In response to the magnitude 6.6 earthquake that hit several parts of Mindanao on Tuesday, October 29, 2019, the Philippine Red Cross (PRC) immediately dispatched volunteers, staff, rescue teams, Emergency personnel and ambulances to South Cotabato, Maguindanao, Sultan Kudarat, North Cotabato, Davao del Sur, General Santos City and Davao City and is continuously assessing and monitoring the situation on the ground to determine further assistance needed.
“People have been evacuated such as in Kidapawan City, North Cotabato, the Philippine Red Cross has assisted in evacuation of families,” PRC Chairman and CEO Richard Gordon said.
Welfare desks have been established in North Cotabato and Davao del Sur to relieve the stress and trauma suffered by the residents while hot meals were also provided by PRC at the Dominican Hospital in Davao del Sur.
“In areas where electrical supply and water access have been disrupted, PRC is prepared to deploy field medical tents with generators for the injured and water tankers, bladders and filtration units for the community if needed,” Gordon added.
The concerned Chapters also activated Red Cross Action Team, Volunteers and Search-and-Rescue Teams.
In response to a different crisis situation, PRC recently finished its support to the Mass Polio Vaccination Program of the government in Metro Manila, Davao City, Davao del Sur and Lanao del Sur in Mindanao with more than 65,000 children vaccinated by more than 600 Red Cross volunteers from October 14 to October 27, and a continuation will be held in November 2019 and January 2020.
“The original target children to be vaccinated was only 30,000 but, with so much effort from PRC’s staff and volunteers, the target was doubled,” Gordon said.
This activity is in partnership with the Department of Health and with the support from the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).
PRC is also actively responding to the Dengue outbreak and has already served more than 6,600 patients thru its dengue medical tents installed in government hospitals in Iloilo, Cavite and Iligan City.
The Philippine Red Cross (PRC) received US$100,000 (approximately 5.1 million pesos) from the Republic of Korea as humanitarian aid for relief activities in the wake of the magnitude 6.3 earthquake that hit Mindanao. Korean Ambassador to the Philippines H.E. Han Dong Man presented the donation at the PRC Tower in Mandaluyong City yesterday.
“I would like to convey my sincerest gratitude to the Republic of Korea for making Red Cross their partner of choice in providing humanitarian relief,” said PRC Chairman and CEO, Sen. Richard J. Gordon, noting that the partnership between PRC and the Korean Government has evolved into a long standing relationship.
Red Cross has been providing assistance to the affected population in Mindanao since the earthquake jolted the region last October 16. Right after the tremors subsided, Chairman Gordon ordered the quick mobilization of PRC staff and volunteers to give aid and immediate relief. Hot meals were served to 514 people, food items and sleeping kits were distributed to 51 families and four (4) liters of bottled water were given to each of the 46 families in Davao del Sur.
“PRC assisted instantly after the shaking. Patients from damaged hospital buildings were evacuated, welfare desks and first aid stations were set up at evacuation centers and basic needs were distributed to affected families. That’s how fast the Red Cross takes action. PRC is able to reach further and do more thanks to our partners like the Korean Government, through the efforts of Ambassador Han, which has been supporting us,” the PRC Chairman said.
Last year, the Republic of Korea supported families displaced by Mayon Volcano’s eruption and contributed US$200,000 (approximately 10 million pesos) which helped PRC reach out to thousands of individuals in Albay, including the 1,450 students who received school kits.
The Republic of Korea through its ambassador contributed $300,000 (approximately 15.7 million pesos) in support of PRC’s relief and recovery operations for communities affected by Typhoon Ompong.
Earlier this year, the Republic of Korea also donated an ambulance and a water tanker, which will help serve the most vulnerable communities in times of disasters and emergencies.
Ambassador H.E. Han Dong Man also offered to provide assistance to the mass vaccination activity of the PRC in response to the polio epidemic – one of the many health emergencies being attended to by the Philippine Red Cross.