living in geographically isolated and disadvantaged areas of Mindanao. In line with this, the Philippine Red Cross (PRC), in collaboration with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), has been escalating its Bakuna buses operations in Mindanao to improve vaccine adherence and increase vaccine uptakes in the region, especially in the high-risk population.

As of date, PRC’s Bakuna Buses and Bakuna Centers with Bakuna Teams, have administered a total of 325, 066 vaccines — 76, 876 individuals fully vaccinated and 51,238 persons boosted — in the region of Mindanao.


On 12 November, PRC Chairman Richard J. Gordon, ICRC officials and ICRC Vice President Gilles Carbonnier visited General Santos City to see the “Bakuna Bus” operations. “We have been doing this [Covid-19 vaccination programs] for almost two years. Ang kaibahan lang, dati nasa station ang ating mga vaccination drive pero ngayon mayroon ng mga buses. Ginagamit ang mga ‘to para mailapit ang bakuna sa mga taong nasa malalayong lugar. Ngayon, mas pagiigtingin natin ang pagbabakuna, partikular sa mga bata,” said PRC Chairman Gordon.

ICRC Impressed with PRC’s Bakuna Buses

ICRC Vice President Carbonnier, meanwhile, expressed his admiration for PRC’s humanitarian activities, “I am very impressed by the Philippine Red Cross, the commitment of the people, the sophistication of the different activities […]. I believe that regionally, it is key for me to come here to the Philippines especially because ICRC has many humanitarian activities in Mindanao. These are important operations that we will keep having, and I think it is important for us in ICRC to come and see with our own eyes what we collectively manage to do.”

“ICRC has always been supportive of the Philippine Red Cross’ Covid-19 interventions. They donated buses, equipped with a vaccine administration area and supplies, while we provided a cadre of volunteers to perform the task. Sa PRC, hindi pwedeng balewala ang mga binibigay na oportunidad para makatulong kasi hangarin namin na maiangat ang mga tao — hindi kami nag-aabot, kami ay nag-aangat ng mga tao,” Chairman Gordon explained.

In addition to Covid-19 vaccination programs, PRC is also planning to further expand its vaccination drive against vaccine-preventable diseases (i.e., typhoid, rubella). From 2019 to 2020, PRC, through the support of ICRC, vaccinated 127, 302 children against polio and measles-rubella. The Covid-19 pandemic disrupted the immunization programs for these contagious diseases, placing children at higher risk of health complications.

Using hoses connected to its 10,000-liter tanker truck, Philippine Red Cross (PRC) volunteers and staff work with DepEd personnel to flush mud left by Severe Tropical Storm Paeng (international name: Nalgae) in schools. As of today, 07 November, the combined Red Cross and DepEd teams have flushed mud in Santa Rosa Central School, Aplaya Elementary School, Aplaya National High School, and the Schools Division Office.

“I received a request from Santa Rosa City Schools Division Superintendent Ms. Manuela Tolentino to help them flush their schools of mud left by Paeng. Deeply concerned with the education of our children set back by the pandemic, I deployed a 10,000-liter tanker truck to flush the mud in their schools,” PRC Chairman and CEO Richard J. Gordon said.

PRC volunteers also hosed the old City Hall area, the Santa Rosa Covid facilities, the vicinity of the National Bureau of Investigation office, Laparan Street, Tatlong Hari Street, and Barangay Market Area to flush mud left by Paeng. As of today, 07 November, the PRC payloader has cleared 1,078 cubic meters of mud, or equivalent to 77 dump trucks full of mud in Santa Rosa.

Santa Rosa City is among the cities across the country that experienced flooding as a result of the storm. Parts of the city were covered by mud three to four inches thick in the aftermath of Paeng. PRC volunteers and staff have responded to Paeng-affected communities across the country since 28 October by providing emergency rescue and evacuation, shelter strengthening kits, emergency medical services, health care information and supplies, hot meals and food items, water, clothes, slippers, psychological first aid, sleeping kits, hygiene kits, road clearing, and flushing.

Philippine Red Cross (PRC) volunteers and staff continue aid efforts in Datu Odin Sinuat (DOS), Maguindanao, which is among those hardest hit by Severe Tropical Storm (STS) Paeng (international name: Nalgae).

