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Author: Angeli Mae CANTILLANA

The Philippine Red Cross (PRC) urges the public to be more cautious this summer season to reduce the risk of acquiring illnesses, which may lead to serious health concerns.   PRC, led by Chairman Richard Gordon, said every Filipino family should take positive action to prevent heat-induced health problems within their immediate circle.   “The recent rise in the measles cases in the country has shown how complacency can result in bigger health concerns. We love our families so we have to practice prevention. Prevention is always better than cure,” Gordon said.   Extreme heat can result in water, food, vector and air-borne diseases, such as diarrhea, dengue, measles, influenza, sore-eyes, rabies, hypertension and blood pressure, chicken pox, food poisoning, heat stroke, sunburn and prickly heat rash.   The following are PRC-issued tips to have a problem-free summer:
  1. Stay hydrated. Replenish. Drink water only from safe sources. If unsure, boil water.
  2. Eat only well-cooked food.
  3. Wash hands frequently with soap and water.
  4. Observe proper food practices.
  5. Eat fruits, vegetables and other nutritious foods.
  6. Avoid direct contact with an infected person.
  7. Apply sunscreen creams and lotion with SPF 30 or greater for skin protection.
  8. Use wide-brimmed hats and umbrella.
  9. Wear light-colored cotton clothing.
  10. Cover mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing. Do not blow your nose hard.
  11. Use mosquito-repellant lotion.
  12. Maintain proper hygiene.
  13. As much as possible, limit sun exposure. If needed, do outdoor activities in the morning or late in the afternoon when it’s cooler.
  PRC advises the people to take precautionary measures during these months of vacation, travel and leisure for them to maximize the fun and bonding with their families and friends.   For emergency and any untoward incidents, contact our 24/7 Operations Center. Dial 143 or 790-23-00 for assistance.

WHILE the water crisis in Metro Manila has abated, the Philippine Red Cross (PRC) continues to receive requests to augment water supply, especially in communities affected by the El Niño phenomenon.

PRC Chairman Richard Gordon expressed concern over the health and economic issues that may rise due to lack of access to clean and safe water in provinces experiencing dry spell, including Catanduanes, Cebu, Lanao del Sur, Zamboanga Sibugay, Sarangani, and Pangasinan.

“It is no joke not to have water. We saw it in the water crisis in Manila, where people become vulnerable to diseases. The worst may happen in provinces as livelihood opportunities are interrupted by the phenomenon,” Gordon said.

In a letter addressed to Gordon dated March 21, Virac, Catanduanes Mayor Samuel Laynes requested PRC’s support in providing water tankers, water bladders, filtration systems, and technical personnel to address the water shortage in the area.

“Local water utilities are unable to cope with water demand for household use, sanitation, and safe drinking water,” the letter reads.

Lanao Del Sur Vice Governor Mamintal Alonto Adiong, Jr. also requested the use of PRC’s water tankers stationed at the Lanao del Sur-Marawi Chapter.

Data from the PAGASA show that Lanao Del Sur and Catanduanes are among the 72 provinces that will likely experience dry condition, dry spell, and drought at the end of March.

In Metro Manila, PRC continues to provide safe and clean water to communities affected by the water crisis in Metro Manila.

Since March 12, PRC has distributed 1,217,475 liters of water in hospitals and communities. The number of water tankers deployed has also doubled from six to 12.

Summary of assistance on Manila Water Crisis

Hospitals

Rizal Medical Center – 560,000L

Quirino Memorial Medical Center – 126,000 L

National Kidney Center – 90,000 L

East Ave Medical Center – 76,000 L

Mandaluyong City Medical Center – 70,000 L

Nat’l Center for Mental Health – 30,000L

Establishment

Phil. Health Office – 12,000L

Communities

Mandaluyong (Brgy. Highway Hills, Brgy. Addition Hills) – 96,000L

Quezon City (Brgy. Old Balara, Hura Homes, Forest Tree Extension, Brgy. Culiat, Brgy. Damayang Lagi) – 89,975L

Marikina (Brgy Tumana, Brgy. Nangka, Brgy Concepcion) – 70,500L

AID POURED in for 1,217 families in Camarines Sur and Albay as the Philippine Red Cross (PRC) provided multipurpose cash grants to help them recover from the aftermath of Tropical Depression Usman, which ravaged the southern part of the country in December 2018.

On March 19, PRC, in partnership with the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, distributed P3,500 each to 917 families from Brgy. San Miguel and Brgy. Ombao Polpog in the Municipality of Bula, Camarines Sur.

This was followed by the distribution of cash grants to 300 most affected families Brgy. Maynonong, Brgy. Naga, and Brgy. Sugod from the Municipality of Tiwi, Albay on March 20.

Chairman Richard Gordon said the cash grant empowers the beneficiaries to start anew following the devastation of Usman.

