The Philippine Red Cross (PRC) set up an emergency tent last April 2021, after reports of patients dying outside the hospital premises during the COVID-19 surge that led to the hospital exceeding the critical level of 70% of new COVID-19 cases in the national capital region.
PRC Chairman and CEO Sen. Dick Gordon immediately deployed an emergency field hospital at the Lung Center of the Philippines and National Kidney Transplant Institute to serve as an extension ward to the hospitals, catering to mild to moderate COVID-19 cases.
“We are in a war situation against COVID-19. The health care system in the NCR plus region is challenged due to the increasing cases of Covid-positive individuals. Through the emergency field hospitals of the Red Cross, this will help serve more patients needing immediate health care,” according to Chairman Gordon.
PRC has deployed 108 tents in total, having served more than 32,194 patients needing immediate healthcare.
According to Sen. Dick Gordon, these emergency tents are equipped with medical equipment such as oxygen tanks, ECG machine, PPV and Intubation set, Automated External Defibrillator, and other basic ward facilities that make PRC be always ready in every situation where help is needed.
Philippine Red Cross (PRC) opens its isolation facilities for the single-room household to avoid transmission among family members during the rise in COVID-19 cases last April 2021.
The sudden surge of COVID-positive cases in March 2021 heightened the need for facilities that care for asymptomatic patients and those with mild symptoms. The pressure became so intense that PRC Chairman and CEO Sen. Dick Gordon invited MMDA Chairman Benhur Abalos and LGU Mayors on Good Friday to present his plan to address this crisis, the conversion of idle classrooms into isolation facilities.
The enthusiastic response of the MMDA Chairman and the Metro Manila Mayors prompted Sen. Gordon to put the plan into action. A call to Ateneo de Manila University President Roberto Yap, University of the Philippines President Danilo Concepcion and Bro. Armin Luistro of the De La Salle Brothers created an unused classroom to accommodate residents of Quezon City and Manila affected by COVID-19.
These repurposed classrooms and facilities house asymptomatic and mild patients, to allow them to be isolated for 14 days away from their households. These individuals are provided with essential needs such as beds, toiletries, isolation kits, and food.
The PRC isolation facility is only one among the various initiatives dedicated to enhancing the management of COVID-19 in the country. Since then, PRC also sets up Isolation facilities in Makati Science High school, which features a family room, for families affected by COVID-19. PRC opened its Isolation facility at Adamson University after Hospicio de San Jose asked for help to isolate the senior citizens residing in the welfare institution.
PRC Isolation Facility is only one among the various PRC initiatives dedicated to enhancing the management of COVID-19 in the country.
“Kapag ang tao at ang lider ay nagsama-sama, lalabas ang tibay at galing natin laban sa pandemya. PRC led by our team of staff and volunteers will continue to innovate and cooperate to keep the virus at bay and alleviate its impact on the most vulnerable,” Chairman Gordon said.
The Philippine Red Cross (PRC) Hot Meals On Wheels first started in 2005 through the vision and initiative of PRC Chairman and CEO Sen. Dick Gordon when he donated his personal funds to procure a food truck. Since then, the PRC has 23 Hot Meals On Wheels, 3 of which are at the National Headquarters, with the remaining 10 in Luzon, 6 in the Visayas, and 4 in Mindanao.
PRC’s Hot Meals On Wheelsplays a vital role in emergency response through the distribution of hot food to several areas according to need, It is one of the first services deployed by the humanitarian organization to affected communities in times of crisis, disaster, and conflict.
“Sa panahon ng sakuna, isa sa pinakamahalaga sa tao ay ang pagkain. Mahalaga ang mga food frucks dahil ilalapit na natin ito sa mga naapektuhan. Hindi na nila kailangan lutuin at kakainin nalang nila ito. May mga volunteer chefs at nutrionist din ang Red Cross upang masiguradong ligtas, masustansya, at masarap ang mga pagkain na ibabahagi sa affected communities,” Sen. Dick Gordon said.
