Quezon City – The Philippine Red Cross (PRC) was asked by the Embassy of the Republic of Türkiye to assist in the donation efforts for the quake-hit country. To honor this request, PRC appealed to Filipinos to help our Turkish brothers and sisters.
Today, the House of Representatives swiftly responded to the call with a donation that was personally received by PRC Chairman and CEO Richard J. Gordon at the Batasang Pambansa.
In accepting the donation, Chairman Gordon noted that it is fitting that one of the first to answer the call for the Turkey appeal is the House of Representatives, led by Speaker Ferdinan Martin G. Romualdez.
Speaker Romualdez is from Leyte, the province that was badly hit by Haiyan in 2013. During that time, Türkiye was the first to send aid to the Philippines during that time.
“This donation from Congress is a very important gesture to show Türkiye our solidarity as they showed us in Haiyan. The donation is critical, especially during this time because this is the coldest time of the year for the affected regions. We cannot begin to imagine what our Turkish brothers and sisters are going through, those who survived the quake and are left without shelter out in the cold facing freezing conditions,” said Chairman and CEO Richard J. Gordon.
PRC Chairman Gordon was accompanied by PRC Governors Carissa Coscolluela and Rachel Arenas during the simple turnover ceremony at the House of Representatives this afternoon.
The Philippine Red Cross (PRC) continuously intensifies its efforts in building healthy and resilient communities through its developmental programs and services. In line with this initiative, PRC Chairman and CEO Richard J. Gordon, Secretary General Dr. Gwendolyn T. Pang, together with the President and CEO of the Canadian Red Cross Conrad Sauve and Asia Pacific Region Head Ms. Yunhong Zhang, visited Cebu and signed the Memorandum of Agreement with the Local Government Unit (LGU), the Department of Education (DepEd), and the Municipal and City Health Offices for the implementation of the WASH Development and Readiness Project today, 11 February.
The WASH (Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene) Readiness Project is a joint project of the PRC and the CRC and aims to reduce the risks of water, sanitation, and hygiene-related diseases in marginalized and vulnerable communities especially during emergencies and disasters. The project targets to reach at least 50,000 individuals in Cebu, Leyte, and Negros Occidental. In Cebu, the project aims to reach four cities and municipalities: Lapu-Lapu City, Naga City, Cordova, and Barili.
“The WASH Readiness Project will strengthen the disaster response capacity of our chapters in Cebu. I am grateful to the Canadian Red Cross, especially to CRC President Conrad Sauve, for supporting this project. The construction of wash hubs and sanitation facilities among others will help our chapters reach more vulnerable communities in times of humanitarian emergencies,” said PRC Chairman and CEO Richard J. Gordon.
Capacity building through training; Prepositioning of WASH-related items and equipment (e.g., hygiene kits, jerry cans, menstrual hygiene kits, etc.) in regional warehouses in Visayas; Rehabilitation and Construction of Visayas WASH hubs; Construction of water and sanitation facilities in schools and communities; and community and school-based hygiene promotion are among the activities under the project.
The event was attended by the School Division Superintendent, DepEd Division of Lapu Lapu Dr. Wilfreda D. Bongalos Ph D., CESO V, Naga City Mayor Valdemor Mendiola Chiong, Barili Mayor Pablo John Garcia IV, Lapu Lapu Mayor Junard Chan, Cordova City Mayor Cesar E. Suan, National Commission on Indigenous People representative, and barangay captains.
“The 7.8 magnitude earthquake that hit Turkey and Syria last February 6 was a significant and destructive event, and more than 4,300 people have died. Imagine that happening to our country. It will be catastrophic. This is why we are ratcheting up our 143 volunteers across the nation so PRC will be ready for any big disaster,” said Philippine Red Cross (PRC) Chairman and CEO Richard J. Gordon a day after the massive quake ravaged Turkey and parts of Syria.
Red Cross 143 volunteer is one of PRC’s flagship programs and a brainchild of PRC Chairman Gordon, it recognizes the crucial role that volunteers play during massive disasters.
