As a 5.9 magnitude earthquake shook Davao De Oro anew on 7 March 2023, the Philippine Red Cross deployed its emergency medical services (EMS) team, medical tents, food trucks, a water tanker, and trained psychological first aid providers to meet the needs of displaced families.
PRC Chairman and CEO Richard J. Gordon assured the public that the PRC will be a reliable help to the Filipinos in times of distress and encouraged them to become a member of PRC’s village-based Red Cross 143 volunteer system. “Ang Red Cross po ninyo ay inyong maaasahan sa panahon ng sakuna, kaya naman inaasahan din namin na kayo ang aming maging mata at tainga, na magbibigay sa amin ng impormasyon ukol sa mga nangyayari sa inyong barangay. Magtulungan tayo para mapanatiling ligtas ang ating mga barangay,” Gordon said.
The PRC Hot Meals on Wheels served arroz caldo to 1,220 individuals at Manat Gymnasium, the designated evacuation center in Barangay Manat, Nabunturan and at Andap National High School evacuation center in New Bataan, Compostela Valley. The PRC Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene Team set up a bufflo tank at the evacuation center; the tank dispensed 1,000 liters of water, enough for the immediate needs of families seeking shelter at the gymnasium.
Three PRC medical tents are set up at the Davao De Oro Provincial Hospital. These emergency medical units served as the immediate evacuation area for patients of the hospital. As of writing, 48 patients are being treated in the medical tents. The PRC EMS Team served 76 patients who had their blood pressure taken. A PRC ambulance is on standby as of 13 March at Andap National High School evacuation center in case of a medical emergency. The Welfare Team provided psychological first aid to 62 adults and 88 children at Andap National High School evacuation center.
The PRC water tanker distributed 35,000 liters of water, benefiting 6,000 individuals sheltering in Manat Gymnasium, Andap National High School, and New Leyte Elementary School, Maco. The PRC coordinates its response with the Office of Civil Defense (OCD) in Region XI and the Davao De Oro Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office. The Region XI OCD declared a red alert after the series of earthquakes hit Davao De Oro from 01 February this year.
As part of the Philippine Red Cross’s (PRC) mission to provide access to clean water during emergencies through its Wash, Sanitation, and Hygiene (WASH) programs, the PRC mobilized three of its water tankers from March 6 to 7, 2023 to supply potable water to areas in Parañaque and Pasay affected by Maynilad Water Services, Inc.’s pipeline repair along Osmeña Highway in Makati.
A total of 11,925 families, or 26,156 individuals, were provided with 100,000 liters of clean drinking water from the PRC. The water tankers were deployed in Barangays San Martin De Porres, BF Homes, Marcelo Green, and Sun Valley in Parañaque. The following areas in Pasay also benefited from the PRC water distribution: Barangay 131 and 19th, 22nd, 25th, 34th, 35th, and 36th Streets.
PRC Chairman and CEO Richard J. Gordon said that access to clean and safe water during calamities and various emergency situations is vital to survival. “Napakahalaga na mabigyan ng ligtas at maiinom na tubig ang ating mga kababayan sa Metro Manila na apektado ng 20 to 57-hour water service interruptions ng Maynilad. Napakahirap ang walang tubig because we need water to survive. It’s a major necessity! I immediately sent three of our water tankers in Parañaque and Pasay. ‘Yan naman ang gamit ng water tankers ng PRC. During disaster, calamity, and conflict, the Philippine Red Cross is always ready to serve and provide for our people.”
To date, the PRC owns 28 water tankers, with a capacity of five to twelve thousand liters each; the water tankers are donations from PRC’s partner organizations. “PRC water tankers are vital to the country’s need to promote proper hygiene and deliver access to clean water. Palalakasin pa natin ang ating mga programa under the PRC WASH para sa ating mga kababayan,” Chairman Gordon added.
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.
IT ONLY took a week for the Philippine Red Cross (PRC) to address the immediate needs of hospitals and communities heavily affected by the water crisis in Metro Manila.
As of March 17, PRC has distributed 1,033,000 liters of clean and safe water to an estimated 43,000 individuals from Rizal Medical Center, Quirino Memorial Medical Center, National Kidney and Transplant Institute, East Avenue Medical Center, Mandaluyong City Medical Center, and the National Center for Mental Health.
PRC has also started to provide water in communities, including Brgy. Old Balara and Brgy. Culiat in Quezon City; Brgy. Highway Hills in Mandaluyong; and Brgy. Tumana and Brgy. Nangka in Marikina.
Chairman Richard Gordon said PRC earlier prioritized hospitals and medical institutions to ensure that medical services will not be interrupted.
“We received requests from different hospitals and we delivered immediately. The condition in crisis-affected hospitals has now improved, but we are still on standby as this may extend until June. We are now delivering water supply to barangays to prevent health concerns,” Gordon said.
Since March 11, a total of eight water tankers were deployed to deliver water in priority areas. PRC’s response to the water crisis is the fastest operations in the organization’s history.
Meanwhile, PRC raises concern over the improper storage of water, where the use of uncovered containers poses threats of acquiring diseases, such as diarrhea.
“Our water is safe for drinking. But when people use open containers, this can easily be contaminated. The use of proper storage, such as jerry cans with faucets, mitigates the risk of getting sick,” Gordon said.
We are calling on the public to help us help more.
You may support PRC’s response to the Metro Manila water crisis through the following bank accounts:
Banco De Oro
Account name: Philippine Red Cross
Peso account: 00-4530190938
Dollar account: 10-453-0039482
Swift code: BNORPHMM
Account name: Philippine Red Cross
Peso account: 151-7-15152434-2
Dollar account: 151-2-15100218-2
Swift code: MBTCPHMM
Landbank of the Philippines
Account name: Philippine Red Cross
Account number: 0561-095817
For more information, you may contact Rizza Genil at (02) 790-2410 or Shervi Corpuz at (02) 790-2413 or +639178348378.