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.
The Philippine Red Cross (PRC) is committed to supporting the humanitarian needs of the most vulnerable. Recently, these most vulnerable came in the form of hundreds of Filipinos repatriated from Sabah, Malaysia. PRC provided relief and psychosocial assistance to these returning countrymen, a total of 1,129 individuals.
“PRC, together with its staff and volunteers, will continue assisting our kababayans returning from Sabah, Malaysia,” said PRC Chairman and CEO Richard Gordon.
PRC mobilized 21 personnel and delivered hot meals, bottled water, and face masks to returnees. In addition to three welfare desks set up in Sulu and Tawi-Tawi, PRC provided Child-friendly Activities (CFA) and Psychological Support Program (PSP) to 154 individuals to ensure that affected people will receive the necessary assistance to cope with the situation. Meanwhile, 138 returnees from Zamboanga City participated in hygiene promotion.
PRC Welfare Services, under the Restoring Family Links (RFL) program, provided free calls to 110 individuals in Tawi-Tawi and Zamboanga to restore and maintain contact between family members and returnees.
PRC undertakes a wide range of programs and activities prepared to ensure the safe and comfortable return of people overseas seeking repatriation.
The Philippine Red Cross (PRC) has administered 11,263 doses of Covid-19 vaccines in Sulu province, through the PRC Mobile Bakuna Team, resulting in over 3,000 people fully inoculated and/or boosted. PRC Sulu Chapter Bakuna Team was deployed to support vaccination efforts at the Jolo Municipal Rural Health Unit, the Jolo Municipal Bakuna Center, and Barangay Bus-Bus Health Station.
Sulu is currently under Covid-19 alert level 2. Other places where PRC conducts vaccinations in Mindanao are Tawi-Tawi, Cotabato City-Maguindanao, Misamis Oriental-Cagayan de Oro, Davao del Sur, Surigao del Norte, Sultan Kudarat, Marawi City, and Zamboanga City.
The vaccinations are part of the PRC’s Covid-19 response across the country. As of June 20, 2022, PRC has administered 1,199,452 doses of Covid-19 vaccines, including boosters, in the whole country, fully vaccinating 373,631 persons.
PRC Chairman and CEO Richard J. Gordon constantly encourages Filipinos to get vaccinated or boosted. “Ang aming chapters sa Red Cross ay patuloy na nagbabakuna laban sa Covid-19 upang maging ligtas ang lahat sa banta nito” Chairman Gordon said.