Days after Severe Tropical Storm Paeng (international name: Nalgae) exited the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR), the trail of massive flooding, rain-induced landslides, and displacement it left across vast areas of the country has affected over two million individuals or 510, 222 families. STS Paeng caused damage to livelihood and disrupted food and water supplies. The Philippine Red Cross (PRC) has been sending its fleet of food trucks to vulnerable communities in hard-hit areas to alleviate hunger and reduce the food security concerns of affected families.
“The nutrition of people in areas hardest hit by Paeng could be affected because the access to food and safe water in typhoon-affected towns and cities is usually disrupted. We at Philippine Red Cross (PRC) will continue boosting our efforts to address the nutrition needs of our kababayans in vulnerable situations,” said PRC Chairman and CEO Richard J. Gordon.
As of 04 November, PRC has served hot meals to 28,029 individuals in cities and towns affected by STS Paeng: Maguindanao, Zamboanga, Tawi-Tawi, Aklan, Negros Oriental, Negros Occidental, IloIlo, Northern Samar, Antique, Cebu, Masbate, Romblon, Palawan, Bataan, Cagayan, Camarines Norte, Camarines Sur, Batangas, Catanduanes, Laguna, Zambales, Aurora, Pangasinan, Kalinga, Quezon, Nueva Viscaya, Marinduque, Isabela, Bulacan, Manila, Marikina, Rizal, Muntinlupa, Valenzuela, and Pasig-Pateros. PRC also distributed 2,499 bottled water in Cagayan.
Meanwhile, Gardenia Bakeries, a long-time food donor of PRC, donated bread loaves — these were distributed to 1, 455 affected families in Laguna and Pampanga. During his first term as a senator in 2009, Chairman Gordon authored the Republic Act No. 9803 (RA9803) or the Food Donation Act of 2009, which aims to address the country’s growing hunger problem and bring dignity back to the most vulnerable simultaneously.
Since 28 October, PRC has positioned relief assets and equipment, such as payloaders, water tankers, and food trucks to Paeng-affected communities. PRC staff and volunteers are monitoring the affected families’ further needs for food, safe water, clothing, shelter, hygiene, sanitation, and medical and psychosocial care.
Clean potable water is the major lifeline that was disrupted by Severe Tropical Storm Paeng (international name: Nalgae), affecting thousands of families across several provinces. To insure steady supply of clean water, the Philippine Red Cross (PRC) deployed water tankers and bladders to Paeng-affected areas of Laguna, Maguindanao, Cotabato City, and Zamboanga City.
“Ang malinis na tubig ay isa sa pangunahing pangangailangan na maaaring maapektuhan matapos ang isang sakuna katulad ng bagyo. Ang Red Cross ay may water tankers para mabilis na makapaghatid ng malinis na tubig sa ating mga kababayan na lubhang nangangailangan nito matapos ang bagyo o lindol,” PRC Chairman and CEO Richard J. Gordon elaborated.
As of November 2, PRC water tankers have distributed 141,670 liters of water to people affected by Paeng in Laguna, Cotabato City, Maguindanao, and Zamboanga City.
PRC food trucks have also served 9,278 hot meals to people displaced by the storm in these areas.
PRC volunteers and staff continue to bring much-needed humanitarian aid in Paeng-affected cities and provinces across the country. As of date, PRC has reached at least 38 cities and provinces with humanitarian aid: Aklan, Antique, Aurora, Bacolod City, Bataan, Batangas, Bohol, Camarines Norte, Camarines Sur, Catanduanes, Cavite, Cotabato City, Dumaguete City, Iligan City, Iloilo City, Iriga City, Kalinga, Laguna, Maguindanao, Malolos City, Manila City, Marikina City, Marinduque, Masbate City, Muntinlupa City, Naga City, Negros Occidental, Northern Samar, Quezon City, Romblon, Roxas City, San Pablo City, Santa Rosa City, Sorsogon, Tawi-Tawi, Valenzuela City, Western Samar, and Zamboanga City.
Even before Severe Tropical Storm Paeng (international name: Nalgae) made landfall, images and videos already revealed the storm’s extensive damage to life and property in Maguindanao and Cotabato City. The storm had a diameter of over 1,000 kilometers, thus affecting 17 of the country’s 18 regions.
The Philippine Red Cross (PRC) responded by deploying its water tankers and food trucks to meet the immediate needs of people severely affected by Severe Tropical Storm Paeng in Cotabato City and Maguindanao.
As of 01 November, PRC water tankers have distributed 21,000 liters of water in Barangay Rosary Heights 2, Barangay Rosary Heights 10, and Barangay Rosary Heights 1 in Cotabato City and 15,000 liters in Datu Odin Sinsuat, Maguindanao. PRC served hot meals to 1,971 persons stranded or taking shelter at Mindanao Star Bus Terminal, Immaculate Concepcion Cathedral, Barangay Badak, and Barangay Rosary Heights 10 in Cotabato City and in Dinaig Elementary School and Barangay Semba in Datu Odin Sinsuat.
“Ang Red Cross at mga barangay, sa pamamagitan ng Red Cross 143 volunteer system, ay nagtutulungan para madalhan ng pangunahing pangangailangan ang ating mga kababayan na lubhang naapektuhan ng Severe Tropical Storm Paeng. Ang aming water tankers at food trucks ay nasa mga komunidad na lubos na nangangailangan nito,” said PRC Chairman and CEO Richard J. Gordon.
Residents of Barangay Mother Rosary Heights, Cotabato City were assisted by the PRC Emergency Response Unit to evacuate to the local government’s evacuation center. The PRC Emergency Medical Services Team gave first aid to 13 patients in Datu Odin Sinsuat. Fifty-one adults in Cotabato City and Datu Odin Sinsuat availed themselves of psychosocial first aid. As of this writing, PRC continues to provide water through its water tankers and other immediate needs of the people displaced by Paeng in Cotabato City and Maguindanao.