This year’s annual Million Volunteer Run: Virtual Bike and Run Edition, organized by the Philippine Red Cross (PRC) and RUNRIO, is extended up to June 12, 2022. The International Humanitarian Million Volunteer Run (MVR) 6: Virtual Bike and Run Edition is a fun virtual duathlon, for cyclists and runners and those who want to get into shape or have a healthy lifestyle.
It is a non-competitive event that allows participants to finish their selected distance within a certain period, at their own pace, time, and venue. The event is open to Philippine and international participants. The MVR 6 culminates in a face-to-face activity on June 12, 2022.
Compared to the pre-pandemic MVRs, in which participants run together on the same date, time, and place, the MVR virtual edition allows participants to run and/or bike anytime during the race period. They are to record their activity through a GPS-tracking app or watch. They then upload their results to their account dashboard.
The MVR is a way for the public to join a community of volunteers who give their time, resources, and talents to help those who are made vulnerable by disasters and emergencies, such as the current COVID-19 pandemic and anticipated typhoons. The MVR is organized in collaboration with Holiday Inn Express, Ayala Foundation, Gatorade, Salonpas, and Pocari Sweat. To join, register at www.runrio.com.
The Philippine Red Cross (PRC) Dialysis Center was established in November 2018. Located in the old headquarters of the Philippine Red Cross (PRC) on Radial Road 10, Port Area Manila, the Center has provided 15,006 treatments to 73 patients.
Dialysis is a treatment that helps mitigate the effect of Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD). PRC’s nephrologist warns that CKD may not manifest its symptoms during the early stages. PRC Chairman Senator Richard J. Gordon echoes the recommendations of nephrologists to get blood tested for creatinine and a urinalysis every six months. A history of kidney injury or an increase in creatinine levels may necessitate more frequent tests.
Those who may need to avail of the services of PRC’s Dialysis Facility may call (02) 8527 0000 or send an email to [email protected] to get more detail on how to avail of PRC’s services.
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) provided emergency medical and welfare services to more than 5,000 clients and patients on election day, May 9, 2022, in various polling places across the country.
“Ang Philippine Red Cross ay mananatiling laging una, laging handa, at laging nandyan para sa ating mga kababayan kapag sila ay may medical emergency, eleksyon man o ordinaryong araw.” PRC Chairman and CEO Sen. Dick Gordon said.
As of 2:00pm, May 10, 2022, 35% of PRC chapters across the country have submitted their report to PRC’s operations center. Based on the reports, PRC’s emergency medical services (EMS) and welfare teams served 5,059 clients and patients who had their blood pressure taken (4,830), experienced minor medical issues (87), experienced major medical issues (2), were transported to medical facilities (3), provided psychosocial support (9), referred to other specialists (48), and provided other assistance (80).
The PRC deployed 51 ambulance units and 221 first aid stations to polling places across the Philippines. It also set up five welfare stations to provide psychosocial and other welfare services and assigned four foot-patrol personnel to monitor precinct premises for any health emergencies. A total of 837 EMS and welfare personnel were mobilized for this year’s National and Local Elections Operations.
Guinobatan, Albay — The Philippine Red Cross (PRC) turned over Certificates of Occupancy to 165 new homes for families made homeless by lahar flooding in Daraga and Guinobatan, Albay. The lahar flooding was caused by Super Typhoon Rolly (international name: Goni), which made landfall in Albay on November 1, 2020, and debris from Mayon Volcano’s eruption on January 18, 2018.
Goni, considered the world’s most powerful tropical cyclone in 2020, affected 522,600 families, or 2,030,130 persons, in Regions II, III, CALABARZON, MIMAROPA, V, VIII, CAR, and NCR.
Immediately after the damage assessment in Albay, Chairman Gordon initiated a search for a suitable place to relocate those who lost their homes to the lahar flood.
“Gusto natin makabangon kaagad ang tao. Sabi ko nga kay Governor Bichara, kailangan ko ng lote na malaki, na pwede paglagyan ng mga tao. At dali-dali naman, umaksyon na kaagad si Governor Bichara. At ngayon, nalagay na natin dun ‘yung mga bahay para sa mga pamilyang nawalan ng tahanan dahil sa lahar na dulot ng Super Typhoon Rolly at Mt. Mayon eruption,” Chairman Gordon said.
Each house costs more than Php200,000.00. Each family also received the first tranche of Php10,000.00 cash assistance to help them rehabilitate their livelihoods. The relocation site, in Bubulusan, Guinobatan, is assessed to be safe, compared to the locations of the beneficiaries’ homes before the super typhoon.
PRC collaborated with local governments in Albay and various government agencies, such as the Albay provincial human settlement office and the provincial engineering office to make the housing project possible. The project was made possible through partnership with International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, Canadian Red Cross, Embassy of the Republic of Korea, British Embassy, Thai Red Cross, Spanish Red Cross, Singapore Red Cross, and online donors.