Together with Australian Aid, PRC distributed sleeping kits and hygiene kits to 425 individuals in Barangay Awang, DOS yesterday. Two plastic mats, two mosquito nets, and two blankets comprise each sleeping kit. A hygiene kit is composed of 12 body soaps, five laundry soaps, 40 sanitary pads, five bath towels, toilet papers, toothbrushes, two toothpaste tubes, and razors.

“In every calamity, the Red Cross is there to help our fellow Filipinos for the long haul. We will be with our fellow Filipinos who have been severely affected by Severe Tropical Storm Paeng until they fully recover from its effects. We are always ready to reach the farthest communities to bring them aid,” said PRC Chairman and CEO Richard J. Gordon.

Also yesterday in DOS, the foremost humanitarian organization served hot meals to 803 persons in Barangay Dinaig and distributed 10,000 liters of water through its water tanker in Barangay Bagumbayan.

PRC volunteers and staff have responded to Paeng-affected communities across the country since 28 October by providing emergency rescue and evacuation, shelter strengthening kits, emergency medical services, road clearing, health care information and supplies, hot meals and food items, water, clothes, slippers, psychological first aid, sleeping kits, and hygiene kits.

With a diameter of over 1,000 kilometers, Paeng battered the country with torrential rains for around two days, 28-29 October, causing flash floods and landslides that damaged thousands of homes and destroyed tens of thousands of farms and fishing gear.

Days after Severe Tropical Storm Paeng (international name: Nalgae) exited the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR), the trail of massive flooding, rain-induced landslides, and displacement it left across vast areas of the country has affected over two million individuals or 510, 222 families. STS Paeng caused damage to livelihood and disrupted food and water supplies. The Philippine Red Cross (PRC) has been sending its fleet of food trucks to vulnerable communities in hard-hit areas to alleviate hunger and reduce the food security concerns of affected families.

“The nutrition of people in areas hardest hit by Paeng could be affected because the access to food and safe water in typhoon-affected towns and cities is usually disrupted. We at Philippine Red Cross (PRC) will continue boosting our efforts to address the nutrition needs of our kababayans in vulnerable situations,” said PRC Chairman and CEO Richard J. Gordon.

As of 04 November, PRC has served hot meals to 28,029 individuals in cities and towns affected by STS Paeng: Maguindanao, Zamboanga, Tawi-Tawi, Aklan, Negros Oriental, Negros Occidental, IloIlo, Northern Samar, Antique, Cebu, Masbate, Romblon, Palawan, Bataan, Cagayan, Camarines Norte, Camarines Sur, Batangas, Catanduanes, Laguna, Zambales, Aurora, Pangasinan, Kalinga, Quezon, Nueva Viscaya, Marinduque, Isabela, Bulacan, Manila, Marikina, Rizal, Muntinlupa, Valenzuela, and Pasig-Pateros. PRC also distributed 2,499 bottled water in Cagayan.

Meanwhile, Gardenia Bakeries, a long-time food donor of PRC, donated bread loaves — these were distributed to 1, 455 affected families in Laguna and Pampanga. During his first term as a senator in 2009, Chairman Gordon authored the Republic Act No. 9803 (RA9803) or the Food Donation Act of 2009, which aims to address the country’s growing hunger problem and bring dignity back to the most vulnerable simultaneously.

Since 28 October, PRC has positioned relief assets and equipment, such as payloaders, water tankers, and food trucks to Paeng-affected communities. PRC staff and volunteers are monitoring the affected families’ further needs for food, safe water, clothing, shelter, hygiene, sanitation, and medical and psychosocial care.

Clean potable water is the major lifeline that was disrupted by Severe Tropical Storm Paeng (international name: Nalgae), affecting thousands of families across several provinces. To insure steady supply of clean water, the Philippine Red Cross (PRC) deployed water tankers and bladders to Paeng-affected areas of Laguna, Maguindanao, Cotabato City, and Zamboanga City.

“Ang malinis na tubig ay isa sa pangunahing pangangailangan na maaaring maapektuhan matapos ang isang sakuna katulad ng bagyo. Ang Red Cross ay may water tankers para mabilis na makapaghatid ng malinis na tubig sa ating mga kababayan na lubhang nangangailangan nito matapos ang bagyo o lindol,” PRC Chairman and CEO Richard J. Gordon elaborated.

As of November 2, PRC water tankers have distributed 141,670 liters of water to people affected by Paeng in Laguna, Cotabato City, Maguindanao, and Zamboanga City.

PRC food trucks have also served 9,278 hot meals to people displaced by the storm in these areas.