Under the Red Cross 143 volunteer program, every barangay in the country should have a 143 team. 1 + 43, one leader with 43 members to make up 44 volunteers on site who will “take charge” and be the first responders to their communities. Each member of the 143 volunteer team in every barangay has her specific functions and roles to play, and will report to the PRC National Headquarters’ Operations Center.
“Our 143 volunteers will help with search and rescue efforts, provide first aid, distribute supplies and food, support evacuation and shelter operations, and assist with clean-up and rebuilding efforts, among many other roles,” added Gordon.
The PRC volunteers’ contributions help to alleviate the burden on overwhelmed emergency services, and their presence can bring comfort and hope to people in need. Additionally, volunteers can help to coordinate activities and mobilize resources, such as donations and supplies, to meet the needs of affected communities.
In the wake of the 7.8 magnitude earthquake that struck Turkey and Syria on 06 February, Philippine Red Cross (PRC) is on high alert for a similar event of the same magnitude. The Philippines ranks first in disaster risk, according to The World Risk Index 2022; it is vulnerable not just to earthquakes but also to volcanic eruptions, storm surge, typhoons, floods, and drought.
“As auxiliary to the government, the PRC has a Mass Casualty Incident, or MCI, protocol in place. We have trained emergency medical services and psychological first aid providers across the country, and they are ready to respond to people affected by an MCI,” explained Gordon.
He added that PRC responded to the 7.2 magnitude earthquake in Bohol province in 2013 and to the 7.0 magnitude earthquake in Abra province in 2022, the two most destructive earthquakes in the country in the 21st century.
As part of its preparation for a huge disaster, PRC is revisiting the organization’s preparedness protocol for big disasters based on data on predicted impacts to life and property of a high-magnitude earthquake in Metro Manila. The PRC is also preparing for the logistical requirements to immediately deploy rescue workers and humanitarian aid to affected areas when needed.
Gordon underscored that the country must be prepared not just for a high-magnitude earthquake but also for its secondary effects, such as landslides, tsunami, and leaks in pipes carrying natural and other gases.
“I commend our team of firefighting volunteers for doing a fantastic job. It is important to realize that the PRC has many unsung heroes. As volunteers it is just fitting to honor them for their bravery and their eagerness to save lives and alleviate the suffering of our kababayans,” said PRC Chairman and CEO Richard J. Gordon.
On February 1st, Philippine Red Cross (PRC) firefighting teams from the PRC National Headquarters responded to a big fire that reached the 3rd alarm in Brgy. Masambong in Quezon City and rescued four members of the Ceazar family.
The Ceazar family found themselves trapped in their own homes as the fire ravaged a compound where they were residing. Two teams of PRC firefighting volunteers found a way to reach them by climbing over an establishment and piercing a wall to make a hole in order to reach the trapped family, including 67-year-old father Danny Caesar, 67-year-old mother Ramona Ceazar and their children 31-year-old Stella Marie and 28-year-old Danny Jr.
What made the situation even more difficult was the condition of the family’s mother, Ramona, who was unable to walk and needed to be transported out of the house using a wheelchair.
“Due to the quick thinking and determinedness of our PRC firefighters, lives were saved and our organization recognizes those who have put their lives in danger to save the lives of others,” added Gordon.
The two teams of PRC firefighters for commendation include Team Leaders Jestoni Destura and Romel Barroga, team members Von Cypress, Paul Rei Guiang, Henry Sablay, Neil Jason Almero, Alfred Bautista, Zandro Cenizal, Friendly Daque, Ezekiel Daque, Steven Clark Leant, Kim Ordonez, Ferdinand Pacarro, Osmundo Cabanero, and Mharu Rabaino.
PRC also sent an ambulance team to the scene of the fire to provide emergency medical assistance to those families affected. About 500 families or 2,500 individuals were directly affected by the fire. These families are now relocated to temporary evacuation centers at the Apolonio Tennis Court and Masambong Covered court.
PRC, through its Quezon City Chapter, is preparing to distribute hot meals to the affected families as of press time.
