The Philippine Red Cross (PRC) intensified its water distribution and hygiene promotion in communities with limited to no supply of clean water in earthquake-hit Abra and Ilocos Sur over the weekend.
“Walang humpay ang pagtulong ng ating mga volunteers at staff sa Red Cross upang maihatid lamang ang malinis na tubig na pangunahing pangangailangan ng ating mga kababayan na tinamaan ng magnitude 7.0 na lindol at aftershocks nito,” PRC Chairman and CEO Richard Gordon said.
Last Saturday, August 6, a PRC water tanker distributed 19,000 liters of water in Santa, Ilocos Sur: 10,000 liters to 101 families, or 303 individuals, in Brgy. Calongbuyan, 4,000 liters to 42 families, or 204 individuals, in Brgy. Rancho, and 5,000 liters to 61 families, or 302 individuals, in Brgy. Casiber.
Simultaneously, another PRC water tanker distributed 18,000 liters of water in Caoayan, Ilocos Sur: 3,000 to 34 families, or 172 individuals, in Brgy. Pandayan and 15,000 to 149 families, or 592 individuals in Brgy. Villamar. Meanwhile, another PRC water tanker distributed 10,000 liters of water in Poblacion, Lagangilang and 5,000 in Brgy. South Calaba, Bangued.
Yesterday, August 7, the PRC Abra Chapter also distributed 10,000 liters of water to 89 families in Brgy. Budac, Tayum, 6,000 liters of waters to 67 families in Brgy. South Calaba, Bangued, and 6,000 L to 59 families in Brgy. North Calaba, Bangued.
As of August 7, the PRC has distributed 235,500 liters of water in Ilocos Sur and 319,965 liters of water in Abra.
“Narito pa rin ang Red Cross simula noong tumama ang malakas na lindol. Hindi natin iiwan ang ating mga kababayan hanggang matiyak natin na ang bawat apektadong tahanan ay may malinis na tubig at iba pang pangangailangan,” Chairman Gordon assured.
As of August 2, 2022, the Philippine Red Cross (PRC) has distributed 201,427 liters of water, benefiting 2,212 families, or 5,571 persons, among other humanitarian aid, in Abra and Ilocos Sur, the provinces most affected by the 7.0 magnitude earthquake that hit Northern Luzon on July 27.
The PRC deployed five water tankers to North Luzon to reach the municipalities most in need of help. The water tankers supply the disaster-affected populations’ drinking water and household, sanitation and hygiene needs. They come with a filtration system, storage water bladders, and water taps. Sanitation engineers and trained personnel manage the drawing of water from local water sources.
As of date, the PRC has 28 water tankers and 17 Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (WASH) hubs equipped with 30 water treatment units, trained volunteers and staff, and hygiene promotion materials. “Ang tubig ay isa sa pangunahing pangangailangan ng mga tao matapos ang impact ng lindol, dahil maaaring masira ang water sources. Ang Red Cross ay may mga water tanker sa aming regional hubs na nakahandang ipadala sa mga lugar na naapektuhan ng lindol,” Chairman Gordon said.
A usual consequence of an earthquake is damage to water distribution systems. Water districts or water distribution companies may not be able to meet the demand for water in the aftermath of an earthquake. PRC Chairman and CEO Richard J. Gordon foresaw this need and initiated the humanitarian organization’s acquisition of water tankers to enable it to continually provide clean and safe water to the most vulnerable during disasters and emergencies.
“Kahit ilang buwan na ang nakalipas mula nang humagupit ang Super Typhoon Odette, hindi pa rin titigil and Philippine Red Cross sa pagpapadala ng tulong sa ating mga kababayan,” Philippine Red Cross (PRC) Chairman and CEO Senator Dick Gordon said.
