Philippine Red Cross deploys its water tanker and hot meals food truck to flood-hit Misamis Occidental
Following the Christmas Day flooding across several parts of Mindanao, the Philippine Red Cross (PRC) deployed a water tanker to meet the needs of communities who lost access to clean and safe drinking water. Five hundred families benefited from 10,000 liters of clean and safe drinking water distributed in Barangay Mansabay Bajo, Lopez Jaena, Misamis Occidental yesterday, December 31, 2022.
“Water is absolutely necessary to sustain life. After a hazard event, such as a flood, water sources may be damaged or compromised. That is why one of PRC’s first responses to people affected by disasters is the deployment of our water tankers,” PRC Chairman and CEO Richard J. Gordon said.
PRC was among the first groups to send humanitarian aid to Mindanao and Visayas after the shear line caused massive flooding on Christmas Day.
As of December 31, 2022, PRC has provided the following assistance to people affected by the flooding: emergency medical services to 137 persons, rescue and evacuation assistance to 193 individuals, including children, hot meals to 9,834 persons, health information and medicines to 87 people, food items to 138 families, psychological first aid to 1,961 adults and children, and hygiene education to 1,345 people.
Philippine Red Cross (PRC) volunteers and staff continue aid efforts in Datu Odin Sinuat (DOS), Maguindanao, which is among those hardest hit by Severe Tropical Storm (STS) Paeng (international name: Nalgae).
Together with Australian Aid, PRC distributed sleeping kits and hygiene kits to 425 individuals in Barangay Awang, DOS yesterday. Two plastic mats, two mosquito nets, and two blankets comprise each sleeping kit. A hygiene kit is composed of 12 body soaps, five laundry soaps, 40 sanitary pads, five bath towels, toilet papers, toothbrushes, two toothpaste tubes, and razors.
“In every calamity, the Red Cross is there to help our fellow Filipinos for the long haul. We will be with our fellow Filipinos who have been severely affected by Severe Tropical Storm Paeng until they fully recover from its effects. We are always ready to reach the farthest communities to bring them aid,” said PRC Chairman and CEO Richard J. Gordon.
Also yesterday in DOS, the foremost humanitarian organization served hot meals to 803 persons in Barangay Dinaig and distributed 10,000 liters of water through its water tanker in Barangay Bagumbayan.
PRC volunteers and staff have responded to Paeng-affected communities across the country since 28 October by providing emergency rescue and evacuation, shelter strengthening kits, emergency medical services, road clearing, health care information and supplies, hot meals and food items, water, clothes, slippers, psychological first aid, sleeping kits, and hygiene kits.
With a diameter of over 1,000 kilometers, Paeng battered the country with torrential rains for around two days, 28-29 October, causing flash floods and landslides that damaged thousands of homes and destroyed tens of thousands of farms and fishing gear.
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.
The Cabuyao City Bureau of Jail Management and Penology presented the Philippine Red Cross and its Chairman and CEO Richard Gordon certificates of recognition in connection with the organization’s swift response in managing the cases of amoebiasis in Cabuyao City Jail, which affected more than 80 persons deprived of liberty (PDLs).
“Hindi po kami nagdalawang salita at talagang naging napakabilis ng pagdating ng tulong na water tanker ni Red Cross nang malaman nila ang kondisyon ng mga nagkakasakit dito sa Cabuyao BJMP,” JSINSP Shiela Moliquino, the City Jail Warden cited.
Chairman Gordon quickly took action after reports from Red Cross Laguna Administrator Frank Sorromero confirmed clustered cases of diarrhea since September 16. The former solon reasoned that, “The goal of our penitentiary is to rehabilitate these individuals with hopes to have them reintegrated into society and given another chance at life – how can we successfully do that if they will feel neglected? Guided by our Red Cross principles of neutrality and impartiality – we should help all who are in need of help. Nakakulong man sila, basta kailangan nila ng tulong, they should be regarded with dignity and given due aid.”
The PRC was able to supply 470,000 liters of clean water for the whole jail compound with a population of 657 PDLs and 43 personnel. The bladders were also the only water source while pipes were being disinfected. PDLs were also provided with hygiene kits to keep themselves clean and free from diseases. Chairman Gordon also made sure that the “visitorless” PDLs, or those not being visited by their relatives were also given the much needed supplies to maintain their personal cleanliness.
The jail management expressed its immense gratitude to Chairman Gordon for his swift action and contribution to Cabuyao City Jail until its water contamination issue was resolved, further citing that the Chairman’s “work as a leader and a public servant is greatly admired. What you have done and what you will do in the years to come will be valued.”
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.
The Philippine Red Cross (PRC) continues to assist Davao Penal Colony in Panabo, Davao del Norte which started last November 10, 2021.
The Diarrhea Outbreak in Davao Penal Colony, is the fourth outbreak in Davao this 2021. PRC Chairman and CEO Sen. Dick Gordon immediately deploys the water tankers to provide clean and potable water to ensure the safety of the residents.
“Laging nakahanda ang ating mga water tankers at water bladder upang makapag bigay ng malinis at ligtas na tubig sa mga naapektuhan ng Diarrhea Outbreak. Apat na beses na nangyari ang Outbreak sa Davao kaya naman layunin ng Philippine Red Cross na iinform ang mga tao sa proper water sanitation, and hygiene,” Sen. Dick Gordon said.
To date, PRC has distributed 73,000 liters of water, installed 1 water bladder, and distributed 1,500 leaflets on health information dissemination to the residents.
The Philippine Red Cross (PRC) assures its readiness to supply water to critical establishments that could be affected by the impending water shortage in Metro Manila as the water level in Angat Dam nears critical level.
Chairman Richard Gordon gave orders to prepare PRC’s fleet of water tankers and water treatment equipment following National Water Resources Board (NWRB)’s announcement that Angat Dam’s water level continues to decline—down to 162.39 meters as of Monday.
“Just like last March, we are prepared to deploy our water tankers to supply water to most critical establishments, especially hospitals. We have 20 water tankers in Metro Manila that are capable of filling up high-pressure water systems,” Gordon said.
If the water level in Angat Dam dips further, PRC will prioritize hospitals to ensure that healthcare services will not be interrupted and to avoid health complications, such as sepsis, diarrhoea, and other hygiene-related diseases.
During the first wave of water crisis last March to April, PRC was able to supply 1,435,475 liters of clean and safe water to hospitals such as National Kidney and Transplant Institute, East Avenue Medical Center, Rizal Medical Center, National Center for Mental Health, and Quirino Memorial Medical Center.
PRC also served affected communities, Brgy. Old Balara and Brgy. Culiat in Quezon City; Brgy. Nangka and Brgy. Tumana in Marikina; and Brgy. Addition Hills in Mandaluyong.
PRC is equally active in the provinces especially affected by dry spells, including Catanduanes, Iram (Olongapo), Cebu, Zamboanga, and Albay.