PH Red Cross lauded for responding to every disaster, emergency in the country

Published May 12, 2021, 4:12 PM

by Merlina Hernando-Malipot

Government officials and representatives from both local and international organizations commended the Philippine Red Cross (PRC) led by its Chairman and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Senator Richard J. Gordon for promptly responding to emergencies regardless of its nature.

The Philippine Red Cross (PRC) joined the celebration of the World Red Cross and Red Crescent Day last May 8. (Photo from PRC)

During the celebration of this year’s World Red Cross and Red Crescent Day, PRC – together with 191 Red Cross and Red Crescent National Societies all over the world – celebrated event with the theme, “Together We are #Unstoppable.”

In the Philippines, the virtual celebration was attended by PRC officials led by Gordon, PRC Secretary General Elizabeth Zavalla, PRC Board of Governors, representatives from the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), and staff and volunteers who served the humanitarian organization for five to 41 years.

Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. Served as a guest speaker during the event. He applauded PRC under the leadership of Gordon – especially in its fight against COVID-19, natural disasters, man-made disasters, and conflicts happening in the country.

Locsin also hailed Gordon the “modern-day Henry Dunant” who is the founder of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement. “I know another man who was born to serve as much as he is made to lead, embodying Henry Dunant’s kindred spirit. He is Dick Gordon, the hero of Olongapo, the savior of Subic,” he said. “He keeps on changing our country for the better. No wonder the PRC soared to greater heights under his leadership,” he added.

Meanwhile, Deputy Chief Implementer of the National Action Plan against COVID-19 and Testing Czar Secretary Vince Dizon also commended the efforts of PRC especially its contribution to the country’s testing capacity. “Frankly, the government was at a loss on how it could increase its testing capacity,” he said.

IFRC President Francesco Rocca also congratulated PRC for being at the forefront of the country’s efforts to curb the pandemic – having conducted over 2.8 million COVID-19 tests in 13 molecular laboratories nationwide, contributing 25% of the total testing output in the country, aside from giving food and financial aid to those affected by strict quarantine measures.

Rocca also acknowledged PRC’s efforts in “responding to every disaster or emergency in the country” – including its role in the vaccination of 1.2 million children against polio and measles, and its target of vaccinating one million most vulnerable individuals against COVID-19.

Likewise, IFRC Secretary General Jagan Chapagain congratulated PRC for its 74th anniversary last April 15 – acclaiming PRC’s “lifesaving support” to the Filipinos.

“The dedication of the volunteers and staff of the Philippine Red Cross inspires all of us to do more, to do better and to go further, to reach the last mile and to make a difference on the lives of the most vulnerable people,” Chapagain added.