Despite encountering challenges transporting its cargo after coronavirus disease (COVID-19) community transmission was confirmed in the island province, the Philippine Red Cross (PRC) pushed through with its relief assistance efforts in Batanes.
“The service of Red Cross knows no bounds, kung kailangang tumawid ng dagat upang makapagparating ng tulong, gagawin ng PRC (if we have to cross the sea to send help, the PRC will do it),” PRC Chairman and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Senator Richard Gordon. “We need to find ways to send help because aid is urgent,” he added.
After Typhoon “Kiko” battered the country, causing heavy damage to the Batanes Islands last Sept. 11, the Philippine Red Cross (PRC) team was sent out to assess destruction and determine the urgent needs of the affected communities.
Under Gordon’s instructions, non-food items were shipped to Batanes. The relief items included Jerry cans or water containers, shelter tool kits for repair, tarpaulins to be used as temporary shelter, and flashlights.
The PRC Batanes Chapter also received a motorcycle, two portable generator units, and solar lamps for their chapter activities and typhoon operations.
PRC noted that with Enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) restrictions placed, inbound flights were suspended. Thus, PRC’s relief goods were transported by sea with an agreement that only the goods are to be received.
Prior to this, PRC also conducted operations to previous calamities in Batanes including Super Typhoon “Lawin” in October 2016 and during the magnitude 5.9 earthquake in 2019.