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The Philippine Red Cross (PRC) formally unveiled two new ambulance units from the Security Bank Foundation, Inc. (SBFI) to further equip the organization’s emergency response efforts.

This brings the total number of ambulance units donated by SBFI over the past three years to five.

Chairman Richard Gordon, who led the turnover ceremony on Wednesday, said the additional ambulance units empower the Red Cross to assist more people affected by emergencies, such as fire incidents, vehicular crashes, medical emergencies, and disasters.

“As the preferred humanitarian partner, we assure SBFI that their support will reach the most vulnerable communities. This is a truly noble cause to help our countrymen in need of emergency medical services,” Gordon said as he expressed gratitude to SBFI Chairman Rafael Simpao, Jr. for consistently fueling the organization’s humanitarian drives.

The Red Cross has saved 1,889 people using the SBFI ambulances, including 674 people involved in road crash incidents and medical emergencies.

PRC, through its fleet of 154 ambulances, has rescued 46,451 individuals for 2019 alone.

Present during the turnover ceremony were PRC Secretary General Elizabeth Zavalla, Assistant Secretary General Ramon Murillo, Blood Services Director Dr. Christie Monina Nalupta, Safety Services Acting Manager Von Ryan Ong, and SBFI Vice President Melissa Aquino.

The Philippine Red Cross (PRC) received a P5 million humanitarian contribution from Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) to support the PRC’s ambulance services.

During the turnover ceremony, PRC Chairman Richard Gordon expressed his gratitude to BSP Governor Benjamin Diokno for helping the Red Cross in saving more individuals in times of emergencies.

“Thank you for always trusting the Philippine Red Cross. We always make sure that the money and donations we humbly receive will reach the most vulnerable,” Gordon said.

The humanitarian contribution is primarily for operational expenses of the Red Cross’ ambulance services, which provides free transport for individuals affected by disasters and emergencies.

This year alone, PRC has catered to 46,173 individuals through its ambulance service program.

For 14 years, PRC and BSP have been collaborating to address the pressing needs of the most vulnerable communities.

In 2018, BSP, under the leadership of then-governor Nestor Espenilla Jr., contributed P2 million for the Red Cross’ Blood Samaritan Program, a program that shoulders the blood processing fee of qualified indigent patients.

PRC and BSP also hold joint mass blood donation annually.

The Philippine Red Cross (PRC) is on the move to help address the immediate needs in Itbayat, Batanes, which experienced successive earthquakes on Saturday.

PRC Chairman Richard Gordon, who led the organization’s response over the weekend, said the organization is focusing on providing psychosocial support, food, water, and temporary shelter for over 2,000 individuals who are displaced in an open ground in front of the municipal hall.

“We are assessing as we are giving. Right now we are focused on their immediate needs, but eventually, we will provide their long-term needs, such as houses,” Gordon said.

He added, “The operations is extra challenging as the remote island of Itbayat is a two-to-three-hour boat ride from Basco and can only be reached using small boats. But this will not slow us down. We are working with different organizations to ensure that aid will be given as fast as possible.”

PRC National Headquarters partnered with the Armed Forces of the Philippines to deploy resources for in-depth assessments.

Among the items deployed are radio equipment, satellite phones, and water purification assets, composed of bladders, treatment units, and storage.

The humanitarian organization also sent thousands of ready-to-eat meals, temporary roofing materials, and water treatment units for the affected population.

‘Trauma’

Initial assessments show that there is a need for welfare and psychosocial support, especially for Ivatans who experienced trauma following the major shakes.

“The ground shaking was traumatic for Ivatans. Our welfare team is there to help people get rid of their trauma,” Gordon added.

PRC welfare teams also provided psychosocial support to injured patients at Basco General Hospital. PRC volunteers also distributed hot meals to 900 individuals on Saturday.

AMID THE declaration of dengue outbreak in Iloilo, Aklan, Cavite, Leyte, and South Cotabato, the Philippine Red Cross (PRC) assures the public that it has adequate blood supply for dengue patients.

Chairman Richard Gordon said PRC, through its 93 blood service facilities nationwide, is working double-time to ensure the availability of blood supply, especially plasma and cryoprecipitate, which are used to prevent hemorrhagic complications associated with dengue.

“We keep track of the supplies in all our blood facilities in the country. In the event, the blood supply in a specific facility drops to a critical level, we will know immediately which nearby facility can provide additional products,” Gordon said.

