Philippine Red Cross (PRC) volunteers and staff continue aid efforts in Datu Odin Sinuat (DOS), Maguindanao, which is among those hardest hit by Severe Tropical Storm (STS) Paeng (international name: Nalgae).
Together with Australian Aid, PRC distributed sleeping kits and hygiene kits to 425 individuals in Barangay Awang, DOS yesterday. Two plastic mats, two mosquito nets, and two blankets comprise each sleeping kit. A hygiene kit is composed of 12 body soaps, five laundry soaps, 40 sanitary pads, five bath towels, toilet papers, toothbrushes, two toothpaste tubes, and razors.
“In every calamity, the Red Cross is there to help our fellow Filipinos for the long haul. We will be with our fellow Filipinos who have been severely affected by Severe Tropical Storm Paeng until they fully recover from its effects. We are always ready to reach the farthest communities to bring them aid,” said PRC Chairman and CEO Richard J. Gordon.
Also yesterday in DOS, the foremost humanitarian organization served hot meals to 803 persons in Barangay Dinaig and distributed 10,000 liters of water through its water tanker in Barangay Bagumbayan.
PRC volunteers and staff have responded to Paeng-affected communities across the country since 28 October by providing emergency rescue and evacuation, shelter strengthening kits, emergency medical services, road clearing, health care information and supplies, hot meals and food items, water, clothes, slippers, psychological first aid, sleeping kits, and hygiene kits.
With a diameter of over 1,000 kilometers, Paeng battered the country with torrential rains for around two days, 28-29 October, causing flash floods and landslides that damaged thousands of homes and destroyed tens of thousands of farms and fishing gear.
Days after Severe Tropical Storm Paeng (international name: Nalgae) exited the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR), the trail of massive flooding, rain-induced landslides, and displacement it left across vast areas of the country has affected over two million individuals or 510, 222 families. STS Paeng caused damage to livelihood and disrupted food and water supplies. The Philippine Red Cross (PRC) has been sending its fleet of food trucks to vulnerable communities in hard-hit areas to alleviate hunger and reduce the food security concerns of affected families.
“The nutrition of people in areas hardest hit by Paeng could be affected because the access to food and safe water in typhoon-affected towns and cities is usually disrupted. We at Philippine Red Cross (PRC) will continue boosting our efforts to address the nutrition needs of our kababayans in vulnerable situations,” said PRC Chairman and CEO Richard J. Gordon.
As of 04 November, PRC has served hot meals to 28,029 individuals in cities and towns affected by STS Paeng: Maguindanao, Zamboanga, Tawi-Tawi, Aklan, Negros Oriental, Negros Occidental, IloIlo, Northern Samar, Antique, Cebu, Masbate, Romblon, Palawan, Bataan, Cagayan, Camarines Norte, Camarines Sur, Batangas, Catanduanes, Laguna, Zambales, Aurora, Pangasinan, Kalinga, Quezon, Nueva Viscaya, Marinduque, Isabela, Bulacan, Manila, Marikina, Rizal, Muntinlupa, Valenzuela, and Pasig-Pateros. PRC also distributed 2,499 bottled water in Cagayan.
Meanwhile, Gardenia Bakeries, a long-time food donor of PRC, donated bread loaves — these were distributed to 1, 455 affected families in Laguna and Pampanga. During his first term as a senator in 2009, Chairman Gordon authored the Republic Act No. 9803 (RA9803) or the Food Donation Act of 2009, which aims to address the country’s growing hunger problem and bring dignity back to the most vulnerable simultaneously.
Since 28 October, PRC has positioned relief assets and equipment, such as payloaders, water tankers, and food trucks to Paeng-affected communities. PRC staff and volunteers are monitoring the affected families’ further needs for food, safe water, clothing, shelter, hygiene, sanitation, and medical and psychosocial care.
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.
The Philippine Red Cross (PRC) heads to the Municipality of Datu Anggal Midtimbang, Maguindanao to distribute PHP 3,500 Multipurpose Cash Grant (MPCG) to 699 families, as part of the Peace and Development in BARMM project, on December 13, 2021.
PRC partners with the Spanish Red Cross, German Red Cross and is funded by the European Union which aims to reduce the impact of COVID-19 and address the immediate needs to foster the public healthcare system and socio-economic development of Bangsamoro Autonomous Religion in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM).
The MPCG event was attended virtually by PRC Chairman and CEO Sen. Dick Gordon and physically by Midtimbang, DAM Mayor Maryjoy Estephanie Uy, Vice-Mayor Datu Jomar U. Midtimbang, PRC Cotabato City – Maguindanao Chapter Chairwoman Ms. Bai Fatima Sinsuat, Chapter Administrator Rose Gayong, and executives from the local government unit and PRC local chapter.
Recently, PRC provided 3,500 cash assistance to 1,500 families, 10,000 livelihood assistance to 800 families, and skills training for youth to 100 individuals in Lanao Del Sur. Through the leadership of Sen. Gordon, PRC was able to provide PHP 10,000 livelihood assistance to 2,307 families during the Marawi Armed Conflict in 2018, provided emergency shelters to 3,792 families in the municipality of Saguiaran, Balo-i, Wawalayan Calocan, Guimba, and Bubong, Marawi.
“Tuloy tuloy ang ating pagtulong sa mga Muslim brothers sa Muslim Mindanao. Layunin natin ay maabot ang mga malalayong lugar upang matulungan ang mga most vulnerable groups. Kamakailan lang ay binuksan natin ang Cotabato Molecular laboratory, upang mapalakas ang ating laban kontra COVID-19,” Sen. Gordon said.
PRC will continue to be of service to serve the most vulnerable, truly abiding by its mantra to be always first, always ready, and always there.
The Philippine Red Cross (PRC) Cotabato City-Maguindanao molecular laboratory received its License to Operate from the Department of Health on November 11, 2021, after passing its efficiency test set by the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine last October 01, 2021.
PRC, Cotabato City – Maguindanao is the 14th molecular laboratory in the country, which will begin its operation on November 12, 2021. The new molecular laboratory is in partnership with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). It is equipped with two polymerase chain reaction (PCR) machines and one ribonucleic acid (RNA) extractor capable of conducting 2,000 tests a day, which will serve Maguindanao, North Cotabato, South Cotabato, and Davao City.
“Layunin ng Philippine Red Cross na mas marami pa ang ating ma-test upang maiwasan natin ang hawaan ng COVID-19. Sa ngayon ay 200 test per day lamang ang capacity ng Cotabato Regional and Medical Center, at sa pamamagitan ng bagong molecular laboratory ay mas mapapabilis natin at mapapalakas ang COVID-19 response sa mga lugar na nasasakupan nito,” PRC Chairman and CEO Sen. Dick Gordon said.
It is through the leadership of Sem. Dick Gordon to establish the molecular laboratories in strategic areas to make it more accessible for the people who want to get tested for COVID-19. PRC tested a total of 4,870,989 as of November 11, 2021. Of over 281 molecular laboratories in the country, PRC has the biggest output of any organization representing 21% of the national testing output.
PRC also is ramping up vaccination efforts nationwide to get more people vaccinated as soon as possible through the Bakuna centers and PRC bakuna busses, having inoculated over 393,617 individuals.