Supported by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), the Philippine Red Cross (PRC) Chairman and CEO Sen. Dick Gordon ordered the quick deployment of Bakuna Bus to help the government in its vaccination program in Zamboanga City last May 2, 2022.
“Patuloy na maglilingkod ang PRC para sa mga kapatid natin sa Zamboanga City at iba pang karatig probinsiya dito sa Mindanao. Sa katunayan, walang humpay ang deployment ng ating Bakuna Buses upang makamit natin ang herd immunity sa lalong madaling panahon. Taos-pusong pasasalamat sa ICRC para sa agarang tulong upang maisakatuparan natin ang ganitong gawain,” Sen. Gordon said.
Since the pilot deployment in Mindanao on April 14, 2022, the PRC Bakuna Buses have already served around 1,000 individuals, including those in Manolo, Fortich, and Impasug-ong, Bukidnon and Malalag, Kiblawan, and Hagonoy, Davao del Sur.
The PRC, aiming to provide an efficient mobile COVID-19 vaccination program, designed every Bakuna Bus’s interior with facilities following the vaccine administration protocols, COVID-19 vaccines and other supplies, and space for vaccinators, volunteers, and staff. Besides administering COVID-19 vaccines through these Bakuna Buses, the PRC aimed to educate its target communities in Mindanao about the importance of participating in the organization’s vaccination programs to achieve herd immunity amidst the pandemic.
The PRC has recorded 1,158,745 vaccination doses with 20 Bakuna Buses deployed in different areas in the Philippines.
The Philippine Red Cross (PRC) granted much-needed cash assistance to 333 families affected by Tropical Storm Agaton in Barangays Ambilay, Cabugao, and Cabangahan in the municipality of Panitan, Capiz. The tropical storm caused flooding and landslides in four cities and 77 municipalities across the country in April.
The PRC intends the cash grant of Php5,000.00 per family, or Php1,665,000.00, to be multipurpose, which means it should help meet whatever the beneficiaries’ needs are. The cash grant is part of the Forecast-Based Financing Project, a partnership among the Philippine Red Cross, the German Red Cross, and the Finnish Red Cross.
PRC Board of Governors member Francis Joseph J. Jalandoni, together with 72 volunteers and staff from various PRC services and teams, took charge of the relief operations. Fifteen members of the Barangay Peacekeeping Action Team and six police officers ensured peace and order during the event.
PRC Chairman and CEO Senator Richard ‘Dick’ J. Gordon reassured those who were made vulnerable by TS Agaton that the Red Cross will continue to provide assistance until they are able to recover. “Gaya ng dati, nandito ang Red Cross para alalayan ang ating mga kababayan hanggang sa sila ay maka-recover,” Chairman Gordon said.
From April 7 to May 1, the PRC also served hot meals to 13,548 individuals and distributed 621,760 liters of water to populations affected by TS Agaton in Davao de Oro, Davao Oriental, General Santos City, Hilongos, Iloilo, Leyte, Maguindanao, Negros Occidental, Ormoc, Passi City, Sorsogon, Southern Leyte, and Surigao del Norte. It gave food items to 1,333 families and psychosocial first aid to 757 adults and 371 children. Its emergency response unit helped evacuate 67 individuals and rescued another 99. PRC volunteers and staff provided emergency medical services, hygiene education, and PPEs. They also helped some local government units in distributing their relief items.
The Philippine Red Cross (PRC) emergency medical services (EMS) responded to 315 motorcycle riders who figured in an accident from January to April this year, 101 of whom were in Metro Manila. Two hundred fifty of the patients were transported to hospitals, while 65 were treated by emergency medical technicians. The safety of motorcycle riders is one of the advocacies of the PRC, under the leadership of its chairman and CEO, Senator Richard “Dick” J. Gordon, who led the transformation of PRC’s Emergency Medical Services (EMS) from a “one and a half ambulance vehicle” operation into what it is today.
Ang Red Cross ay laging handang rumesponde sa ating mga kababayan sa kanilang medical emergency,” Chairman Gordon said. The PRC EMS consisted of one ambulance vehicle that was in good working condition and one that worked only half the time when Gordon became chairman in 2004.
Today, PRC has EMS units across its chapters throughout the country.
The PRC EMS deploys emergency medical services units, which consist of emergency medical technicians on board ambulance vehicles, to provide on-scene patient care and treatment and transport to medical facilities. From January to April this year, the PRC EMS has responded to 2,579 incidents, 2,094 of which were free, while 485 were paid. These responses involved 3,435 patients, of whom 1,420 were transported. Of those who were transported, 1,118 availed of the service for free, while 302 opted to pay.
According to the World Health Organization, approximately 1.3 million people die each year as a result of road traffic accidents. It added that 20 to 50 million persons more are injured, with some acquiring disability.