PRC volunteers and staff continue to bring much-needed humanitarian aid in Paeng-affected cities and provinces across the country. As of date, PRC has reached at least 38 cities and provinces with humanitarian aid: Aklan, Antique, Aurora, Bacolod City, Bataan, Batangas, Bohol, Camarines Norte, Camarines Sur, Catanduanes, Cavite, Cotabato City, Dumaguete City, Iligan City, Iloilo City, Iriga City, Kalinga, Laguna, Maguindanao, Malolos City, Manila City, Marikina City, Marinduque, Masbate City, Muntinlupa City, Naga City, Negros Occidental, Northern Samar, Quezon City, Romblon, Roxas City, San Pablo City, Santa Rosa City, Sorsogon, Tawi-Tawi, Valenzuela City, Western Samar, and Zamboanga City.

The Philippine Red Cross (PRC) Undas 2022 Operations remained on full alert from 28 October to 2 November amid intense emergency operations for victims of Severe Tropical Storm Paeng (international name: Nalgae), which made landfall on 29 October. PRC’s volunteers and staff provided medical assistance to 3, 323 individuals in bus terminals, seaports, airports, highways, memorial parks, and selected thoroughfares.

“Tunay na maaasahan ang mga volunteers at staff ng Philippine Red Cross sa kahit na anong oras at pagkakataon. I applaud our staff and volunteers who helped our kababayans during the commemoration of Undas,” Chairman and CEO Richard J. Gordon said.

The total number of individuals who received medical assistance includes those who experienced minor and major health concerns. Medical care was provided to 150 individuals who experienced dizziness, abrasion, chest pain, headache, hyperventilation, body weakness, and bleeding, 11 of whom were transferred to health facilities for further medical attention. In addition to 3, 116 individuals who underwent blood pressure tests, 12 individuals also received blood sugar monitoring service and wheelchair assistance. Meanwhile, 21 people underwent the Psychosocial Support Program (PSP).

“The All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day are about to end. We expect many people to return to Manila just in time for tomorrow’s work day [02 November]. This might mean accidents on the road or at sea,” Chairman Gordon said in a statement on Wednesday, 01 November.

On 01 November, Chairman Gordon directed all PRC Chapters to be on standby to deploy ambulances with trained Emergency Medical Services (EMS) personnel on every major roads (NLEX, SCTEX, and SLEX), expressways, airports, and seaports following the expected increase of motorists and commuters returning on the city this week.

In addition to medical assistance, PRC, through its Quezon City Chapter, deployed a Bakuna Bus at Holy Cross Memorial Park, Barangay San Bartolome, Quezon City, and administered a total of 43 Covid-19 vaccines to visiting families: (42) Adult Booster and (1) Pedia Booster.

Even before Severe Tropical Storm Paeng (international name: Nalgae) made landfall, images and videos already revealed the storm’s extensive damage to life and property in Maguindanao and Cotabato City. The storm had a diameter of over 1,000 kilometers, thus affecting 17 of the country’s 18 regions.

The Philippine Red Cross (PRC) responded by deploying its water tankers and food trucks to meet the immediate needs of people severely affected by Severe Tropical Storm Paeng in Cotabato City and Maguindanao.

As of 01 November, PRC water tankers have distributed 21,000 liters of water in Barangay Rosary Heights 2, Barangay Rosary Heights 10, and Barangay Rosary Heights 1 in Cotabato City and 15,000 liters in Datu Odin Sinsuat, Maguindanao. PRC served hot meals to 1,971 persons stranded or taking shelter at Mindanao Star Bus Terminal, Immaculate Concepcion Cathedral, Barangay Badak, and Barangay Rosary Heights 10 in Cotabato City and in Dinaig Elementary School and Barangay Semba in Datu Odin Sinsuat.

“Ang Red Cross at mga barangay, sa pamamagitan ng Red Cross 143 volunteer system, ay nagtutulungan para madalhan ng pangunahing pangangailangan ang ating mga kababayan na lubhang naapektuhan ng Severe Tropical Storm Paeng. Ang aming water tankers at food trucks ay nasa mga komunidad na lubos na nangangailangan nito,” said PRC Chairman and CEO Richard J. Gordon.