PRC has a fleet of 23 Hot Meals On Wheels, equipped with industrial size burners, steamers, and other cooking equipment capable of serving 100 individuals per hour.
PRC has also been deploying Hot Meals on Wheels to different cities and provinces to serve food to the most vulnerable. As of this writing, PRC’s Hot Meals On Wheels has catered to more than 78,000 individuals this year, catering to senior citizens, persons with disabilities, pregnant women, and children affected by the lockdown due to the pandemic.
Philippine Red Cross (PRC) Chairman and CEO Sen. Dick Gordon strongly advises the public to always keep their guard up as COVID-19 cases in the country continue to rise. The Department of Health (DOH) recorded the third single-day tally with 20,019 new covid cases that bring the country’s caseload to 2,080,984. In addition, the entire NCR, except for Manila, is at Alert Level 4 as the Delta variant is detected across all areas.
PRC is going above and beyond to beat the pandemic by deploying Bakuna Buses nationwide, vaccinating thousands of Filipinos daily. PRC also established different Bakuna Centers nationwide, continues operation of its emergency field hospital and isolation facilities, and leads the country for COVID-19 testing, having conducted over 4 million tests with an average additional tests of 8,000 daily
“We need to protect ourselves from this virus. Dapat lahat tayo ay magpabakuna in order to protect not just ourselves, but also the people around us. Importante din na tayo ay regular na magpatest, dahil through testing dito natin malalaman kung tayo ay positive o hindi,” Dick Gordon said.
As the premier humanitarian organization, PRC has been working tirelessly as an auxiliary to the government in its fight against COVID-19.
Since the declaration of a public health emergency, PRC has been at the forefront of the COVID-19 response program to alleviate human suffering and uplift the dignity of the people.
The Philippine Red Cross (PRC) vaccinated over 3,050 individuals through its bakuna bus last Sept. 03, 2021, prioritizing individuals belonging to the A1-A3 categories.
The Bakuna Bus is PRC’s 16-fleet of mobile vaccines, which roams around the different parts of the country vaccinating communities even in far-flung areas. The bakuna bus was first used during the polio-measles & rubella vaccination.
“We need to ramp up our vaccination, mas marami ang hindi nabakunahan, mas mataas ang chance na mas marami ang magkaka severe cases dahil sa COVID-19. All vaccines work, the best way to protect yourself from COVID-19 is vaccination,” Sen. Dick Gordon said.
All the vaccines administered by the bakuna bus are free of charge. PRC through the leadership of Chairman Gordon handles all the expenses and allowances of manpower to operate the 16 bakuna bus and 20 bakuna centers.
The Philippine Red Cross (PRC) deployed its Bakuna bus to Isabela and Cagayan to help the local government unit (LGU) to inoculate residents belonging to the A1 – A3 priority groups starting September 06, 2021.
PRC under the leadership of Chairman Sen. Dick Gordon with coordination with the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) for the management of Emerging Infectious Disease will deploy its Bakuna Bus for COVID-19 vaccination.
“Laging handang tumulong at magbigay pag-asa ang Red Cross sa mga nangangailangan lalo na ngayong pandemya. We want to give protection to the most vulnerable by giving them access to vaccines that will prevent them from getting severe cases due to COVID-19,” Sen. Dick Gordon said.
Aside from the vaccination program by the PRC in the said provinces, the PRC Cagayan chapter also deployed its Hot Meals on Wheels to provide ready-to-eat meals to 1,796 children, pregnant women, senior citizens, and persons with disabilities in-home quarantine.
PRC Isabela Chapter through the directive of Sen. Dick Gordon also conducted livelihood programs to the most vulnerable families in Isabela by providing 10,000 cash assistance to 450 families to support them in their pangkabuhayan.
“Our goal at the very start is to alleviate human suffering and uplift human dignity. Ang binibigay ng red cross ay tulong na may kasamang dignidad upang makatayo ang bawat pamilya sa kanilang mga paa at patuloy na makaahon sa kahirapan dulot ng pandemya,” Gordon said.