All 14 Philippine Red Cross (PRC) molecular laboratories across the country received Certificates of Proficiency for 2022 from the Department of Health-Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (DOH-RITM). The proficiency tests, given annually by RITM to DOH-accredited molecular laboratories, are part of RITM’s quality assessment post-accreditation for the real-time detection of SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus that causes CoVID-19.
All 14 molecular laboratories of the PRC passed the proficiency tests, which consist of Nucleic Acid Extraction, PCR Master Mix Preparation, Real-Time RT-PCR, RT-PCR results interpretation, and RT-PCR results reporting. All 14 PRC laboratories needed only one take to meet the RITM requirements.
The PRC’s molecular laboratories are located in (1) PRC National Blood Center, Mandaluyong City, (2) PRC Logistics and Multi-purpose Center, Mandaluyong City, (3) Port Area, Manila, (4) Ilagan City, Isabela, (5) Subic, Zambales, (6) Clark, Pampanga, (7) Batangas City, (8) Mandaue City, Cebu, (9) Passi City, Iloilo, (10) Bacolod City, Negros Occidental, (11) Cagayan de Oro City, Misamis Oriental, (12) Surigao City, Surigao del Norte (13) Cotabato City-Maguindanao area, and (14) Zamboanga City.
The first laboratory started operation in April 2020. Since then, PRC has tested 5,605,651 swab and saliva samples for CoVID-19. “Ang Philippine Red Cross ang kauna-unahang nagkaroon ng automated RT-PCR tests sa Pilipinas. Araw-araw, sinisikap ng aming volunteers at staff na laging maging una, laging handa, at laging nandyan para sa ating mga kababayan sa panahon ng emergency at sakuna,” PRC Chairman and CEO Richard J. Gordon said.
The Philippine Red Cross (PRC) has administered 22,021 doses of Covid-19 vaccines in Lapu-Lapu City and Cordova town, in Cebu province, through the PRC Mobile Bakuna Team, fully inoculating 5,630 persons.
Lapu-Lapu is currently under Covid-19 alert level 1, while Cordova is on alert level 2. Other PRC vaccination sites in Visayas are in Bohol, Capiz, Negros Occidental, Aklan, Bogo, Iloilo City, Cebu City, Cebu province, and Roxas City.
The vaccinations are part of the PRC’s Covid-19 response across the country. As of June 9, 2022, PRC has administered 1,190,940 doses of Covid-19 vaccines, including boosters in the whole country, fully vaccinating 372,963 persons.
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. “Ang Philippine Red Cross ay laging handa at laging nandyan, hanggang sa maging ligtas ang mga Pilipino sa banta ng Covid-19,” Chairman Gordon said.
The Philippine Red Cross (PRC) Misamis Oriental-Cagayan De Oro Chapter, in partnership with the city government of Cagayan de Oro, has administered 45,888 doses of Covid-19 vaccines and boosters from 2021 to 2022 through the PRC Bakuna Teams, fully vaccinating at least 4,161 persons as of May 29, 2022. The Bakuna Teams started tracking the number of those fully vaccinated only in February 2022.
Cagayan de Oro City is currently under Covid-19 alert level 1, which means all interzonal and intrazonal travels and all outdoor activities are allowed, subject to the local government’s guidelines. The Philippines has been open to fully vaccinated foreign tourists from all countries since April 1, 2022.
The PRC Bakuna Teams, deployed in SM Downtown Quantum, also supports one Bakuna Center in Cagayan de Oro City. Other PRC vaccination sites in Mindanao include Tawi-Tawi, Cotabato City-Maguindanao, Sulu, Davao del Sur, Surigao del Norte, Sultan Kudarat, Marawi City, and Zamboanga City.
The vaccinations are part of the PRC’s Covid-19 response across the country. As of May 29, 2022, PRC has administered 1,185,628 doses of Covid-19 vaccines and boosters in the whole country, with at least 372,780 persons fully vaccinated.
PRC Chairman and CEO Richard J. Gordon encourages those who have not been vaccinated and those who are qualified to have the first or second booster shots to get the shots, especially because the Department of Health has announced that Omicron subvariants have been detected in the country. “When the world no longer watches, we do what must be done. Mananatiling nandito ang Philippine Red Cross, handang umaksyon anuman ang magiging sitwasyon ng bansa laban sa Covid-19,” Chairman Gordon said.
The Philippine Red Cross (PRC), in partnership with local governments, has administered more than 9,000 doses of Covid-19 vaccines and boosters in Aklan from 2021 to 2022 through the PRC Bakuna Bus, fully vaccinating 4,358 persons as of May 24, 2022. Included in the areas visited by PRC’s Bakuna Bus are the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology and Aklan Rehabilitation Center. Other PRC vaccination sites in Visayas include Bohol, Capiz, Negros, Bogo, and Roxas City.
The vaccinations are part of the PRC’s Covid-19 response across the country. As of May 25, 2022, PRC has administered 1,181,858 doses of Covid-19 vaccines and boosters in the whole country, with 372,553 persons fully vaccinated.
