Ahead of the World Blood Donor Day (WBDD) celebration on 14 June 2023 and the National Blood Donor Month (NBDM) in July, the Philippine Red Cross (PRC) reported that it served 79,634 patients needing blood products from January 1 to May 31, 2023, or over 500 per day on average. PRC’s 107 blood service facilities nationwide dispensed 143,086 blood units for these patients during the period.
According to PRC Chairman and CEO Richard J. Gordon, PRC’s blood services are “exceedingly significant” in meeting the needs of patients across the country. He also emphasized the need for blood products during disasters and emergencies. “PRC is one of the leading suppliers of blood products in the country. Our objective is to contribute to the country’s goal of having an adequate blood supply, which is crucial to any country’s health care system,” said Gordon.
This year’s WBDD and NBDM celebrations share the theme “Give blood, give plasma, share life, share often.”
“PRC has always been steadfast in its commitment to contribute to life-saving through blood service. Our goal is to promote adequate, safe, and quality blood supply. On behalf of the PRC, I thank our donors who share our vision,” said Dr. Gwendolyn Pang, secretary general of the PRC.
Please email the PRC National Blood Services at nbs.recruitm[email protected] or call 143 or (02) 8790-2300 for inquiries.
MANDALUYONG City– Philippine Red Cross (PRC) Chairman Richard J. Gordon yesterday directed the humanitarian organization to immediately send assistance to some 10,000 residents living within six kilometers of the permanent danger zones of Mayon Volcano in Albay as the organization launched a wide-scale operation.
The operation, considered one of the largest conducted by PRC, showed the organization’s preparedness and immediate response, as it sent a humanitarian caravan at the onset of the Mayon Volcano situation.
Gordon, who is at the helm of PRC since 2005 and a Red Cross volunteer for 54 years, convened his team on Thursday and immediately dispatched a humanitarian caravan after the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS) raised the alert for Mayon Volcano to level 3, which signifies an “increased tendency towards a hazardous eruption”.
PRC is known in the country and even overseas as the foremost humanitarian Philippine organization that is able to respond first in countless rescue and other operations as Gordon led many missions over the years.
Upon Gordon’s instruction, PRC sent four water tankers with five water bladders, two water filtration units, and tap stands; four food trucks; two Travis multipurpose vans with health supplies, including goggles; three trucks with 2, 500 sleeping kits and hygiene kits; and a 6×6 truck carrying 2, 500 jerry cans from PRC’s Metro Manila warehouse, Subic warehouse, and PRC Batangas Chapter to augment other PRC assets already prepositioned in Albay. The water tankers will ensure the provision of drinking water at the evacuation centers as sulfur dioxide and other chemicals from volcanic ashes may pollute water sources.
“We are always ready and prepared to help. We have tapped our RC143 volunteers in Albay to extend the needed support and our staff are also on the ground,” Gordon said.
He added that preparations of this kind are not unusual for PRC. “We are always ready for any situation. It is better to be over prepared in times of crisis so we are sending the humanitarian caravan as early as now to ensure that logistics are prepositioned should the situation in Albay turn worse,” the PRC Chairman/CEO said, noting that PRC is guided by the principles of 4Ps: “Predict, Plan, Prepare, Practice” in all its operations.
PRC Secretary-General, Dr. Gwendolyn T. Pang organized the PRC teams to respond at the soonest time to help the residents in Albay.
“Our team is prepared and we are already moving as early as now to ensure that no one will be displaced. Our volunteers and staff in Albay and Batangas stand ready to assist,” Dr. Pang said.
Dr. Pang urged communities both in Albay and in Batangas, where Taal Volcano is currently showing signs of increased unrest, to remain alert and observant, as she underscored the importance of always being prepared to alleviate the suffering of people in the affected areas.
PRC Albay Chapter already dispatched its health caravan with trained medical personnel and set up first aid stations, and welfare desks with nebulizers and blood pressure monitors in evacuation centers.
The Philippine Red Cross provided 20,496 loaves of bread to support disaster-prone communities and fire-affected families in the National Capital Region from January to May 2023. This is in partnership with Gardenia Bakeries Philippines Inc. The loaves of bread have served as a vital source of nutrition for families struggling with the aftermath of disasters.
PRC Chairman Richard J. Gordon expressed his gratitude for the partnership, stating, “Through our collaboration with Gardenia Bakeries, we are able to extend much-needed assistance to disaster-stricken communities. The provision of bread not only addresses immediate hunger but also brings hope and comfort to those affected.”
Freshly baked loaves of bread, along with other food items, are distributed by the Philippine Red Cross (PRC) to communities in need. Through the Food Donation Act of 2009, a law championed by PRC Chairman Gordon during his tenure as a senator, hotels, restaurants, and other organizations in the food industry also donate surplus food to the PRC, ensuring that it reaches those who need it most.
