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Brief History

A chronology of significant events

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
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).

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

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."

Apart from the apparent change in the organization's name from "Philippine National Red Cross" to "Philippine Red Cross" - included in the Act's new provisions is the organizations' exemption from real property taxes, direct and indirect taxes, duties and fees that will emerge from its operations and its exclusive importations and purchases.