The Philippine Red Cross (PRC) Operations Center (OpCen) immediately dispatched two ambulance units after receiving a report that a Roll-on/roll-off (RoRo) vessel called MV Mercraft 2 was caught fire at Real, Quezon province around 5:00 a.m. Monday, May 23.
The PRC Welfare Services Teams from Laguna and Quezon, where the two ambulance units also came from, visited the 22 passengers who were transported to the hospital to attend to their immediate needs.
Red Cross 143 volunteers also helped in the response by providing hot meals to the distressed passengers.
A total of 16 Red Cross personnel were deployed.
Red Cross 143 is a community-based program of the PRC which aims to promote the culture of volunteerism within communities, schools, and workplaces. One of its goals is to develop a network of people ready to to respond disasters and other emergencies.
“Sa oras ng sakuna, maaasahan ang Red Cross 143 volunteers para tumulong (You can count on Red Cross volunteers for help in times of disaster),” PRC Chairman and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Senator Richard J. Gordon said in a statement.
He also encouraged people to join Red Cross 143 and be trained with skills that are valuable in times of unforeseen circumstances.
The burned vessel, which was on the way to Real, Quezon from Polillo Island, has affected more than 120 passengers. (Luisa Cabato)