Aklan is currently under Covid-19 alert level 1, which means all interzonal and intrazonal travels and all outdoor activities are allowed, subject to the local government’s guidelines. The Philippines has been open to fully vaccinated foreign tourists from all countries since April 1, 2022.
PRC Chairman and CEO Richard J. Gordon continues to encourage those who have not been vaccinated and those who are qualified to have the first or second booster shots to get the shots. “Hindi pa tapos ang laban natin sa Covid-19. Kagaya nang dati, ang Philippine Red Cross ay mananatiling nandyan para sa ating mga kababayan sa matagal na panahon, hanggang sa tayo ay maging ligtas sa peligro ng Covid-19,” Chairman Gordon said.
To continue its COVID-19 vaccination program and encourage more people to get vaccinated, the Philippine Red Cross (PRC), through its Bakuna Bus, returned to Malabon City in Barangay Longos on May 20.
Over 100 patients, including senior citizens and immunocompromised, were able to receive their 1st booster shots. They were also advised to monitor their health conditions in preparation for their 2nd booster shots. The Department of Health issued an announcement on May 18 that senior citizens and the immunocompromised can join health workers in availing of the second booster shot.
“Nagbabalik ang Red Cross dito sa Malabon upang ipagpatuloy ang ating vaccination program. Ang ating Bakuna Bus ay handang sumuong sa mga liblib na lugar upang mas mahikayat natin ang ating mga kababayan na magpabakuna. Walang maiiwan sa ating laban kontra COVID-19,” PRC Chairman and CEO Richard Gordon said.
Providing a mobile COVID-19 vaccination program, the Bakuna Bus is strategically designed with facilities in compliance with the vaccine administration protocols, COVID-19 vaccines and other supplies, and space for volunteers and staff. With this interior, the PRC delivers a more efficient service to achieve herd immunity amid the pandemic, fulfilling its mandate to assist the government in its COVID-19 efforts.
To date, the PRC has administered 1,178,776 vaccination doses with 20 Bakuna Buses deployed in different areas in the Philippines.
In support of the Department of Health’s announcement on May 18, 2022, giving the green light for the administration of second Covid-19 vaccine booster shots, the Philippine Red Cross Bakuna Centers are open to those who are qualified for the booster shots.
The Department of Health explained that the second booster shot is a defense of health workers and the highly vulnerable seniors. It also reiterated that the shots are safe, effective, and free of charge.
Qualified persons — those in A1 category, Workers in Frontline Health Services, and A2, Senior Citizens, who had their first booster shot four months ago — may walk in at a Philippine Red Cross Bakuna Center to have their second booster. There is no need for an appointment.
Those who plan to avail of the second booster shot must bring their vaccination card showing the date of the first booster dose and any government-issued ID.
The Philippine Red Cross Chairman and CEO, Senator Richard J. Gordon, encouraged those who are qualified to get the jab to visit a Red Cross vaccination center. “Hinihikayat ko ang ating mga kababayan na frontline healthcare workers at senior citizens na fully vaccinated at may first booster shot na kunin na ang second booster shot para sa kanilang proteksyon,” Chairman Gordon said.
The Philippine Red Cross’ vaccination efforts are part of its mandate as an auxiliary to the government in its humanitarian tasks. The Philippine Red Cross started administering Covid-19 vaccines in March 2021. As of May 19, 2022, it has administered 1,176,151 doses of Covid-19 vaccines and boosters, of which 92,712 are boosters. It has fully vaccinated 372,352 individuals.
As the National and Local Elections 2022 are concluded, the Philippine Red Cross (PRC), under the leadership of its Chairman and CEO Richard Gordon, reminded the public to get vaccinated and observe COVID-related symptoms.
To assist the government with its vaccination efforts, the PRC also deployed its 20 Bakuna Buses to different communities across the country. Each is designed with a spacious interior for vaccination, storage of supplies, and patients’ waiting area. The PRC also continues to offer one of the most affordable reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) tests, including the cheaper and less invasive saliva-based test administered only by the organization’s 14 molecular laboratories.
“Muli kong hinihikayat ang ilan sa ating mga kababayan na hindi pa nababakunahan na magparehistro o mag-walk in lamang sa Red Cross upang kayo’y mabigyan ng vaccination schedule at maprotektahan laban sa kumakalat na virus. Nariyan pa rin ang ating abot-kayang RT-PCR test at mga Bakuna Buses na lumilibot sa iba’t ibang parte ng bansa upang magbigay serbisyo. Sama-sama tayo laban sa COVID-19,” Chairman Dick Gordon said.
Aside from offering these services, the PRC encourages the public, particularly the elderly and immunocompromised patients, to observe the minimum public health standards, which include immediate isolation if COVID-related symptoms are experienced. This is in response to the Department of Health’s latest National COVID-19 Case Bulletin last May 9, 2022, which reports over 1,000 COVID-19 new cases, 14 of which are severe and critical.