PRC National Blood Services recently shipped a total of 165 units of frozen blood products to augment the supply in Iloilo and Aklan.

Aside from blood, PRC is also in the forefront of managing the dengue crisis as it deployed eight sets of emergency medical tents in Western Visayas Region.

PRC set up two of the deployed hospital tents, with a total bed capacity of 40, in Jesus M. Colmenares District Hospital in Balasan, Iloilo, which is currently accommodating over 250 patients against its actual bed capacity of 25.

The medical unit in Balasan has now served to 38 patients. The humanitarian organization is also preparing to set up more medical tents in Aklan, Capiz, and Guimaras.

Data from the Department of Health shows that the dengue crisis has affected 115,986 individuals this year.

“We have started to fill the gaps in the dengue outbreak response, but we have no plans to slow down. Much needs to be done to protect people’s lives. There is a need for a fast and consistent response,” Gordon said.

“Red Cross 143 volunteers are alerted to initiate community cleanup drives. As our eyes and ears on the ground, they are also tasked to report more cases of congestion of hospitals in their areas.”

The Philippine Red Cross (PRC) reaffirmed its commitment to boost the recovery efforts for people displaced by the 2017 conflict in Marawi by providing access to income-generating activities.

In a field visit last June 3, PRC Chairman Richard Gordon announced that the organization will provide sewing machines to over a hundred affected households as an effort to restore livelihood sources.

“The Red Cross is not just about deploying medical tents and providing relief. We are not a handout society. The Red Cross is an organization that enables. This is why it is important that we help people restore their livelihood sources,” Gordon said.

This statement was echoed by International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) President Peter Maurer, who is in the country for an official mission, noting that the organization will also continue to address humanitarian concerns of people affected by conflicts.

“Just like Chairman Gordon, I believe in the importance of empowering people and helping people help themselves. This is a philosophy that we both strongly adhere to. We will continue to do so until the parents can go back to work and the children can go back to school,” Maurer said.

Since day one of the Marawi siege, PRC has been closely working with ICRC to assist the affected communities from relief to recovery.

The joint early recovery operations provided livelihood and shelter repair assistance for a total of 6,014 families from the most affected areas, including over 2,000 returnees who used the P10,000-cash grant to start small businesses.

In Saguiaran, Lanao del Sur, the PRC conducted hygiene-promotion activities and mobilized a network of volunteers to support the ICRC’s improvement of a water and sanitation facility that would benefit between 6,000 to 11,000 residents and displaced people.

PRC and ICRC will continue recovery efforts until the people get back on their feet.

The Philippine Red Cross (PRC) brought aid to a total of 12,766 individuals during the National and Local Elections, including those who needed to be transported due to fainting and suspected stroke.

PRC set up 310 first aid stations and 158 welfare desks, which helped ensure the safety and well-being of thousands of Filipino voters.

“To vote is one of the duties of each and every Filipino. To serve the people is the duty of the Philippine Red Cross staff and volunteers. As our fellow Filipinos were busy casting their votes, PRC staff and volunteers were also very much occupied attending to the needs of our fellowmen. Our staff and volunteers have intense compassion to the most vulnerable,” PRC Chairman Richard Gordon said.

A total of 2,000 staff and volunteers were deployed, while 150 ambulances were mobilized and put on standby.

Throughout the day, PRC provided blood pressure monitoring to 12,535 persons to ensure their well-being following the long queues at voting precincts.

Staff and volunteers provided first aid to 132 patients who experienced minor cases, such as dizziness, abrasion, open wound, fever, cramps, burns, hyperventilation and body weakness.

A total of 19 persons were treated for breathing difficulties, seizure, numbness, and blurred vision, while nine patients were transported to hospitals for additional medical care.

PRC also setup welfare desks, which provided psychosocial support and referral service to 65 people and provided wheelchair assistance to six voters.

In San Juan, a PRC volunteer carries a 96-year-old voter up to the third floor in San Juan Elementary School.

In Baguio, in a non-election related incident, PRC together with Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) rescued and provided first aid treatment to a patient who suffered chemical inhalation and suffocation while painting a water tank. He was then transported to the nearest hospital for further medical attention.

