The spirit of volunteerism defines the Philippine Red Cross (PRC). Today (05 December), the PRC celebrates International Volunteer Day by honoring the unwavering commitment and efforts of Red Cross 143 (RC143) volunteers to serve the most vulnerable.
PRC Chairman and CEO Richard J. Gordon, who has been volunteering his time to serve the most vulnerable for 54 years, expressed his appreciation to the volunteers of the foremost humanitarian organization. “Hindi kailanman mapapantayan ng kahit na ano ang halaga ng ating mga volunteers. Saludo ako sa ating mga volunteers na purong pagmamalasakit sa kapwa ang dahilan ng kanilang mga ginagawang pagtulong. Ang PRC ay mananatiling katulong at kaagapay ninyo sa pag-angat sa ating mga kababayan. Mabuhay kayo,” said Chairman Gordon.
The PRC Chapters will conduct the following activities, among others, to encourage and strengthen volunteerism in communities: volunteer promotion and recruitment in public areas, chapter volunteer recognition, and Red Cross 143 volunteer stories.
For over 75 years, PRC volunteers have dedicated their time and effort to ensure safety and provide assistance to the most vulnerable. From January 1 to December 1, 2022, through the assistance of volunteers, PRC has administered 400, 895 Covid-19 vaccines and provided 230, 874 patients with blood services. Meanwhile, from 2020 to 2022, PRC Welfare Services served hot meals to 339, 323 victims of disasters and other emergencies.
The PRC, through its RC143 community-based volunteering program, promotes a culture of self-help in the communities by developing a network of volunteers trained to predict potential risks, plan, prepare, and practice for effective community-based disaster risk reduction. To become a PRC volunteer, fill out the online application form through redcross.ph/volunteer or visit the PRC National Headquarters or nearest PRC chapter. Inquiries are welcome at PRC’s website, www.redcross.org.ph, or at landline number (02) 8790 2300 LOCAL 945, or at [email protected].
The Philippine Red Cross (PRC) Manila Chapter held its 35th Chapter Biennial Assembly on October 8, 2022 at The Manila Hotel with the theme “7 Dekada, 5 Taon, Iisang Layunin: Buhay Isagip, Alaala Iukit”. The event paid homage to the committed volunteers whose exceptional achievements and significant contributions to PRC Manila Chapter paved the way for meaningful and fruitful service to the PRC purpose and mission. As the lifeblood of the organization, volunteers play a vital role in supporting the most vulnerable in communities across the country.
“It is the volunteers and staff that make our ambulances and equipment run, that makes PRC an outstanding society,” PRC Chairman and CEO Richard J. Gordon said in his speech.
The PRC Manila Chapter, meanwhile, also elected its new set of Board of Directors (BOD). Together with the new BOD, the volunteers of the PRC Manila Chapter will continue and intensify their efforts to save lives, alleviate human suffering, and uplift the dignity of the most vulnerable. In fulfillment of this commitment, the volunteers, amid disasters and emergencies, vow to dedicate their talent, time, and service to the people.
The 35th Biennial Assembly of PRC Manila Chapter provided an opportunity for the Chairman of its Board of Directors, Hon. Amado Bagatsing, and Governor Leonida (Baby) Ortiz to report on the chapter’s activities, achievements, and financial performance. PRC Manila Chapter is one of the most reliable chapters in providing PRC services. Being among the first local chapters to establish the Summer Safety Institute, which offers a variety of courses on PRC services, such as First Aid and Basic Life Support Training and courses from the Water Safety program, the PRC Manila Chapter has been providing assistance to the most vulnerable since its establishment in the 1940s.
Manila Mayor Maria Sheilah (Honey) Honrado Lacuna to PRC Manila Chapter: “Sa loob ng maraming taon ay napatunayan na ng Manila Red Cross ang tunay na kahulugan at kahalagahan ng bolunterismo. Maraming pagkakataon ninyo na ipinakita ang pagmamalasakit sa ating mga kababayan.”
The Philippine Red Cross this week started training more than 200 community-based trainers who will train Red Cross 143 volunteers across the country to respond to emergencies and disasters. Municipal coordinators for Red Cross 143 in Philippine Red Cross’ 104 chapters nationwide will attend the 4-day training in three batches from May to June this year. Using blended learning, the 4-day webinar workshop includes lectures, quizzes, group workshops, an exam, fieldwork, and a trainee’s evaluation.