The Philippine Red Cross (PRC) offers donated blood to patients undergoing, pregnancy complications, dengue, accident injuries, and surgical and cancer treatment for free.
PRC Chairman and CEO Richard J. Gordon stated that donated blood is free because it comes from blood donors, but to ensure that donated blood will be safe for transfusion, the PRC needs reagents and other supplies to test each unit of blood for transfusion-transmitted infections such as HIV, Hepatitis B and C, Malaria, and Syphilis.
Chairman Gordon mentioned that the PRC tests each unit of blood for an affordable blood processing fee — currently the “cheapest in the country”. The fee covers the donor screening and education, test for transfusion-transmitted infection, collection, component preparation, storage, and quality assurance.
“The processing fees collected for blood are ploughed back into the program to continue to provide blood services to others in need,” Chairman Gordon added.
Blood processing fees collected by the PRC conform with the allowable fees set forth by the Department of Health (DOH). Members of the PRC’s Blood Samaritan Program, meanwhile, provide financial donations to cover the payment of blood processing fees of indigent patients.
As one of the major suppliers of blood and blood products in the country, the PRC National Blood Services (NBS) continuously delivers adequate, safe, and quality blood supply to the most vulnerable. The PRC has 31 blood centers and 71 blood collection units nationwide. As of 18 January, the PRC has dispensed 13, 938 units of blood, 103 of which were used to treat 35 Dengue patients.
For blood donations, blood requests, and other inquiries, email the PRC National Blood Services at [email protected] or contact the PRC Blood Call Center, which may be reached nationwide by dialing 143.
Various government agencies and corporations have endorsed the Philippine Red Cross’s (PRC) Membership Program to all its employees, attached agencies, regional/provincial offices, students, partners, and members of the community. The following agencies/corporations have released these endorsements: Department of Education, Department of the Interior and Local Government, Department of Labor and Employment, Department of Science and Technology, Department of Agrarian Reform, Government Service and Insurance System, Landbank of the Philippines, and United Coconut Planters Bank.
Membership Accident Assistance Benefits (MAAB) is PRC’s membership program, which provides one an opportunity to be a volunteer and partake in PRC’s humanitarian activities physically and financially. Members get protection through accident insurance coverage.
The MAAB is PRC’s way of preparing for future risks, as the country has been ranked number one in terms of disaster risk in the 2022 World Risk Report.
PRC Chairman and CEO Richard J. Gordon explained that the membership program also helps the premier humanitarian organization fulfill its mantra of being always ready. “Ang isang member ng Red Cross ay nakakatulong para ang mga kababayan natin na nasalanta ng sakuna ay makatanggap ng agarang tulong,” said Gordon.
Anyone between 5 and 85 years old can be a member and volunteer to participate in PRC’s activities. In recognition of this desire to help PRC as a volunteer, members get access to all Red Cross services in times of emergencies, sickness, and disasters. In addition, members who meet unfortunate situations can get reimbursement for accidental death, disablement and dismemberment, hospitalization, and burial services.
The membership drive focuses on giving people a chance to be part of the premier humanitarian organization’s mission of saving lives through a variety of ways as a volunteer, as a donor or both.
The combined forces of a low-pressure area and the shear line, brought incessant rains and fatal floods, and caused humanitarian emergencies in Southern Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao. In addition to intense rescue operations and other humanitarian assistance, the Philippine Red Cross (PRC) scaled up its food assistance and served hot meals to 8, 434 flood victims in eight hard-hit provinces and municipalities from January 1 to 20: Misamis Occidental – Oroqueita City, Misamis Oriental – Gingoog City, Oriental Mindoro, Palawan, Lapu-Lapu City, Zamboanga City, Sulu-Jolo, and Northern Samar.
The immediate aftermath of any disaster is disruption of access to food. Displaced families are unable to prepare their food. This threatens the health, nutrition, and well-being of affected communities. The PRC food trucks, provide hot meals within 24 hours of a disaster, seek to address the limited food supply in affected areas.
“Displacement has disrupted the food supply of our kababayans in Visayas, Mindanao, and some parts of Palawan. Our volunteers are mobilized and our food trucks are immediately deployed in affected areas to serve hot meals to affected people, especially children,” Chairman and CEO Richard J. Gordon said.