The Philippine Red Cross is noted for excellence in giving first aid treatment and providing blood. It is equally noted for excellence in disaster relief, psychosocial and other humanitarian services. It is the foremost humanitarian organization in the country. All this is in keeping with its mantra: Volunteers + logistics + information technology = always first, always ready, always there.

Summary of Assistance:     

Total patients catered: 2019: 12,766 persons

Total patients catered: 2016:  11,817 persons

Breakdown as follows: Blood pressure monitoring –12,535 persons Transported to medical facilities – 9 persons (fainting, suspected stroke, stomach pain) Major case- 19 persons (elevated blood pressure, difficulty of breathing, seizure, numbness, blurred vision)

Minor case- 132 persons (dizziness, abrasion, open wound, fever, cramps, burns, hyperventilation, body weakness) Welfare- 71 persons (55 Psychosocial support, 10 referral, 6 wheelchair assistance)

Assets deployed:

150 ambulances

158 welfare desks

310 first aid stations

42 emergency vehicles

The Philippine Red Cross (PRC) is exploring new programs and services to address the humanitarian challenges in the country, especially in the area of health.

Chairman Richard Gordon revealed plans to enhance its newly opened Dialysis Center to accommodate more patients.

“We are planning on strengthening our Dialysis Center so more poor Filipinos can acquire affordable and adequate dialysis treatments,” Gordon said.

He added that the Red Cross is also looking at opening a diagnostics center to provide access to quality healthcare to the poor.

Ito ay para makakuha ng diagnostics services ang mga mahihirap gaya ng CT scan at ICU. We got into different services because the humanitarian challenges in this country require us to be dynamic. This is why we opened our first Dialysis Center because it is hard to say no to the most vulnerable,” Gordon said.

As of today, the Dialysis Center, which had its soft opening last February, has now provided 14 patients with 350 dialysis treatments.

Gordon made the statement during the joint celebration of the 72nd anniversary of PRC and the World Red Cross and Red Crescent Day, where the organization recognized its partners for their contribution to the organization’s services.

The Silver Humanitarian Service Cross Award is given to Chinese General Hospital President and PRC Governor James Dy for consistently supporting the organization’s programs in on various occasions.

During the measles outbreak when Metro Manila hospitals were badly in need of space for patient care, PRC set up field medical units using beds and mattresses donated by Governor James Dy.

The Aurora Aragon Quezon Medal Award, which was named after the first chairman of PRC, was awarded to former President Fidel V. Ramos; Michael Chen, the Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer of the Minavida de Mindanao Corporation; Clement Yang, the President and Chief Executive Officer of Medtecs International Corporation Ltd.; and Vicente Cuevas III, president of CAMJ Construction Inc.

Ramos was given recognition for actively promoting voluntary blood donation including his own regular donation. Through his pronouncements, he helped ensure adequate blood supply in the country. Cheng and Cuevas provided aircraft services to enable PRC to deliver timely services during disasters and emergencies, while Yang provided linens for the organization’s measles crisis operations, as well as body bags which made management of the remains of those who perished in the aftermath of Yolanda more humane.

“No person was ever honored for what he received, but for what he gives,” said Dy, quoting Calvin Coolidge as he shared his experience and inspiration in doing humanitarian work with for PRC. “I would like to thank Gordon for bringing me here to PRC. Thank you for your trust.”

During the occasion, PRC also recognized over 400 staff members and officers who have served the organization for five to 42 years.

IN PHOTOS

The Philippine Red Cross (PRC) continues to assist communities affected by the magnitude 6.1 earthquake in Porac, Pampanga, including the displaced indigenous people and the survivors of the Chuzon supermarket collapse.

PRC, led by Chairman Richard Gordon, partnered with the Department of Health to provide psychosocial support to the survivors, mostly employees of Chuzon, and bereaved families of the strong earthquake.

“It is important that we work together in this time of need. The Red Cross is supporting government efforts to alleviate the suffering of people who lost their friends and families and the population who were forced to flee their homes regardless of their race,” Gordon said.

PRC’s welfare teams have conducted psychosocial support to 20 employees of Chuzon supermarket and 12 survivors currently admitted at Julio B. Lingad Memorial Regional Hospital in San Fernando.

A group of volunteers, headed by Deputy Secretary General Dr. Susan Mercado, also reached out to the displaced Aeta community in Porac last April 24 by providing welfare services to 55 families (207 individuals).