“Nariyan pa rin ang banta ng COVID-19 sa ating paligid, kaya nais nating paalalahanan ang publiko na sundin palagi ang itinakdang guidelines ng ating gobyerno. Red Cross is always ready to help, particularly in administering COVID-19 vaccine, RT-PCR test, and other humanitarian services.” Chairman Gordon added.
To date, the PRC has administered 1,169,428 vaccination doses and tested patients using either the swab or saliva method.
The Philippine Red Cross (PRC), through its Bakuna Bus and Bakuna Center, vaccinated 868 individuals belonging to the A1- A4 category in Batangas before the start of the holidays last October 27-29, 2021.
PRC, led by its Chairman and CEO Sen. Dick Gordon, continues to find ways to make vaccines available to the most vulnerable in far-flung areas. With the help of the local government unit, PRC sent out its Bakuna Bus to reach the municipality of San Luis and Padre Garcia, vaccinating 552 individuals.
“Kailangan tuloy tuloy pa rin ang ating pagbabakuna lalo na malapit na ang pasko. Hindi natin ineencourage na mag social gathering, ngunit ang dapat natin gawin ay magpabakuna at continues pa rin ang testing upang masiguradong ligtas ang ating pamilya at mga mahal sa buhay,” Sen. Dick Gordon said.
PRC encourages everyone to get vaccinated to keep you safe from COVID-19. Meanwhile, PRC remains at full force in its vaccination program, has vaccinated more than 350,000 individuals through its Bakuna Centers and Bakuna Buses, catering to the most vulnerable in this time of the pandemic.
The Philippine Red Cross (PRC) vaccinated 919 individuals last October 23, 2021 through its bakuna centers nationwide.
PRC inoculated 407 individuals at the General Santos Mega vaccination site – veranza, 230 individuals in Camarines Sur, and 282 individuals at the Ever Gotesco mall in Quezon City. The vaccination is in coordination with the local government unit, only the PRC provided the manpower to operate.
“hindi pa tapos ang laban natin kontra COVID-19. Inaanyayahan ko ang lahat na magpabakuna dahil ito ang pinaka mabisang panlaban kontra sa virus. Libre lang ang magpabakuna at maililigtas natin hindi lamang ang ating sarili, pati na rin ang mahal natin sa buhay, ” PRC Chairman and CEO Sen. Dick Gordon said.
Despite the lowering of cases compared to last month’s new cases, Sen. Dick Gordon emphasized that it should not be a reason to lower your guard as this virus can easily spread and affect the people around you.
Philippine Red Cross (PRC) Covid-19 response started with the vision of PRC Chairman and CEO Sen. Dick Gordon, who saw testing as a way to “drain the swamp.”
The country had to rely heavily on the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) government-run organization that could muster up the resources to deliver 300 tests a day. Thus, the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (Philhealth), knowing the PRC’s capabilities and capacity, approached the institution to see if they could take up the slack.
Sen. Dick Gordon, heeded the call to provide access to the Filipino people as he envisioned fighting the invisible enemy by testing as many people as quickly as possible. Therefore, identifying and isolating those who contacted COVID-19. From then on, PRC established its first molecular laboratory that could test 2,000 individuals per day.
To date, PRC has 14 molecular laboratories, positioned in key-strategic areas nationwide, capable of testing more than 48,000 tests per day.
But Chairman Gordon did not stop in finding more ways to beat this invisible enemy. PRC continues to search for a more affordable, faster, and non-invasive method of testing. The research led PRC to introduce the country’s first and only saliva RT-PCR test, which only costs PHP 2,000. The saliva test also uses reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR), which according to the World Health Organization, is considered the gold standard for COVID-19 testing.
PRC, at that time, is offering the cheapest swab RT-PCR test priced at PHP 4,000, further lowering it to 3,800, lower than the PHP 4,500-PHP 5,000 price range set by the Department of Health and Department of Trade and Industry for RT-PCR testing for private laboratories.
To make it more affordable to the public, PRC lowers its testing fees for the second time, pricing it from PHP 3,800 to PHP 2,800 for swab RT-PCR and from PHP 2,000 – PHP 1,500 for saliva RT-PCR test.
More than testing, PRC also established different Isolation Facilities in UP, Ateneo, De La Salle College-Benilde, Makati Science Highschool, Adamson University, and Cagayan to cater to asymptomatic spreaders and prevent household transmission.
Due to the rising cases of COVID-19 last April 2021, PRC Chairman Gordon was alarmed by the news of people dying outside the hospital while waiting to be admitted. Without hesitation, Chairman Gordon immediately deployed a 100-bed capacity Emergency Field Hospital at the Lung Center of the Philippines to serve mild-moderate cases. This initiative was followed by deploying Medical tents at the National Kidney Transplant Institute and assisted 30 more hospitals nationwide. To date, PRC medical tents have catered to more than 34,810 individuals since the start of the pandemic.
PRC also assisted communities through various cash distributions nationwide, the deployment of Hot Meals on Wheels, and other activities to combat COVID-19.
PRC continues to be at the forefront of the COVID-19 pandemic through various initiatives by the humanitarian organization, together with our partner national societies, staff, volunteers, and through the leadership of Sen. Dick Gordon.