Red Cross breaks ground for shelter assistance to Rolly-affected families in Albay

Published August 20, 2021, 2:21 PM

by Mario Casayuran

Nine months after the onslaught of Typhoon Rolly in the Bicol Region and other parts of the country, residents have yet to recover from the damages brought by the typhoon.

This prompted Senator Richard J, Gordon, chairman of the Philippine Red Cross (PRC), to lead a virtual ground breaking ceremony for a housing project in Guinobatan, Albay today August 20.

The project had the support of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), Korean Embassy, and the Singapore Red Cross.

A total of 167 families affected by a series of typhoon last November 2020 in Albay will benefit from the full shelter assistance.

About 117 houses will be donated by the IFRC and 50 houses will be donated by the Korean embassy.

Gordon, Secretary-General Elizabeth Zavalla, Country-Representative Canadian Red Cross Mladen Milicevic, IFRC Program Coordinator Gopal Mukherjee, Ambassador of Korea to the Philippines His Excellency Inchul Kim, Albay Governor, Al Francis Bichara, Vice-Governor Edcel Greco Alexandre B. Lagman, Guinobatan Mayor Ann Gemma Y. Ongjoco, and other officials from PRC and the local government unit of Albay were present during the virtual-groundbreaking event.

“Nakita ko na ang iba’t ibang uri ng mga trahedya at nakita ko kung paano mahirapan at masaktan ang mga Pilipino (I have seen different kinds of tragedy and I have seen how tragedies hurt people). Ang Red Cross ay symbol ng pagasa sa ating mga kababayan, narito kami at hindi namin kayo pababayaan hanggang sa kayo ay makabangon (The Red Cross is a symbol of hope for our countrymen, we are here and we will not let you down until you have recovered). Hindi lamang mga pabahay – sumuporta tayo sa pagbibigay ng food items at hot meal, gayundin ng mga pangunahing pangangailangan gaya malinis na tubig sa pamamagitan ng mga water tankers, mga hygiene at sleeping kits (Not only in housing, we also support by giving food items and hot meal and other material needs such as water tankers, hygiene and sleeping kits),’’ Gordon said.

PRC under the leadership of Gordon has built more than 1,416 houses for the most vulnerable families affected by Typhoon Reming (2006) and Typhoon Rolly (2020) in the province of Albay. PRC also provided aid to the said province through multiple cash distribution and relief operations to natural calamities such as Typhoon Milenyo (2006), during the Mayon Volcano eruptions, and other different typhoons which hit the province.

Gordon stressed that the Red Cross which has two million volunteers has not been sleeping in extending emergency help during disasters.

During a Zoom interview before the groundbreaking ceremony, Gordon said what makes him happy is when he has lifted the morale and hopes of people.