Red Cross 143 aims to promote a culture of self-help in communities by recruiting and preparing volunteers to respond to emergencies and disasters. The ultimate goal of the Red Cross 143 volunteer program is to capacitate communities to respond to emergencies and disasters on their own. It was first implemented during the Tropical Storm Ondoy (international name: Ketsana) Response in 2009.
The trainers’ training is in line with the premier humanitarian organization’s mantra of “Volunteers + Logistics + Information Technology = A Red Cross that is Always First, Always Ready, Always There.” Training will prepare communities in the wake of PAGASA’s warning that the rainy season and La Niña will bring higher amounts of rainfall in some areas of the country this year. The Philippine Red Cross Chairman and CEO Richard J. Gordon also instructed current volunteers and staff to ensure that they are ready to be deployed, along with Philippine Red Cross’ response assets and logistics.
Those who are interested to be trained as Red Cross 143 volunteers may contact the Red Cross chapter nearest them.
The Philippine Red Cross (PRC) has already trained 43,206 first aiders from January to October of this year while the country is battling COVID-19. PRC says that the trained first aiders can help reduce the strain on the country’s emergency medical services as qualified first aiders are trained in recognizing and treating a vast variety of injuries and illnesses that can occur at home and in the workplace.
As the COVID-19 pandemic overloads the country’s medical systems, trained first aiders have the skills that can help prevent someone’s condition from deteriorating whilst waiting for an emergency to come. Knowing when and how to give proper CPR can be the difference between life and death, especially during a pandemic.
The PRC-trained first aiders come from all regions of the Philippines with 13,918 trained in the National Capital Region, 5,401 in Northern Luzon, 4,138 in Central Luzon, 4,473 in Southern Tagalog, 1,869 in Bico Region, 6,805 in the Visayas, and 6,602 in Mindanao.
“Basic first aid skills are very important and making it accessible to all is an important humanitarian act. It is, therefore, a crucial must. During the pandemic, with restrictions and safety protocols, PRC is finding ways to reach more people and to fulfill the goal of having one first aider per household. We are encouraging everyone to be that first aid hero in your family, in your school, and your community,” said PRC Chairman and CEO Senator Dick Gordon.
This pandemic has made learning first aid quite challenging and the PRC has adjusted to the new normal by teaching this life-saving training online. For more details regarding PRC’s first aid training course, contact the Safety Services Department via email [email protected] / [email protected] or call them at (02)-8790-2366.
Last week, the Philippine Red Cross (PRC) congratulated its own Mr. Chino Kairo Serrano for ranking first in the recent 2021 Nutritionist Dietician Licensure Exams. In an interview last October 22, 2021, Chino provides some tips for those who aspire to become nutritionist-dieticians.
First, he shared that one should always prioritize and treasure what was learned in college. “I believe that all you have to do is just always do your best. Prioritize the “learnings”, and then grades will follow,” he said. For him, being in college is the time where one should learn the fundamentals of your program or chosen career path. That is why he made the most out of it by learning everything he could but at the same time making sure to enjoy his college days. He mentioned that the real challenge for him was life after college as he shared that it is different once you are employed. “My current role here in PRC is my first real job. Learning doesn’t stop even while at work, so I do my best to learn as much as I can wherever I am,” he added.
Secondly, he believes in a strong sense of gratitude. “The most important tip I can provide is to trust in the plans of the Lord,” he emphasized. Sharing his thoughts about all the challenges he recently experienced, he said; “I still do not understand a lot of the things that happened to me this year. Aside from the many difficulties our country is facing due to the pandemic and our board exams which was moved to October instead of July, the most difficult was when my mother died three months ago due to COVID-19. Despite these, I didn’t stop me from believing that the Lord had plans for me.”
For Chino, topping the recent board exams was just a small feat. He continues to learn and evolve, “I remember that even during college, I experienced many drawbacks and turnarounds. Also, I didn’t even know that Nutrition was a program when I entered college.” Now, he believes that he has come to understand things more clearly, “It turns out that my plans were different from the Lord’s plans, but I would like to think that this is the materialization of His plans for that season in my life.”
Chino Kairo Serrano is an officer under the PRC Water Sanitation and Hygiene Unit (WASH) working on the Typhoon Response Operations with UNICEF and the WASH project under the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC).