Philippine Red Cross Chairman and CEO Richard J. Gordon directed staff and volunteers of the premier humanitarian organization in the country to provide the immediate needs of the families affected by the Low Pressure Area (LPA) and Intertropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ) in Mindanao. On 17 November, PRC volunteers and staff served hot meals to 1,691 internally displaced persons (IDPs) in the evacuation centers of the following local government units: Barangays Baluntay, Poblacion, and Maribulan in Alabel, Sarangani; Barangay Buayan in General Santos City; Barangay Poblacion in Malalag, Davao del Sur; and in Santa Maria, Davao Occidental.
“The Philippine Red Cross goal is to be always first, always ready, and always there for our fellow Filipinos in distress because of disasters and emergencies. We are able to meet the immediate needs of people affected by weather hazards because we have RC143 volunteers in the villages trained and ready to respond, we have prepositioned logistics, and we have state-of-the-art information technology for efficient and effective coordination,” explained Gordon.
Trained PRC volunteers and staff set up a Welfare Desk in Davao Del Sur. They facilitated child-friendly activities (CFA) designed as psychological first aid and treated five individuals in General Santos City.
PRC is currently conducting assessment of damage and needs in coordination with local governments. It has also alerted its army of RC143 volunteers in the barangays to respond when needed.
The Philippine Red Cross (PRC) has administered 11,263 doses of Covid-19 vaccines in Sulu province, through the PRC Mobile Bakuna Team, resulting in over 3,000 people fully inoculated and/or boosted. PRC Sulu Chapter Bakuna Team was deployed to support vaccination efforts at the Jolo Municipal Rural Health Unit, the Jolo Municipal Bakuna Center, and Barangay Bus-Bus Health Station.
Sulu is currently under Covid-19 alert level 2. Other places where PRC conducts vaccinations in Mindanao are Tawi-Tawi, Cotabato City-Maguindanao, Misamis Oriental-Cagayan de Oro, 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 June 20, 2022, PRC has administered 1,199,452 doses of Covid-19 vaccines, including boosters, in the whole country, fully vaccinating 373,631 persons.
PRC Chairman and CEO Richard J. Gordon constantly encourages Filipinos to get vaccinated or boosted. “Ang aming chapters sa Red Cross ay patuloy na nagbabakuna laban sa Covid-19 upang maging ligtas ang lahat sa banta nito” Chairman Gordon said.
After visiting the emergency medical tents in Kidapawan City, Philippine Red Cross Chairman and CEO, Sen. Richard Gordon ordered for more tents with more beds to be added to avoid patients sharing beds with those caring for them as this may cause disease transmission. Along with these, portable toilets and water bladder will also be added to support proper hygiene and sanitation and to ensure adequate supply of water. As for Davao del Sur, shelter assistance will be given after assessment and another water bladder will added to the operating assets of PRC.
Red Cross volunteers and staff on the ground have provided the affected population with immediate relief items such ambulance to transfer the injured and hot meals to the evacuees. Distribution of tarpaulins and hygiene and sleeping kits also followed soon after as well as the deployment of water tankers and bladders. As the team further assesses the needs of the affected communities, PRC distributed more of these essential items to 777 families in Kidapawan City, North Cotabato and Magsaysay, Davao del Sur yesterday.
During the distribution, Chairman Gordon taught the beneficiaries about the 4Ps – predict, plan, prepare and practice. This aims to empower communities and teach them the importance of being prepared should disasters strike. Stressing that Red Cross is not a charity institution, Chairman Gordon emphasized the importance of preserving the dignity of the beneficiaries and not being a “hand-out” organization.
“We don’t want a culture na pahingi. Ang kultura natin dapat, “Kaya natin ‘to. Makakabangon tayo. The quicker people go back to their normal life, the better,” say Chairman Gordon as he eyes livelihood programs next. This is why the Red Cross distributes relief using the “latag system” preserving the dignity of the recipients as they personally pick their items up to carry them to their homes. Also, community engagement and consultation is done to better understand what early recovery program suits the community.
For Kidapawan City, 420 families received hygiene kits and food items while 357 families from Magsaysay received food items (FIs) and non-food items (NFIs) such as sleeping and hygiene kits, jerry cans and tarpaulins. Hygiene kits are vital due to the high risk of catching diseases in evacuation centers as these places are often crowded and practice of sanitation is a challenge. Jerry cans greatly help evacuees as water supply has been problematic since the earthquakes. Tarpaulins provide temporary shelter.
