Philippines: Gordon and Philippine Red Cross set forth for Bicol

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As the year ends, another disaster is forthcoming, making the people fearful and apprehensive. Too much has been lost, and they cannot afford to lose more. The trauma that has been a consequence of the previous disasters continues to haunt the people.

As alert level 4 continues to be hoisted on Mayon Volcano, Red Cross National Headquarters will now set forth to the region to provide assistance to the people and to be on continuous stand-by for possible eruption.

At exactly three years after typhoon Reming wreaked havoc in the Bicol region, Red Cross is now back to give help and provide strength to the anxious populace.

Looking back in the past years, the Philippine Red Cross, headed by its Chairman Richard J. Gordon, has organized housing projects that built 15, 000 homes, most of them in Bicol area-in Sorsogon, 500 houses; in Albay, 1000 houses; in Catanduanes, 1000 houses; and in Camarines Sur, 5, 600 houses.

Aside from these, Chairman Gordon saw the necessity of providing proper sanitation in the region, so the Philippine Red Cross provided toilets and portalets in houses and in schools.

"The region has been a generous recipient of the organization's good will and intent," said Chairman Gordon.

"And we will make sure that we will provide the people what they need, especially now that Mayon is projected to erupt," he added.

The Red Cross will pre-position a rub hall in Camalig that is intended to become a medical station in case the disaster strikes. Together with this, the National Headquarters will send off 70 cot beds and WATSAN equipment with 6 water tankers and bladders.

This future operation of building a medical station is a joint effort of Community Health and Nursing Services (CHNS) and Disaster Management Service (DMS) of the Red Cross. It aims to house several people that will need medical assistance during the strike.

On the other hand, ambulances will come from different chapters near Albay to give rescue in the event of emergencies. It will be a collaboration of efforts and services that will be coming from different Red Cross chapters.

Since it is a season of giving, Chairman Gordon will be spearheading the distribution of Christmas packages that will be given to approximately 15, 000 individuals. These packages contain food and non-food items including 6, 000 blankets, 6, 000 plastic mats, and 3, 000 Jerry cans.

He would immerse with the people and see their situation to be able to hear their present concerns. He would visit Bicol in the morning and roam around the evacuation centers-Albay Central School, Bagumbayan Central School, Gogon Central School, Daraga High School, and Daraga North High School, serving a total of 2, 924 families with 14, 385 persons.

"We cannot prevent natural disasters, but what we can do is take action to alleviate human suffering and prepare the people for the worst," Gordon said.

"As a nation, we should be able to withstand any obstacle and rebuild ourselves after every storm," he added.

He further mentioned that through helping, one embodies the real essence of Christmas. By joining the Bicolanos in their Noche Buena, Gordon becomes one with the people.

"Let us together celebrate this season with glee, and let us face yet another year with much anticipation," he said.

With Philippine Red Cross' help, he assured the people that nothing is to be feared.

On the other hand, Philippine Red Cross' Secretary General Gwendolyn Pang stressed the importance of preparedness.

"People should only learn from the past and always be alert and prepared at all times," she affirmed.

Through all these efforts, the Philippine Red Cross continuously proves that the organization is the foremost humanitarian organization in the country.