PRC Secretary General Dr. Gwen T. Pang emphasized the importance of community support, stating, “The distribution of these food items demonstrates our commitment to serving the most vulnerable in society. We are thankful for the partnership with Gardenia, as it enables us to reach more individuals in need and provide them with essential sustenance.”
Philippine Red Cross (PRC) Secretary General Dr. Gwen Pang and PRC Board of Governors Vice Chairperson Corazon Alma De Leon led the distribution of 150 hygiene kits to the elderly inpatients of the Female Aged Care and Wellness Unit of the National Center for Mental Health (NCMH) on 30 May.
Dr. Pang, a nurse by profession, explained that a combination of internal factors, such as impairment and disabilities, and external factors, including physical environment, inequalities, discrimination, and stigma create obstacles for individuals to efficiently access and engage in hygienic practices.
“The PRC acknowledges that individuals with specific needs face the detrimental effects of social stigma, which leads to lesser or even no participation and engagement on their part. Through our hygiene promotion and provision of hygiene kits, we hope they feel loved and not forgotten,” she added.
PRC Chairman and CEO Richard J. Gordon has previously initiated programs for the NCMH, consistently highlighting the Red Cross’ commitment to ensuring that every individual has access to basic human needs. “The PRC develops initiatives to accommodate individuals with specific needs because they are important to us. We ensure their involvement in every phase and recognize that they are still part of our society. Never forgotten and always to be treated with dignity,” he stated.
The kit includes a bar soap, soap dish, hand towel, shampoo, toothbrush, and toothpaste. Dr. Cristina Palma, one of the medical officers overseeing the unit, said the provision of hygiene kits is essential to assist patients in maintaining cleanliness, adding that the arrival of their hygiene items is sometimes delayed or resources available at times may not be sufficient to accommodate all patients.
In an effort to extend healthcare services to the most vulnerable sectors and communities in need, the Philippine Red Cross (PRC) Health Caravan provided free medical assistance to 27,842 people from January to May of 2023, across the country.
The Health Caravan program is a comprehensive range of services, such as health consultation, dental and optometry service, health and hygiene promotion, first aid lecture-demonstration, vaccination against measles, rubella, polio, and COVID-19, as well as bloodletting and blood typing service. Vitamins, over the counter medicines, hot meals and health kits are also distributed.
PRC Chairman Richard J. Gordon stated, “The Philippine Red Cross is dedicated to making a positive impact on the health and well-being of our communities. Our Health Caravan demonstrates our commitment to providing vital medical services to those who need it most.”
“We are proud to have reached over 27,000 individuals through our Health Caravan in just the first five months of this year. The provision of essential healthcare services and the distribution of meals and health kits showcases our commitment to improving the lives of the most vulnerable in our society,” PRC Secretary General Dr. Gwendolyn T. Pang added.
The Philippine Red Cross continues to make a significant difference in the lives of thousands of individuals, promoting better health and well-being across communities.
The Philippine Red Cross (PRC) achieved a remarkable 100% passing rate in the 2022 External Quality Assessment Scheme (EQAS), conducted by the Transfusion Transmissible Infections-National Reference Laboratory (TTI-NRL) of the Research Institute of Tropical Medicine (RITM). This outstanding accomplishment underscores the PRC’s commitment to provide the highest quality blood and blood products to the communities it serves.
An EQAS evaluates participating laboratories based on the integrity of the entire sample testing process, ensuring accuracy and reliability of results. The PRC’s 30 Blood Centers have each been awarded Certificates of Proficiency, attesting to their exceptional performance and adherence to quality standards.
PRC Chairman Richard J. Gordon congratulated the PRC staff and volunteers at the blood centers, stating, “We are immensely proud of our 30 Blood Centers for their exemplary achievement in the 2022 EQAS evaluation. This accomplishment reinforces our dedication to delivering the best possible care to our blood recipients.”
PRC Secretary General Dr. Gwendolyn Pang also commended the achievement, saying, “The 100% passing rate in the EQAS is a testament to the hard work and commitment of our staff. It highlights the rigorous standards we uphold in providing safe and reliable blood transfusion services. Congratulations to all involved.”
The Philippine Red Cross remains steadfast in its commitment to maintain the highest standards in laboratory testing. By consistently observing best practices, the PRC ensures the safety and well-being of those who depend on their services.
Hoping to create “a community of growers at the Philippine Red Cross,” PRC Secretary General Dr. Gwendolyn T. Pang led the Backyard Gardening Seminar at the 3rd floor multi-purpose hall of the PRC Tower in Mandaluyong last May 29, 2023.