Philippine Red Cross Secretary General Elizabeth Zavalla and Board of Governor Member Armand Arreza were also present in the event, together with IFRC Operations Manager Patrick Elliot, ICRC’s Head of Cooperation and Acting Deputy Head of Davao Sub-Delegations, Richard Villena and Elliot Wood, respectively.
PRC provides the basic needs to ease the difficulties the affected residents are going through.
Angel Locsin may just have it all – an angelic face, a soaring career and a blissful love story. But what others may be unaware of is her good heart that genuinely cares for others, an angel not just by name but in selfless deeds.
Born as Angelica Colmenares, Angel has been a householdname on TV and in the movie screen. She is known for her remarkable acting skills which earned her various awards and recognition. Being a sought after celebrity, her schedule is almost always full to the hilt. However, there is one thing that a busy schedule cannot keep her from –helping others.
Just a few days ago, Locsin, together with her fiancé Neil Arce, was seen in Davao buying rice, other food items and hygiene essentials then bringing them to Philippine Red Cross (PRC) Chapters as assistance to those who were deeply affected by the series of earthquakes in Mindanao. And this is not the first time that Angel has extended help to the vulnerable through the Red Cross.
Since Typhoon Ondoy in 2009, Locsin has been a familiar face during PRC relief packing activities. Popular as she is, she would avoid any special treatment and would insist on sitting on cold floors or anywhere other volunteers would sit while packing relief items. She would carry heavy boxes of goods and assist those who are finding the load too heavy to lift.After the lifting and the sweating, she would also bring food to share with all the volunteers. All of these she would do wearing that charismatic smile which earned her the admiration of many.
Aside from being present in various relief operations, Angel also became an active advocate of blood donation. Having millions of followers and fans, she would regularly promote the life-saving act of voluntary blood donation. She would also find time to get enough sleep and rest to qualify as blood donor and has given enough to be called a Blood Galloner.
Philippine Red Cross Chairman, Sen. Richard Gordon has acknowledged the humanitarian actions of Locsin through a post on his official Facebook page, “Angel indeed, Ms. Angel Locsin, together with her fiancé, Neil Arce, personally went to Davao del Sur Chapter to donate and volunteer in the distribution of relief goods and hygiene kits for the quake-hit families. She has been supporting PRC for a long time and has participated during relief distributions since Typhoon Ondoy. Thank you, Angel, for trusting the Philippine Red Cross.”
Angel may be remembered by many as the fictional Pinay heroine Darna but for the countless lives she has touched through her acts of volunteerism and her altruistic efforts, she will be their real life superhero without a cape or a costume but with an angelic heart for humanity.
The Philippine Red Cross (PRC) continues to assess and monitor the situation resulting from the magnitude 6.6 earthquake that hit several parts of Mindanao, Tuesday, October 29, 2019.
PRC mobilized a total of 81 staff and volunteers, deployed 4 ambulances, 2 service vehicles, a water tanker, bladders and water purification unit to assist residents, especially the badly-affected in North Cotabato and Davao del Sur.
“Red Cross teams are providing first aid and other humanitarian services to the affected residents, such as, those in Upper Bala Elementary School in Magsaysay, Davao del Sur which serves as a temporary evacuation center,” PRC Chairman and CEO Richard Gordon said.
Davao del Sur Chapter staff and volunteers provided psychosocial support to 155 quake-affected children and their families to relieve the stress.
PRC Sultan Kudarat, Kidapawan, South Cotabato, Davao del Sur and General Santos City Chapters also provided psychosocial support to 281 other individuals.
PRC staff and volunteers have provided hot meals to 254 patients and hospital staff, provided first aid to 74 patients in North Cotabato, Davao del Sur, General Santos, and Sultan Kudarat and monitored the blood pressure of 22 patients in South Cotabato and General Santos.
Teams from North Cotabato and Davao del Sur are on the ground assisted by South Cotabato, Iligan City, Davao City and General Santos City Chapters.
Other PRC Chapters in the affected areas are on heightened alert to provide assistance. In Davao del Sur, 6 patients were treated and another one transported to a hospital.
“In Kidapawan City, North Cotabato and Magsaysay, Davao del Sur where water access has been disrupted, PRC responded with a water station, bladders and water purification units for the community. Water tanker was dispatched to support the distribution in Digos City, Davao del Sur,” Gordon added.