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Philippine Red Cross Chairman and CEO Richard J. Gordon, while paying his last respects to Former President Fidel V. Ramos (FVR) at Heritage Park, in Taguig, over the weekend, said FVR was a big believer in the Red Cross. Gordon attended the wake of the late president together with a delegation from the foremost humanitarian organization in the country and a representative from the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies.

Gordon said FVR was one of the greatest supporters of the Red Cross. He cited that FVR, being a military man and able to appreciate the value of blood in war zones, was a regular blood donor through the Red Cross. “Palaging nagbibigay ng dugo. Inaawat ko na [kasi] lagpas na siya ng 65 [years old]; sabi ko ‘ilalagay na lang namin sa museum ‘yang dugo ninyo’. Pero bigay pa rin nang bigay, because symbolic iyun eh.” The PRC sets up medical tents in war zones, such as in the Marawi siege in 2017.

Gordon also shared that FVR was with him in the Mt. Pinatubo response and the July 16, 1990 earthquake response in Cabanatuan. FVR and Gordon worked together in the rehabilitation of areas in Central Luzon, including SBMA and Clark, after the Mt. Pinatubo eruption. “He was always enthusiastic on finding solutions on what we can do,” Gordon said of FVR.

Gordon expressed sadness over FVR’s passing, referring to him as one of the country’s “greatest statesmen.” He attested that FVR was a president who was hardworking and recalled his “Philippines 2000” vision of having more investors in the country in order to create more jobs. He and FVR had a long working relationship in government service: FVR was president when Gordon served as mayor of Olongapo City for a second term. While mayor of Olongapo, Gordon was appointed chairman of the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority by FVR.

Gordon lauded FVR’s academic excellence, as a graduate of the US Military Academy at West Point. He said that FVR’s bearing was a good example to people who might become leaders of the Philippines. “Nakakalungkot, pero nakakatuwa na nagkaroon tayo ng katulad nya: We did not have enough of him, which is sad, but we are happy we had him at all, even for a while,” Gordon concluded.

From Day 1 of FVR’s wake, the PRC provided antigen tests to FVR’s family, friends, and mourners for free, to make sure everyone was safe. Two PRC ambulance teams were also deployed to Heritage Park to assist mourners in case there was a medical emergency. Gordon said these acts were the least PRC could do to honor FVR’s lifelong, committed support to the PRC.

The Philippine Red Cross (PRC) honors former President Fidel V. Ramos (FVR) and commemorates his humanitarian legacy even as PRC mourns with his family at his passing.

FVR consistently supported PRCs’s disaster responses, most notably the Mt. Pinatubo Eruption (1991) Response and the Magnitude 7.8 Earthquake (1990) Response in Cabanatuan and Baguio.

PRC Chairman Richard J. Gordon attests that, “FVR was not only a decorated soldier but was also a blood galloner. A blood galloner is one who has donated at least one gallon of blood in his lifetime. Being a serviceman, FVR appreciated the value of blood during emergencies and had been a regular donor since 1954. Gordon fondly remembers that FVR was truly an advocate of blood donation and that if it were up to him, he would have kept on donating blood, if not for his age being past the requirement for blood donors. Gordon would then fondly tease FVR that PRC would place his blood in a museum. 

Chairman Gordon had the privilege of conferring FVR with the Gold Humanitarian Service Cross Award for his invaluable assistance and generosity to the most vulnerable through the Red Cross.

“FVR may be gone, but his humanitarian spirit will forever live on not only as a memory but as an inspiration to future generations,” Gordon says.

Philippine Red Cross

Born officially in 1947, but with roots that traces back to the revolutionary days, the Philippine Red Cross has truly become the premier humanitarian organization in the country, committed to provide quality life-saving services that protect the life and dignity especially of indigent Filipinos in vulnerable situations.

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Since October 28, 2022, #PaengPH has brought incessant heavy rains causing floods and flash floods in different parts of the Philippines, claiming several lives of our kababayans. As Philippine Red Cross mobilized our volunteers and help through rescue operations, medical assistance, #PRCHotMeals, and other interventions, we are appealing for donations IN KIND OR IN CASH to effectively support the most vulnerable. Together, let's save lives and help those in need.

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