From January 01 to 20, the PRC Chapters in the affected areas alongside their Welfare teams dispatched four food trucks and served hot meals in the forms of rice, chicken, vegetables, egg, pansit, Arroz caldo, and champorado to displaced children and adults.
PRC likewise prepared its rescue equipment and provided the following additional humanitarian aid to communities affected by shear line-induced rains: 421, 900 liters of clean water, children activities, psychological first aid sessions to 1, 940 individuals, 645 medicines against Leptospirosis, hygiene kits to 464 families, sleeping kits to 612 families, jerry cans to 524 families, and kitchen sets to 546 families.
Philippine Red Cross returned to Aklan on 19 January 2023 to provide food items and jerry cans, or water containers, to families affected by Severe Tropical Storm (STS) Paeng. Aklan was among the provinces severely affected by STS Paeng, which made landfall on 29 October 2022 and inundated several parts of the country, causing landslide and displacement. Five hundred families from Barangays Cortes, Guanko, and Oquendo in Balete municipality were the recipients of the latest humanitarian assistance given by the Red Cross to people affected by STS Paeng.
“Ginagawa po ng inyong Red Cross ang lahat ng aming makakaya para tulungan ang ating mga kababayan nang pangmatagalan, hanggang sila ay makabawi mula sa mga pinsala ng sakuna, kagaya ng Paeng, na tumama sa ating bansa noong Oktubre,” PRC Chairman and CEO Richard J. Gordon said.
The PRC has provided the following humanitarian aid to people affected by Paeng in Aklan since October 2022: health promotion to 306 individuals, hygiene promotion to 282 persons, hygiene kits to 274 families, hot meals to 131 individuals, medicines to 100 persons, and psychological first aid to 15 children.
The foremost humanitarian organization in the country has responded to Paeng-affected communities across the country since 28 October 2022 by providing emergency rescue and evacuation, shelter strengthening kits, emergency medical services, health care information and supplies, hygiene promotion, water, clothes, slippers, psychological first aid, sleeping kits, hygiene kits, road clearing, flushing of debris, hot meals, food items, and jerry cans.
To help replenish the blood reserves in the country, the Philippine Red Cross (PRC) collaborated with the Philippine Coastguard and the Man is Brother Unto Man Organization in conducting a bloodletting activity in Port Area, Manila on January 23. The bloodletting activity, which generated a whopping 247 blood units, was organized by PRC Governor Jennifer Ann Munar in partnership with Fleet Commander Rear Admiral Charlie Rances. Also attending the successful bloodletting activity were PRC Governor Danilo Yang and Dr. She Tonelete from the PRC Blood Services. Internationally acclaimed Filipino singer Arnel Pineda also graced the occasion.
During the event, PRC and Man is Brother Unto Man volunteers distributed food and giveaways to the Coast Guard personnel who donated blood.
“This bloodletting event is just the beginning. PRC and the PCG will regularly hold mobile blood donation activities every three months to ensure that there is adequate blood supply in our blood centers,” said Gov. Munar.
PRC Chairman and CEO Richard J. Gordon expressed gratitude to the blood donors as volunteers. “We appreciate the volunteerism of the members of the Philippine Coastguard, headed by Fleet Commander Rances. Your volunteerism as blood donors will definitely help save the lives of our fellow Filipinos during medical emergencies,” said Chairman Gordon.
As of 18 January, the premier humanitarian organization has dispensed 19,938 blood units in 2023. PRC has 31 blood centers and 71 blood collection units nationwide.
For blood donations, blood requests, and other inquiries, email the PRC National Blood Services at [email protected] or contact the PRC Blood Call Center, which may be reached nationwide by dialing 143, or (02) 87902300.
PRC Secretary General Gwendolyn T. Pang explained that while January is known to be a lean month for blood donations, PRC remains committed to saving lives by conducting blood donation drives anytime. “We are always ready to collaborate with organizations that want to organize a blood donation drive,” said Pang.