The Philippine Red Cross (PRC) started administering second booster shots of Covid-19 vaccines today, April 27, 2022, in Mandaluyong City, to the elderly and the immunocompromised. The Philippines’ Department of Health announced last April 13, 2022 that the Food and Drug Administration has approved the administration of Covid-19 second booster shots to the elderly, the immunocompromised, and frontline health workers.
PRC Chairman and CEO, Senator Richard “Dick” J. Gordon, advised the immunocompromised who are fully vaccinated and have the first booster shot to get the second booster shot if the required time interval has lapsed. “Hinihikayat ko ang ating mga kababayan na immunocompromised na fully vaccinated at may first booster shot na kumuha ng second booster shot sa akmang panahon,” Chairman Gordon said.
The spouses Ninfa and Nicanor Viray, who are both elderly and immunocompromised, had their second booster shots at the PRC today. Ms. Viray, 84 years old, is a cancer patient who just had a mastectomy. Mr. Viray, 85 years old, is a diabetes patient. They both had their first booster in December 2021. The second booster shot against Covid-19 is given at
least four months after the first booster shot, but the interval could be earlier for other patients if prescribed by a doctor.
“That we’ll be more protected from more severe symptoms owing to our age. We’d like to be as protected as possible, considering that sometimes we are also compelled to go out of the house to buy some basic needs,” was Ms. Viray’s answer when asked what she hoped the second booster shot would do. She added that getting the second booster shot is part of their taking care of themselves, because their decisions about their health affect the rest of the family.
When asked how they would encourage other members of the elderly population to get vaccinated, Ms. Viray says she would show them how she and her husband have relative capacity to still enjoy life, because they can be mobile and interact with people with confidence despite their advanced years. Mr. Viray shares that his style is personal; he talks to his friends about the benefits of getting vaccinated.
Ms. Viray says they try to observe all the health protocols as much as possible, because they don’t want to abuse the new lease on life they are enjoying because of the protection that the vaccines give. Mr. Viray attests that since he got vaccinated, he has felt more assured that he is protected. The couple is keen on doing their share in educating the community about the collective nature and solution to the Covid-19 public health emergency.
The PRC’s vaccination efforts are part of its mandate as auxiliary to the government in its humanitarian tasks. The PRC started administering Covid-19 vaccines in March 2021. To date, it has administered 1,153,200 doses of Covid-19 vaccines and boosters through its Bakuna Centers, Bakuna Teams, and Bakuna Buses nationwide. It has fully vaccinated 367,985 individuals.
Under the direction of its Chairman and CEO, Sen. Richard “Dick” Gordon, the Philippine Red Cross (PRC) continued its response to TD Agaton in Baybay City and other severely affected areas in Visayas and Mindanao, providing search and rescue, emergency medical services, drinking water and hot meals, and psychosocial first aid. As of April 13, 2022, 108 volunteers and staff are still on the ground for PRC’s TD Agaton operations.
“It should not be a forgotten disaster. The magnitude of the calamity does not matter. Red Cross responds to people in emergencies everywhere,” Chairman Gordon said.
PRC first responders have rescued 25 individuals in Barangay Loctogan, Roxas City, Capiz from rising floodwaters. The teams have assisted 41 persons in Davao de Oro and Leyte to evacuate and 13 residents from Sitio Seguinon, Barangay Libertad, Ormoc City who were forced to evacuate.
The ambulance teams in General Santos City, Leyte, Davao De Oro, Sorsogon, Surigao Del Norte, and Passi City have served 535 individuals, who had their blood pressure taken. Five persons received emergency medical treatment. Six first-aid stations have been set up in Sorsogon, Surigao del Norte, and Negros Occidental. The ambulance teams deployed in Baybay City stand ready to transport patients from lower- to higher-level hospitals as needed.
The PRC teams have distributed hot meals to 7,204 individuals in General Santos City, Davao De Oro, Southern Leyte, Sorsogon, Ormoc City, Leyte, Hilongos, Negros Occidental, Passi City, Iloilo City, and Capiz. Ready-to-eat meals were distributed to 100 persons in Leyte. Bottled water were given to 197 individuals in Surigao del Norte and Leyte.
The PRC water tanker has distributed 620 liters of water in Leyte. Hand sanitizers were also given to 97 residents of Surigao del Norte.
The welfare teams have provided psychosocial first aid (PFA) to 440 adults in General Santos City, Leyte, and Passi City and child-friendly activities designed as PFA for 27 children in General Santos City. Welfare desks have been set up in Sorsogon and Surigao del Norte.
Local governments in Davao de Oro, Davao Oriental, and Maguindanao have also tapped PRC volunteers and staff to help them distribute food packs, to 7,116 families and meals, to 664 persons.
PRC has deployed three rescue boats, three ambulance units, one water tanker, two mobile kitchens, two service vehicles, one pick-up truck, and one Land Cruiser.