“The Red Cross never forgets. It’s been three months since Usman displaced thousands and we are still here to assure people that they will never walk alone. We are here to give them options,” Gordon said.

The distribution of multipurpose cash grant allows families to prioritize their immediate needs to recover from the impact of the disaster.

Data from the PRC Operations Center shows that Usman damaged over 5,000 houses in Camarines Sur and Albay. Landslides and flooding also resulted in agricultural and livelihood losses.

PRC first dispatched a “humanitarian caravan” composed of water tankers and rescue trucks during the height of Usman.

Staff and volunteers also spent the New Year providing search and rescue, relief, water, and welfare assistance to affected communities in Camarines Sur and Albay.

IT ONLY took a week for the Philippine Red Cross (PRC) to address the immediate needs of hospitals and communities heavily affected by the water crisis in Metro Manila.

As of March 17, PRC has distributed 1,033,000 liters of clean and safe water to an estimated 43,000 individuals from Rizal Medical Center, Quirino Memorial Medical Center, National Kidney and Transplant Institute, East Avenue Medical Center, Mandaluyong City Medical Center, and the National Center for Mental Health.

PRC has also started to provide water in communities, including Brgy. Old Balara and Brgy. Culiat in Quezon City; Brgy. Highway Hills in Mandaluyong; and Brgy. Tumana and Brgy. Nangka in Marikina.

Chairman Richard Gordon said PRC earlier prioritized hospitals and medical institutions to ensure that medical services will not be interrupted.

“We received requests from different hospitals and we delivered immediately. The condition in crisis-affected hospitals has now improved, but we are still on standby as this may extend until June. We are now delivering water supply to barangays to prevent health concerns,” Gordon said.

Since March 11, a total of eight water tankers were deployed to deliver water in priority areas. PRC’s response to the water crisis is the fastest operations in the organization’s history.

Meanwhile, PRC raises concern over the improper storage of water, where the use of uncovered containers poses threats of acquiring diseases, such as diarrhea.

“Our water is safe for drinking. But when people use open containers, this can easily be contaminated. The use of proper storage, such as jerry cans with faucets, mitigates the risk of getting sick,” Gordon said.

We are calling on the public to help us help more.

You may support PRC’s response to the Metro Manila water crisis through the following bank accounts:

Banco De Oro

Account name: Philippine Red Cross

Peso account: 00-4530190938

Dollar account: 10-453-0039482

Swift code: BNORPHMM

Metrobank

Account name: Philippine Red Cross

Peso account: 151-7-15152434-2

Dollar account: 151-2-15100218-2

Swift code: MBTCPHMM

Landbank of the Philippines

Account name: Philippine Red Cross

Account number: 0561-095817

For more information, you may contact Rizza Genil at (02) 790-2410 or Shervi Corpuz at (02) 790-2413 or +639178348378.

The Philippine Red Cross (PRC) and the Local Government Unit of Tanauan City on Friday signed a memorandum of agreement (MOA) for the establishment of a Red Cross branch in the locality.

Sen. Richard Gordon, chairman of PRC, said the new branch will not only help the Red Cross reach out to the most vulnerable in Tanauan, but will boost the disaster and emergency preparedness of the city.

“We have gone full circle in terms of saving lives. It is important that the presence of Red Cross is strong in all parts of the country so we can further assist our people,” Gordon said.

Under the memorandum of agreement, PRC-Batangas’ soon-to-rise Tanauan City branch will be housed in a two-story building located at the old city hall compound.

PRC, through the Batangas Chapter, will provide qualified staff and volunteers who will deliver the Red Cross services on the local level—blood, disaster management, safety, health, among others.

The MOA signing ceremony was attended by Tanauan City Mayor Jhoanna C. Villamor, PRC Secretary General Elizabeth Zavalla, and PRC Batangas Chapter, led by Chairman of Board of Directors Atty. Vicente Mayo and Chapter Administrator Ronald Generoso.

The Philippine Red Cross (PRC) supplied water to the Rizal Medical Center (RMC) in Pasig, which is among the hospitals affected by the Manila Water service interruption as the water level of La Mesa Dam drops to critical levels.

Sen. Richard Gordon, chairman of the Red Cross, found out that the water crisis affecting Rizal Medical Center (RMC) through a phone call by Department of Health (DOH) Secretary Francisco Duque III.

Immediately, Gordon dispatched two 12-liter and four 10-liter water tankers, which can load up to 64,000 liters of water per batch, to fill the hospital’s 145,000-liter reservoir.

“The problem was formidable. We solved it by providing a pump that can fill the water tanks, which will supply water in the 450-bed hospital. This should help the patients who are vulnerable due to lack of potable and clean water in the facility,” Gordon said.

Gordon said PRC is prioritizing hospitals to ensure that healthcare services will not be interrupted and to avoid health complications, such as sepsis, a type of blood infection that could worsen without proper sanitation.

