No less than the current Regional Director of the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) for the Asia Pacific, Alexander Matheou, exclaimed that the entire federation and the Philippines is extremely fortunate to have the Philippine Red Cross (PRC) and its Chairman, Richard J. Gordon to lead the organization. Matheou said this during TY Odette Recovery Operations in the islands of Siargao and Dinagat, and in Surigao Del Norte that took place last Thursday, September 15, 2022.
“You know we (the Federation) are very lucky, you are very lucky, in the Philippines, you have one of the best Red Cross Societies in the whole world, and you have one of the best Red Cross Leaders in the whole world, Chairman Richard Gordon,” said Matheou as he spoke in front of the assistance beneficiaries in the island of Siargao.
Matheou said this after witnessing firsthand how PRC Chairman molded and led the entire PH Red Cross to efficiently and effectively bring much-needed assistance to the most vulnerable communities not only those who are affected by Typhoon Odette, but also other disasters that have struck the country in the last 20 years.
The Philippine Red Cross (PRC), in partnership with the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) and other partner national societies, provided cash and emergency shelter assistance to 1,803 families in San Benito municipality, Siargao Island; Surigao City; and Basilisa municipality, Dinagat Islands amounting to Php 14 Million in these provinces alone.
This is part of the more than P425 million humanitarian assistance allocated to families devastated by Typhoon Odette last December. Each families received Php 5,000.00 pesos to help them in their livelihood. Families who received emergency shelter assistance got Php 9,600.00 worth of shelter took kits, including heavy-duty corrugated galvanized iron sheets.
Matheou’s hailing of the PRC and Chairman Gordon’s leadership is not the first from the global movement.
In his trip to Marawi City last June of 2019, Peter Maurer, the President of the International Committee of Red Cross hailed Chairman Gordon for upholding humanitarian principles. Maurer extolled Red Gordon to promote the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement’s works and considers Gordon as a “reputational pride” in the international movement.
Also last June 2019, during his visit to the Philippines, the President of the IFRC, Francesco Rocca expressed his gratitude to the PRC Chairman and the PRC volunteers. Rocca highlighted PRC’s dedicated work and how it continues to inspire across borders.
Rocca also hailed the PRC last August of this year, during the Northern Luzon Earthquake, where PRC staff and volunteers immediately responded to areas affected by the magnitude this year.
“Leadership is action, not a position. I have instilled this in the thousands of staff and volunteers across our country. The PRC will always be there for the most vulnerable in our society, before, during, and even months and years after a disaster, we will continue to be there. Our mantra is ethos, Volunteers + Logistics + Information Technology equals to a Philippine Red Cross that is Always First, Always Ready, and Always There”, said PRC Chairman Gordon.