As the country commemorates the historic Super Typhoon Haiyan this November, the Philippine Red Cross (PRC) highlights the noteworthy accomplishments of its response, recovery, and resilience programs in the affected areas. One of the worst-hit provinces was Capiz. The Philippine Red Cross shared that overall, it provided PhP448.6 million in recovery interventions in the province.
“We are globally acknowledged as one of the leading Red Cross societies. In the aftermath of the Haiyan disaster, we demonstrated our capacity to gather support from numerous Red Cross and Red Crescent (RCRC) societies globally and effectively distribute aid to various provinces. The Haiyan incident underscored the reputation of Red Cross as a dependable organization, solidifying its position as the preferred partner,” said Richard “Dick” Gordon, Chairman and CEO of the PRC.
Aside from the PRC, the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, the German Red Cross, the Hong Kong Red Cross, the Singapore Red Cross, and the Swiss Red Cross implemented the humanitarian assistance program in Capiz.
The RCRC Movement built 7,233 homes for displaced people, provided livelihood training and cash assistance to 6,945 households, built WASH (water, sanitation, and hygiene) facilities in 24 schools, reconstructed or constructed 12 health facilities, and built 25 classrooms.
Dr. Gwen Pang, Secretary-General of the Philippine Red Cross (PRC), said that the PRC assumed control by allocating various national Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies to the impacted provinces and cities, implementing a coordinated intervention program.
Super Typhoon Haiyan affected over 16 million people in more than 600 municipalities and cities. It displaced more than 800,000 families. The PRC mounted a P4.9 billion recovery program, benefiting over 390,000 families across 10 provinces and cities.
MANILA, PHILIPPINES – Philippine Red Cross (PRC) Secretary-General, Dr. Gwen Pang discussed the organization’s climate actions and humanitarian responses to disasters aggravated by climate change during the International Women Empowerment Assembly: Peace and Sustainable Development of the International Council of Women on November 6.
Dr. Pang began her discourse by referring to climate change as a threat multiplier that can exacerbate existing conflicts and potentially ignite new ones. “By addressing climate change, we are actively contributing in promoting peace and sustainability,” she said.
The discourse focused on the ways the PRC addresses both the effects and root causes of climate change.
“We incorporate climate change in our training, capacity-building programs, and educational materials to raise awareness. We invest in nature-based solutions, and intensify our efforts in waste management and circular economy,” she said.
The PRC also has climate-resilient development practices, such as Early Warning and Early Action Protocols, and community-based disaster risk reduction and disaster preparedness to help Filipino communities affected by natural hazards intensified by climate change.
“Numerous climate change-induced hazards traverse the Philippines in a year. Before communities can recover, another disaster will come and exacerbate their situation. Our early warning and action systems help Filipinos strengthen their houses, evacuate livestocks, relocate small businesses, and harvest their crops days early prior to impact of hazards,” Dr. Pang highlighted.
The Secretary-General concluded her discussion by encouraging all women leaders at the aforementioned conference to devise action points and integrate climate change in local and national policies.
This year, Dr. Pang represented the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies at the UN High-Level Meeting of the Midterm Review for the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction (SFDRR) in New York. The PRC also signed an agreement with the Climate Change Commission to intensify the country’s climate change adaptation and mitigation programs.
After receiving reports from the Philippine Red Cross (PRC) Operations Center, PRC Cagayan de Oro Chapter immediately responded to stranded passengers of a Cebu-bound ship that tilted due to strong winds and heavy waves shortly after leaving the port of CDO on November 12. The vessel was operated by Cokaliong Shipping Lines.
Soon after all the passengers safely disembarked from the ship at the port of CDO, the PRC’s Welfare Services Team arrived. Volunteers from PRC CDO Chapter distributed hot meals (arroz caldo) to 125 passengers and food packs to 129 passengers who were shaken by the incident. Seven (7) passengers received medical attention, one of whom had a sprained ankle, and two (2) passengers received psychological first aid from PRC’s first aid and welfare stations.
PRC Chairman Dick Gordon directed the deployment of PRC’s ambulance team in Macabalan Port to provide pre-hospital treatment to passengers who may need it.
PRC’s OpCen also coordinated with the Philippine Coast Guard. Stranded passengers are currently housed in the PPA passenger amenity building, awaiting instructions regarding the vessel’s departure or clearance.