“We are ready to address the needs of the hospitals because we have water tankers that are capable of filling up a high-pressure water system,” Gordon added.

To date, PRC has eight water tankers in Metro Manila, which is part of its complement of 20 water tankers nationwide.

PRC is planning to acquire more 10,000-liter water tankers to assist other affected hospitals in Metro Manila.

We are calling on the public to help us help more.

You may support PRC’s response to the Metro Manila water crisis through the following bank accounts:

Banco De Oro

Account name: Philippine Red Cross

Peso account: 00-4530190938

Dollar account: 10-453-0039482

Swift code: BNORPHMM

Metrobank

Account name: Philippine Red Cross

Peso account: 151-7-15152434-2

Dollar account: 151-2-15100218-2

Swift code: MBTCPHMM

Landbank of the Philippines

Account name: Philippine Red Cross

Account number: 0561-095817

For more information, you may contact Rizza Genil at (02) 790-2410 or Shervi Corpuz at (02) 790-2413 or +639178348378.

ILOCOS Sur government officials lauded the Philippine Red Cross (PRC) for its massive recovery operations for communities struck by Typhoon Mangkhut, locally known as Ompong.

During the distribution of household livelihood assistance to 501 families from the municipalities of Cabugao and Sinait in Ilocos Sur, Sangguniang Panlalawigan Board Member Efren Rafanan said PRC is the first organization to provide a substantial amount of P10,000 to aid typhoon-affected communities.

“Nobody has ever given P10,000 to the people. Even the local government units here have not. It is evident that the Red Cross cares. We thank the Red Cross for always being there for the past years and until now. I hope we could have a better relationship,” Rafanan said.

This was echoed by Cabugao Acting Mayor Deogracias Jose Victorino Savellano—noting that the amount will be beneficial to help families start anew.

Dumating na ang tulong na hinihintay ng mga kababayan natin. We do not welcome disasters, but we welcome any assistance to address the damages brought by Ompong. First time naming makatanggap ng P10,000 para sa beneficiaries,” Savellano said.

The household livelihood assistance is part of PRC’s early recovery operations, in partnership with the Spanish Red Cross.

PRC Chairman Richard Gordon said the activity mirrors the organization’s commitment to serve the most vulnerable communities during and after a disaster.

When the world no longer watches, andito pa kami. It’s been six months since Ompong, pero hindi namin kayo nakakalimutan,” Gordon said.

The household livelihood assistance provides opportunities for families to start income-generating activities to help them address their basic needs.

“Ayaw naming maging palaasa kayo. Kailangan magtrabaho tayo dahil hindi habang buhay nakayuko tayo,” Gordon said.

The Philippine Red Cross (PRC) is calling on the public to practice household-level fire safety measures to prevent suffering heavy losses due to fire incidents.

PRC Chairman Richard Gordon reiterated the importance of the organization’s 4Ps principle—Predict, Plan, Prepare, Practice—to uphold the safety of every family.

“Our fruits of labor and even lives can be wiped away in a snap if we choose to be negligent. Fire safety begins at home. Identify fire hazards in your household and plan out evacuation measures in case of fire emergencies,” Gordon said.

The PRC supports the campaign of Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) to raise fire prevention awareness throughout the month of March, which is said to have the most number of fire incidents due to the peaking of temperatures.

This year’s theme, “Ligtas na Pilipinas ating Kamtin, Bawat Pamilya ay Sanayin, Kaalaman sa Sunog Ay Palawakin,” calls to reduce fire incidents by raising awareness on the community level.

In line with this, PRC reminds the public to practice the following fire prevention tips:

1. Do not smoke in bed.

2. Crush cigarette butts thoroughly before discarding them.

3. Do not throw them into wastebaskets.

4. Keep lighted candles, oil or gas lamps away from curtains and other objects that easily catch fire.

5. Do not store any flammable substances or any volatile liquid in the kitchen and inside dwelling houses. Keep matches and lighters away from children’s reach.

6. Do not use open flames for decorations in the house.

7. Extinguish all live charcoals and embers after cooking in the kitchen. Make sure the kitchen is inspected before retiring for the night.

8. Kerosene and gas stoves should be checked for leakage and regularly cleaned. It is best to invest in a quality LPG tank.

9. your electrical installations regularly and have all frayed wiring, damaged sockets, switches and other defective electrical fixtures changed or repaired promptly.

10. All electrical installations, repairs and changes should be undertaken by licensed electricians. Never run electrical cords under rugs.

11. Cords of portable appliances should be as short as possible.

12. Do not overload your electrical circuits by profusely putting extra lights and appliances. Combustible and other flimsy materials should not be placed near bulbs.

In case of emergencies, contact Red Cross hotline 143.

PRC has a fleet of 19 fire trucks that are always first, always ready, and always there to respond to fire emergencies.

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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
Hotline: 143 Trunkline +63 2 8790 2300
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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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