This is in line with the PRC’s food security program that started through the vision of PRC Chairman Dick Gordon. PRC began a sustainable farm in Marikina to provide produce for its hot meals on wheels operations.
Chairman Gordon, who authored the Food Donation Law (RA 9803) in 2009, reiterated the many efforts of the PRC to address the hunger problem in the country. “It has been one of my top priorities to promote food security; that’s why we, at the Philippine Red Cross began a 2-hectare sustainable farm in Marikina, possible expansion is underway, that’s where we grow and harvest our crops that we’re using for our hot meals on wheels operations in times of various disasters and emergencies. This seminar that we provided to our PRC employees is just a piece of the whole cake, and there are more agricultural seminars and workshops to come” said Gordon.
PRC Secretary General Dr. Gwendolyn Pang mentioned the significance of creating a backyard garden as one of the practical ways to fight inflation, “We want to teach you how to grow your own food. Kahit wala kayong malawak na lupain, maaari kayong mag-umpisa sa bakuran ng bahay n’yo. Basta’t mayroon kayong paglalagyan, tutubo ‘yan. I think that one day, it will be very difficult to find food to eat, kaya mas maganda na marunong tayong magtanim ng sarili nating pagkain na maibabahagi rin natin sa iba, lalo na ngayon na mataas na presyo ng mga bilihin. I hope you find joy in planting.”
At the end of the session, 350 eggplant seedlings from the PRC farm in Marikina and a variety of high-quality vegetable seeds donated by its international partners were distributed to PRC employees to encourage them to start their backyard gardens.
The Philippine Red Cross (PRC) Malabon Chapter held its first fundraising golf tournament, dubbed “Swing for Humanity,” last May 22 at EastRidge Golf and Country Club, Binangonan, Rizal. The tournament was an opportunity for golf enthusiasts to be part of the PRC’s humanitarian mission by donating to the PRC Malabon Chapter and enjoying their sport at the same time. Fundraising activities such as this enable PRC chapters to sustain their operations, especially in times of disaster and emergency situations.
PRC Chairman and CEO Richard J. Gordon lauded the PRC Malabon Chapter for its boldness and creativity in organizing the golf tournament, saying, “The Philippine Red Cross charter provides that all Filipinos must be given the chance to participate in the Philippine Red Cross’s humanitarian activities. Donating to the Red Cross is one way of becoming part of the country’s foremost humanitarian organization.”
PRC Malabon Chapter Board of Directors Chairman Ricky Sandoval spearheaded the planning and execution of the fundraiser. Local stakeholders who see the importance of the PRC’s work in the area demonstrated their support through their donation and participation.
PRC Secretary General Dr. Gwen Pang congratulated the PRC Malabon Chapter for the successful event and expressed gratitude to the donors. “This first golf tournament is an important milestone. We are really grateful to our supporters, who extended their support to this event. I know that the chapter gave its full effort to stage this fundraiser,” said Pang. Dr. Pang also commended the PRC Malabon Chapter’s chapter administrator, Ms. Julie Legaspi, and her staff and the volunteers, who worked to make this first-ever golf tournament fundraiser happen.
Bacolod City, Negros Occidental – On May 29, 2023, a smoke inhalation incident occurred during a Physical Education Examination at Bacolod City College, prompting a swift response from the Philippine Red Cross (PRC) Bacolod City – Negros Occidental Chapter and other local rescue agencies. The incident occurred around 4:00 PM and was caused by a chemical brought by a class of students for an experiment, resulting in chemical poisoning as reported by the school doctor. A total of 22 individuals were affected by the smoke inhalation and chemical exposure.
“Emergencies like the smoke inhalation incident at Bacolod City College remind us of the importance of preparedness and swift action. PRC is dedicated to providing immediate assistance in such situations, and I commend our team in Bacolod City who responded promptly to ensure the well-being of those affected. We remain committed to our mission of saving lives and serving the community in times of need,” said PRC Chairman Richard J. Gordon.
PRC’s response included dispatching one ambulance with four emergency medical services personnel to provide immediate medical assistance. The medical team treated 14 individuals on the scene who were experiencing symptoms such as hyperventilation and dizziness, stemming from the chemical exposure.
The PRC encourages the public to prioritize safety and adhere to proper protocols when handling chemicals or engaging in experiments to prevent similar incidents in the future.
As of 3:00 PM on May 30, 2023, various Philippine Red Cross chapters across the nation has reported light to moderate rains including La, Union, Baguio, and Cagayan. Currently, preemptive evacuations are in effect in some areas of Cagayan and Ilocos Norte. Check out these photos to see our preparedness efforts for potential hazards like landslides, thunderstorms, and flooding.
Stay informed, follow our official page and accounts for more updates on Typhoon Betty (Mawar). Our chapters across the nation are monitoring the situation closely.
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.