“The Aetas refuse to stay in any type of concrete evacuation center as they are traumatized by the shaking. There are also those with pre-existing mental health issues who are further triggered into depression and anxiety,” Mercado said in a Facebook post.

Today, the Red Cross is at Sitio Pasubul, Brgy. Camias in Porac to distribute hygiene kits to 60 indigenous families to protect them from infections and diseases. Red Cross also provides psychosocial support to indigenous people.

“We focus on the immediate needs of the most vulnerable and we will continue to provide services with the support of our volunteers and donors,” Gordon said.

PRC local chapter earlier provided hot meals to 450 individuals at the Aeta Market evacuation center.

The Philippine Red Cross (PRC) deployed manpower and rescue vehicles to assist in the search and rescue operations in a collapsed supermarket in Porac, Pampanga following the 6.1-magnitude earthquake that hit parts of Luzon on Monday.

Data from the PRC Operations Center shows that as of 7am, 24 individuals are still missing while 69 suffered injuries. PRC mobilized 30 manpower equipped with two ambulance units, two rescue vehicles, a generator set, and a tower light.

PRC also provided body bags to facilitate proper management of bodies retrieved in the incident site.

“We are all together. Red Cross continues the search and rescue operations for the missing individuals at Chuzon Supermarket. We deployed our assets from nearby chapters to provide additional manpower in affected areas. No one shall be left behind,” PRC Chairman Richard Gordon said.

Gordon also urged business owners to take precautionary measures to ensure the safety of the crowd.

“Be mindful of the safety of the people in your establishments. Business owners should inspect and double check the safety of their establishments to avoid putting people in dangerous situations,” he added.

Red Cross also advises the public to take earthquake drills seriously to prevent major casualties and take note of the following measures before, during, and after an earthquake.

Before checklist

  • Bolt and brace water heaters and gas appliances with wall studs.
  • Bolt bookcases, china cabinets and other tall furniture with wall studs.
  • Hang heavy items, such as pictures and mirrors, away from beds, couches and anywhere people sleep or sit.
  • Brace overhead light fixtures.
  • Install strong latches or bolts on cabinets. Large or heavy items should be closest to the floor.
  • Learn how to shut off the gas valves in your home and keep a wrench handy for that purpose.

During – if indoors

  • Drop, cover and hold on. Move as little as possible and watch for falling objects.
  • It is most important to keep your head and torso covered. If you’re sitting at a desk or table, get under it. Otherwise drop wherever you are.
  • If you are in bed, stay there, curl up and hold on, protecting your head with a pillow.
  • Stay away from windows to avoid being injured by shattered glass.
  • Stay indoors until the shaking stops and you are sure it is safe to exit. If you must go outside after the shaking stops, use stairs rather than an elevator in case of aftershocks, power outages or other damages.
  • Be aware that fire alarms and sprinkler systems frequently go off in buildings during an earthquake, even if there is no fire.

During – if you are outside

Find a clear spot and drop to the ground. Stay there until the shaking stops (away from buildings, power lines, trees, streetlights).

During – if you are in a vehicle

  • Pull over to a clear location and stop.
  • Avoid bridges, overpasses and power lines if possible.
  • Stay inside with your seatbelt fastened until the shaking stops.
  • Then, drive carefully avoiding bridges and ramps that might have been damaged.
  • If a power line falls on your vehicle, do not get out. Wait for assistance.
  • If you are in a mountainous area or near unstable slopes and cliffs, be alert for falling rocks and other debris.
  • Landslides are often triggered by earthquakes.

After

  • If away from home, return only when authorities say it’s safe to do so.
  • Be prepared for aftershocks. If you feel one, drop cover and hold on.
  • Aftershocks frequently occur minutes, days, weeks and even months following an earthquake.
  • Open cabinets slowly. Beware of objects that can fall off shelves.
  • Stay away from damaged areas in and around your home.
  • Look for and extinguish small fires. Fire is the most common hazard after an earthquake.
  • Check for gas leaks to prevent fires and secondary damage. Spray the fittings on your gas meter and any fittings on gas appliances with a mixture of water and a little liquid dish soap. If it bubbles, there is gas present.
  • Use extreme caution and examine walls, floors, doors, staircases and windows to check for damage.

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.

Address: 37 EDSA corner Boni Avenue, Mandaluyong City 1550
Hotline: 143 Trunkline +63 2 8790 2300
Email: [email protected]
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