Since starting its response to Typhoon Odette in Lapu-Lapu City and Cordova town, the Philippine Red Cross (PRC) has now distributed more than one million liters of water to affected residents of Lapu-Lapu City and the municipality of Cordova. Lapu-Lapu City and Cordova were among those hardest hit by Super Typhoon Odette (international name: Rai), which made landfall in the Philippines on December 16, 2021. Super Typhoon Odette affected 353 cities and municipalities, destroying or damaging more than one million houses in the Philippines.
PRC continues its assistance to Lapu-Lapu City and Cordova. As of March 31, 2022, it has conducted hygiene promotion activities among 65,966 individuals. It has also served hot meals to 3,166 persons and given jerry cans, mosquito nets, and tarpaulin to 451 families, among other forms of assistance.
Lapu-Lapu City Mayor Junard “Ahong” Chan, on the city’s Public Information Office Facebook page, said the city’s doors are now open to welcome everyone, both local and foreign tourists, as long as they are vaccinated.
The Philippine Red Cross (PRC) celebrates World Water Day (WWD) 2022 to raise awareness of the 2.2 billion people living without access to safe water. WWD is about taking action to tackle the global water crisis and achieving Sustainable Development Goal 6: Water and sanitation for all by 2030. It is one of 17 Sustainable Development Goals established by the United Nations General Assembly in 2015.
WWD has been celebrated annually since 1993 after the United Nations (UN) Conference on Environment and Development held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in June 1992 chose the date March 22 as World Water Day. Every year, the UN selects a specific theme for the WWD to reflect different aspects of water. This international event looks to draw the attention of people from around the world to the importance of water resources, especially freshwater, and help enhance the sustainable management of these valuable resources. The theme of WWD 2022 is Ground Water, Making the Invisible, Visible. Beyond the issues of pricing, this topic includes the environmental, social, and cultural value placed on the water.
PRC Chairman and CEO Sen. Dick Gordon highlight the importance of providing access to safe water, especially in those areas affected by the different calamities and disasters.
“As we celebrate World Water Day 2022, I would like to emphasize the importance of freshwater, where we use it in supporting drinking water supplies, sanitation systems, farming, industry, and ecosystems. We must protect groundwater from pollution and use it sustainably, balancing the needs of people and the vital role of groundwater in our daily lives.”
PRC has been active in providing water to disaster-affected areas to bring back the lifelines in the provinces where people still do not have access to clean and potable water. Recently, during the Typhoon Odette operations, PRC provided over 14 million liters of clean water and promoted proper hygiene to 239,526 individuals.
The WASH Unit of the Philippine Red Cross is an office that provides services associated with addressing the need for access to clean and safe water, sanitation facilities, and hygiene education during an emergency and non-emergency responses.
Weeks after Severe Tropical Storm Maring (Kompasu) hit the provinces of Northern Luzon, entire communities and families are still recovering from the typhoon’s devastation. To curb the risk of disease spreading in the affected communities, the Philippine Red Cross (PRC) distributed hygiene kits to 1,669 households in six different provinces including Abra (622), Benguet (69), Pangasinan (37), La Union (550), Palawan (60), and Ilocos Sur (331).
Each family will receive a PRC Hygiene box containing 5 pieces of the adult toothbrush, 2 pieces of 225g toothpaste, 1 bottle of 250ml shampoo, 5 pieces of family size bath soap, 5 pieces of face towel, 5 pieces of big plastic comb, 2 packs of cotton buds, 1 pack of sanitary napkins, 1 big nail cutters, 2 bars of detergent, 2 disposable razors, and 5 rolls of toilet papers.
PRC also promoted hygiene awareness, giving 1,188 individuals hygiene training in La Union, Ilocos Sur, and Pangasinan.
The Red Cross also provides 92,000 liters of potable water in La Union, serving 2,343 families or 5,288 individuals.
“Nasalanta ng husto ang Northern Luzon ni bagyong Maring. Upang hindi kumalat ang sakit, kailangan na mabigyan ang ating mga kababayan ng malinis na tubig at hygiene kits. Hindi titigil ang Red Cross sa pagtulong,” said PRC Chairman and CEO Senator Dick Gordon.
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).