On October 7, the PRC dispatched two ambulance units to assist in the disembarkation of passengers from a cargo vessel still operated by Cokaliong Shipping Lines. The vessel was en route to Samar when a chemical leak on board took place.
When PHIVOLCS reported that Mt. Mayon was on alert level three, the Philippine Red Cross (PRC), led by its Chairman and CEO, Dick Gordon, immediately sent a humanitarian caravan to meet the essential needs of the people who were pre-emptively evacuated because of the imminent eruption. The premier humanitarian organization in the Philippines has been alongside the Bicolanos, providing them with clean water, food, health care, and other basic necessities during their stay at the evacuation centers since Day 1.
More than three months later, as Mt. Mayon has not shown signs of being stable, the PRC renews its commitment to the families seeking temporary shelter in evacuation centers. Gordon calls on the families affected to endure, saying that the situation, too, will pass. He assures them that the PRC will continue to be a lifeline during this time of crisis. He encourages them to maintain composure and a positive outlook amidst the situation.
“There is no other way out of a crisis but hope. Do not let your hope get dampened by your surroundings or the mood of the people around you get the better of you. Be a thermostat, which controls temperature, rather than a thermometer, which simply reflects the temperature. The Red Cross will be with you, for as our hymn says, ‘When the world no longer watches, we do what must be done’,” says Gordon.
As of 19 September, the PRC has provided the following humanitarian aid to the families displaced by the Mt. Mayon eruption, among others: 2,580,500 liters of water through the PRC water tankers; 81,352 hot meals; hygiene promotion to 13,342 persons; psychological first aid to 4,016 children and 1,521 adults; 3,662 feminine kits; 2,531 dengue brochures; welfare services to 2,474 individuals through the PRC welfare desks; 2,436 sleeping kits; 2,436 water containers; 2,393 cough and colds brochure; menstrual hygiene management lecture to 1,389 individuals; and 1,210 hygiene kits.
The PHIVOLCS reported in its Twitter account today, 20 September, that Mt. Mayon is on Alert Level 3, as lava slowly flowed from it during the last 24 hours, from 5:00 am of 19 September to 5:00 am today. The PHIVOLCS also said that Mt. Mayon registered nine volcanic eruptions and 147 rockfall events in the same period.
The Philippine Red Cross (PRC) will celebrate its 75th Founding Anniversary on 15 April at Shangri-La The Fort Manila. The event will commemorate the PRC’s 75 years of transformative humanitarian service and will give due recognition to PRC donors and volunteers for years spent alleviating human suffering and uplifting human dignity.
“April 15 is a day of celebration, the day we express our appreciation to our donors and volunteers who embodied the values and mission of the PRC in the last 75 years,” PRC Chairman Richard Gordon said.
PRC’s passionately uplifting programs for the most vulnerable provide the incentive for old and new local and international donors to continue building partnerships with PRC. Last March, conglomerates and houses of the Congress chose PRC to assist in their donations to victims of the 7.8-magnitude earthquake in Türkiye and Syria, which is considered the strongest earthquake that hit the region for over 80 years.
The PRC’s enhanced logistics department partnered with the increasing number of volunteers inspired by Chairman Gordon’s vision and supported by PRC’s Operations Center (Information Technology) fulfills the equation “Volunteers + Logistics + Information Technology = A Red Cross that is Always First, Always Ready, and Always There. This mantra guides PRC in its responses to vulnerable communities, especially recent ones such as Typhoon Karding, the North Luzon Earthquake, and Typhoon Paeng.
“As we venture into the next 75 years of humanitarian work, the Philippine Red Cross is prepared for stronger and more frequent disasters as climate change rears it ugly head,” added Chairman Gordon.
PRC Chapters nationwide will also hold simultaneous activities to celebrate the 75 years of PRC. Among the activities are Mass Lecture-Demo on First Aid/CPR, RC143 Recruitment/Orientation, Blood Donation Drives, Walk for Humanity/Parade, Clean up Drive, Fund Run, Medical Mission and Operation Tuli, Webinar Podcast, Concert for a Cause, and Tree Planting.
PRC Secretary General Dr. Gwendolyn T. Pang said that the PRC has developed not just as the foremost humanitarian organization in the country but also as one of the best Red Cross societies in the world.