Residents of Barangay Mother Rosary Heights, Cotabato City were assisted by the PRC Emergency Response Unit to evacuate to the local government’s evacuation center. The PRC Emergency Medical Services Team gave first aid to 13 patients in Datu Odin Sinsuat. Fifty-one adults in Cotabato City and Datu Odin Sinsuat availed themselves of psychosocial first aid. As of this writing, PRC continues to provide water through its water tankers and other immediate needs of the people displaced by Paeng in Cotabato City and Maguindanao.

The Philippine Red Cross is escalating its emergency relief efforts to reach hundreds of vulnerable people in Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao affected by Severe Tropical Storm Paeng  (international name: Nalgae).  As of 29 October, 170, 977 families struggle to cope with food shortages, lack of safe water, threats of contracting water-sanitation diseases, and displacement due to torrential rains and deadly flooding.

“Marami sa mga kababayan natin ang stranded ngayon dahil sa mataas na baha na dulot ng bagyong Paeng. Nakapagpamahagi na tayo at patuloy tayong mamahagi ng hot meals sa mga vulnerable communities. Ang ating mga water tankers, ambulance, at payloaders sa Luzon, Visayas, at Mindanao ay nakahandang rumesponde sa mga nangangailangan,” PRC Chairman and CEO Richard J. Gordon said.

To date, PRC has served hot meals to 1, 908 affected individuals across Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao. PRC Welfare Services, through PRC Cotabato-Maguindanao Chapter, set up several welfare desks in Cotabato City and Datu Odin Sinusuat to accomodate the needs of the most vulnerable. The foremost humanitarian organization has also provided hygiene promotion, Pyschosocial Support Program (PSP), and Psychological First-Aid (PFA)  to guarantee the practice of proper hygiene and ensure that affected families will receive the necessary assistance to cope and outlive the mental and physical trauma of flood and displacement.

STS Paeng, which made landfall on Saturday, 29 October, has inundated several parts of Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao. PRC asissted 115 stranded passengers in Romblon. Red Cross 143 volunteers are positioned in the municipalities of Buruanga and Nabas, Aklan. Food trucks, water tankers, payloaders, ambulance teams, generators, and rescue equipment are positioned in vulnerable areas for immediate deployment.

Distribution of relief goods and rescue operations by PRC Chapters nationwide continue as the number of flash flood victims rises. PRC will continue the monitoring of water level and dissemination of weather updates.

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Philippine Red Cross (PRC) Secretary General Dr. Gwendolyn T. Pang welcomed representatives from the local government of Borongan City to the PRC National Headquarters today, October 27, 2022.

According to Borongan City Councilor Frich Baylon Uy, their delegation’s main objective for including PRC in their “Lakbay Aral,” or study visit, is to “benchmark” what Red Cross has that they can adopt in Borongan City. He also expressed appreciation for how the Red Cross places importance on cooperative relationships with local governments. Councilor Jay Anthony Baleña Ang expressed hope for a collaboration between PRC and the city government in programs that aim to save lives.

Composed of officers from the Mayor’s Office, the city council, the city planning office, the city disaster risk reduction and management office, the Philippine National Police, and the Bureau of Fire Protection, among others, the delegation from Borongan City, Eastern Samar engaged in discussions with Ms. Pang and other PRC officials on safety services, such as first aid and emergency medical services, disaster preparedness and response, and blood services, among other topics.

Dr. Pang, a veteran disaster manager with the Red Cross not just in the Philippines but also in the Asia region, reminded the learner-visitors that no single organization has all the capacities in disaster risk reduction and response. She elaborated that agencies have different mandates and capacities, and a successful response to a hazard event depends on how well these agencies work together. She explained that the Red Cross is auxiliary to the government in its humanitarian tasks. “Magtulungan tayo. Kailangan sama-sama tayo. Pag pinagsama, lumalabas ang lakas nating lahat,” said Dr. Pang.

PRC, through its Eastern Samar chapter, located in Borongan City, has a long history of collaboration with the local governments in Eastern Samar, most notable of them being PRC’s response to people affected by Super Typhoon Yolanda (international name: Haiyan), which was unprecedented in wind speed and effects.

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.

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Since October 28, 2022, #PaengPH has brought incessant heavy rains causing floods and flash floods in different parts of the Philippines, claiming several lives of our kababayans. As Philippine Red Cross mobilized our volunteers and help through rescue operations, medical assistance, #PRCHotMeals, and other interventions, we are appealing for donations IN KIND OR IN CASH to effectively support the most vulnerable. Together, let's save lives and help those in need.

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