This report covers the period from 1 January 2012 to 31 December 2012
Overview Being in a country which is frequented by an average of 20 typhoons annually, Philippine Red Cross (PRC), in its auxiliary role to the government, has been in the front line of responding to disasters every year. The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), enhances this capability of PRC by providing support to the four strategic goals which PRC aims to achieve, as outlined in its Strategy 2012 - 2016: (1) significantly reducing the impact of disasters, climate change, public health emergencies and illnesses on the most affected families and communities; (2) improving health and well-being at the individual, family and community levels; (3) reducing unnecessary suffering from armed conflict and from other forms of violence; and (4) ensuring that the Philippine Red Cross is a well-functioning national society.
In 2012 alone, the Philippines was visited by 17 various weather systems. Through IFRC, PRC launched one Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF) operation and two relief and recovery operations in response to three major disasters in 2012 – an earthquake that struck Visayas in February, massive flooding that swamped Luzon in August and Typhoon Bopha that lashed Mindanao in December. The simultaneous relief and recovery operations have stretched PRC’s resources significantly especially at the headquarters level and while additional staff have been allocated in support of these operations, the longer term programmes have been affected. Under disaster management, the disaster management operations manual (standard operating procedures) is yet to be updated, where the draft has since been forwarded to the disaster management committee for consideration prior to incorporation of adjustments, and submission to the board. It is expected that the updated version of the manual will be finalized within the course of 2013. In addition, the process of preparing contingency plans for various disaster scenarios has advanced in 2012. Draft contingency plans for three main disasters – typhoons, floods and landslides, and earthquakes – have been produced and are currently being reviewed by departments concerned before they can be finalized and forwarded to the disaster management committee for consideration.
Under health, PRC continues to empower communities through health interventions by applying communitybased health and first aid (CBHFA) and participatory hygiene and sanitation transformation (PHAST) approaches. For CBHFA, six areas have been supported where activities are on-going to build and develop the capacity of the volunteers and communities through health promotion, injury prevention, disaster preparedness, disaster response and disaster risk reduction. Some 150 community health volunteers (CHVs) who have been trained and mobilized under this component, have reached a total of 743 households with CBHFA sessions. The CHVs have also facilitated the drafting of health action plans in the identified communities. As for PHAST, with its aim to reduce the number of deaths, illnesses and impact of diseases and public health in emergencies through increasing capacity of communities to deliver health services whenever needed, it was conducted in two phases where four chapters were supported in each phase. Some 85 CHVs have been trained and mobilized and have reached out to 1,722 households in all the eight targeted chapters, conducting PHAST sessions. For HIV and AIDS, the national society intensified activities during the last quarter of 2012 and has carried out interventions through awareness sessions in various communities targeting the population at risk. According to the Philippine HIV and AIDS Registry, during 2012, the country has recorded an alarming rate of 3,338 new cases – 70 per cent higher compared to the number of cases recorded in 2011.
In addition to health and disaster management, IFRC has also been supporting PRC with its internal processes such as improving structures, systems and procedures. These include enhancing systems within the finance, human resources and logistics departments. PRC was also supported in the area of staff development through several training sessions conducted inside and outside the country. Over the same period, PRC’s organogram has been approved by the board to facilitate delegation of authority to enable faster response in emergencies. In all its activities, PRC continued to promote the fundamental principles and humanitarian values of the Red Cross Red Crescent in all its programmes.