The combined forces of a low-pressure area and the shear line, brought incessant rains and fatal floods, and caused humanitarian emergencies in Southern Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao. In addition to intense rescue operations and other humanitarian assistance, the Philippine Red Cross (PRC) scaled up its food assistance and served hot meals to 8, 434 flood victims in eight hard-hit provinces and municipalities from January 1 to 20: Misamis Occidental – Oroqueita City, Misamis Oriental – Gingoog City, Oriental Mindoro, Palawan, Lapu-Lapu City, Zamboanga City, Sulu-Jolo, and Northern Samar.
The immediate aftermath of any disaster is disruption of access to food. Displaced families are unable to prepare their food. This threatens the health, nutrition, and well-being of affected communities. The PRC food trucks, provide hot meals within 24 hours of a disaster, seek to address the limited food supply in affected areas.
“Displacement has disrupted the food supply of our kababayans in Visayas, Mindanao, and some parts of Palawan. Our volunteers are mobilized and our food trucks are immediately deployed in affected areas to serve hot meals to affected people, especially children,” Chairman and CEO Richard J. Gordon said.
From January 01 to 20, the PRC Chapters in the affected areas alongside their Welfare teams dispatched four food trucks and served hot meals in the forms of rice, chicken, vegetables, egg, pansit, Arroz caldo, and champorado to displaced children and adults.
PRC likewise prepared its rescue equipment and provided the following additional humanitarian aid to communities affected by shear line-induced rains: 421, 900 liters of clean water, children activities, psychological first aid sessions to 1, 940 individuals, 645 medicines against Leptospirosis, hygiene kits to 464 families, sleeping kits to 612 families, jerry cans to 524 families, and kitchen sets to 546 families.
As the world celebrates International Volunteers Day on December 5, 2022, the Philippine Red Cross (PRC) honors its chairman and CEO, Richard J. Gordon, as a volunteer. Gordon started volunteering at the Red Cross a young age, in 1968. He marks 54 years of being a Red Cross volunteer this year.
Volunteerism probably runs in Gordon’s family. To be exact, he might have “inherited” the trait from his mother. At a young age, he witnessed his mother provide care for many orphaned or abandoned children. It was also his mother, herself a Red Cross leader, who introduced Gordon to what would be, under his leadership, the premier humanitarian organization in the country.
Before becoming PRC’s chairman and CEO in 2004, Gordon as city mayor of Olongapo led around 8,000 volunteers from all walks of life to transform Subic Bay into the a special economic zone after the termination of US Naval Base’s operations there. When Mt. Pinatubo erupted in 1991, Gordon was among the key government officials who led the response and recovery of Central Luzon.
As chairman and CEO of PRC, Gordon would lead notable humanitarian responses, such as the Ginsaugon landslide response, the Super Ferry response, and the Super Typhoon Haiyan response, which is the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement’s biggest humanitarian response to date.
Gordon’s brand of volunteerism emanates from his love for the country and its people. This love was once again demonstrated when he worked tirelessly with his colleagues in 2020 to rapidly put up molecular laboratories capable of automated testing of Covid-19, so that the country would be able to detect virus transmission and isolate those infected.
Gordon collaborated with his colleagues at PRC in developing the concept of and launching the barangay-based Red Cross 143 volunteer network, which is what makes PRC able to gather information from the ground and respond quickly in disasters and emergencies.
Gordon’s influence as a Red Cross leader is far-reaching. His colleagues at the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement and government disaster managers seek his wisdom from his 54 years of experience as a volunteer and leader of the PRC.
Port Area,Manila- The Philippine Red Cross(PRC) Hemodialysis Center has now done 14,006 hemodialysis treatments as of February 1, 2022 since welcoming its first patients back in February 2019.
“We established a hemodialysis center to strengthen the Red Cross humanitarian efforts to uplift human dignity,” said Chairman and CEO Dick Gordon.
Despite the ongoing pandemic, the PRC Hemodialysis Center has remained in operation and has treated over 71 patients providing 7,183 treatments last 2020, and 3942 treatments last 2021.
Right now, the PRC Hemodialysis Center has 22 patients and is actively looking for more since the facility can accommodate up to 90 patients, depending on whether they are on a twice or thrice a week hemodialysis program. With its 15 state-of-the-art dialysis machines donated by Dr. Takao Suzuki, the chairperson of Tokushukai General Inc. Association, and hemodialysis treatments funded by the Bloomberry Foundation, the PRC is offering the Hemodialysis Samaritan Program to patients needing hemodialysis treatment.
To further help curb the COVID-19 pandemic, more than 20,000 vaccine doses are to be administered by Philippine Red Cross(PRC) Chapters to support the upcoming third round of the National Vaccination Days this February 10 and 11, 2022.
” Kahit marami hamon ngayon ang ating bansa, ang Red Cross ay patuloy na nagpapadala ng mga bakuna sa mga tao, at palagi naming tinitiyak ang kaligtasan at pagiging epektibo ng mga bakuna dahil. Tulong-tulong tayong upang mapigilan na ang pandemya,” said Chairman and CEO Senator Dick Gordon.
According to the PRC Health Services, 42 PRC Chapters will operate 17 Bakuna Centers, 11 Bakuna Buses, and 26 Bakuna Teams to provide primary and booster doses. The PRC will also mobilize around 600 volunteers as vaccinators and support volunteers for the vaccination days.
Meanwhile, as the government has now expanded the vaccination program to the younger population, teams are now preparing for pediatric vaccinations for those aged 5 to 11 that target to be launched before the end of the month.
As of February 8, 2022, the PRC has administered 984, 764 doses while fully vaccinating 340, 560 individuals since launching its vaccination program on March 2021.
The PRC National Vaccination Program is made possible through the support of the International Federation of Red Cross(ICRC), Netherlands Red Cross, German Red Cross, corporate partners such as Procter & Gamble, Coca-Cola Foundation, LAZADA, and Bakuna Bus partners; Victory Liner, Ceres Bus, and UBE Express.
Through the initiative of Philippine Red Cross (PRC) Chairman and CEO Sen. Dick Gordon to provide an immediate response to the Visayas and Mindanao region affected by the recent Typhoon Odette (international name: Rai), PRC Hot Meals on Wheels provided free ready-to-eat meals to 75,141 individuals, since the beginning of Typhoon Odette operations.
In the immediate aftermath of any disaster, access to food is usually disrupted, with displaced families unable to prepare their food. This threatens the health, nutrition, and well-being of affected communities. The “Hot Meals on Wheels” program seeks to address this by having a fleet of food trucks that could be easily mobilized to provide food relief within 24 hours of a disaster.
PRC’s Hot Meals on Wheels first started in 2005, through the vision of PRC Chairman Dick Gordon to provide food to the most vulnerable. PRC acquired its first food truck when Chairman Gordon donated his personal funds to procure a food truck and distributed it to the different PRC chapters in the National Capital Region.
As of this writing, PRC’s food trucks have catered to over a million people, responding to disasters like Bohol Earthquake and Zamboanga Siege in 2013, Mindanao Earthquake in 2019, Typhoon Rolly and Ulysses in 2020, and throughout the entire COVID-19 operations.
When the COVID-19 pandemic happened in the Philippines, imposing a lockdown in the country, Thousands of Filipinos lost their jobs, their source of livelihood, and have restricted access to food. Through PRC Hot Meals on Wheels, the humanitarian organization can provide food to the most vulnerable individuals such as senior citizens, persons with disabilities, pregnant women, and children greatly affected by the pandemic.
To intensify PRC’s covid response in providing Hot Meals to lockdown affected residents, PRC procured seven food trucks last July 2021, and an additional five more last October 2021, making it a fleet of 28 food trucks.
This initiative by PRC is in response to the imposition of strict community quarantine measures that restrict the residents to their access to food and other basic needs.
The food trucks are one of the first responses of PRC in emergencies and are currently stationed in key-strategic areas nationwide to hasten relief operations.
Each food truck is fully-equipped with an industrial-size rice cooker, warmers, oven, and burners. It is designed to provide on-site meals for the victims of disasters and calamities with no access to their homes or cooking facilities. Addressing the need for food is an immediate concern for these unfortunate persons.
“Sa panahon ng sakuna, isa sa pinaka mahalaga sa tao ay ang pagkain. Mahalaga ang mga Food Trucks dahil ilalapit na natin ito sa mga naapektuhan. Hindi na nila kailangan lutuin at kakainin nalang nila ito. May mga volunteer chefs at nutrionist din ang Red Cross upang masiguradong ligtas, masustansya, at masarap ang mga pagkain na ibabahagi sa affected communities,” Sen. Dick Gordon said.
PRC’s Food truck has played a vital role in emergency responses through hot meals distribution in evacuation centers, making it one of the first responses by the humanitarian organization to affected communities in times of crisis, disasters, and conflicts.
The hot meals on wheels is just one of the developments seen, as Gordon leads the Philippine Red Cross modernization program.