Founded in 1947, the Philippine Red Cross (PRC) is an organization that provides services that can help save and change the lives of Filipinos. As one of the top humanitarian organizations in the country, the Philippine Red Cross helps promote humanity, relieve human suffering, and safeguard human health and life. But how does this organization exactly function? Read on as we share everything about the Philippine Red Cross, including its history, purpose, programs, and services.
The Philippine Red Cross urges all Filipinos to partake in the organization’s heroism by volunteering, donating, or becoming a full-fledged member. This organization also administers emergency assistance during calamities and disasters. In addition, the Philippine Red Cross offers first aid services, health programs, blood transfusions, psychological support, and educational activities encouraging international humanitarian law. Therefore, the Philippine Red Cross provides programs and services that benefit Filipinos.
What is the Philippine Red Cross (PRC)
The Philippine Red Cross (PRC) is a leading humanitarian organization functioning as an independent non-government organization (NGO) by Republic Act 10072. It’s mandated to assist the Philippine government’s humanitarian field and comply with the country’s obligations to the Geneva Conventions and International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movements.
Under the Republic Act 10121, the Philippine Red Cross will also help strengthen the government’s disaster risk reduction and management system. It will help institutionalize the Philippine government’s national disaster risk reduction and management plan by allocating funds.
On March 22, 1947, former President Manuel Roxas signed the Republic Act 95, giving birth to the Philippine Red Cross. Since the Revolution, the Philippine Red Cross has provided quality life-saving services to protect the dignity and life of Filipinos, especially indigents in vulnerable conditions. When the Philippine government committed to the Geneva Red Cross Convention, the organization was founded and has undergone various changes.
In 2010, former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo signed the Republic Act 10072, repealing the amending laws and original charter. Also known as the Philippine Red Cross Act of 2009, the Philippine Red Cross charter is currently served by RA 10072. The Philippine Red Cross services are made possible through the efforts of individuals from all walks of life who dedicate their lives to humanitarian work.
The organization is the story of compassionate and professionally trained individuals who aim to assist more people. It helps provide blood, emergency assistance in times of disaster, and a comprehensive approach to improve the conditions of vulnerable indigent Filipinos. In addition, they offer a wide range of humanitarian services, from youth leadership to preventive medicine and therapeutic counseling.
Here are the following purposes of the Philippine Red Cross:
- Collaborate with public authorities to prevent diseases, promote health, and reduce human suffering by administering relevant programs
- Administer relief-related operations and services to help the ill and injured armed forces during conflicts
- Fulfill the duties of the organization as per the compliance of the Philippine government to the Geneva Convention
- Manage voluntary relief operations and communication with the Philippine government, the Philippine Armed Forces, and governments and people from other countries.
- Maintain and authorize national and international relief systems during calamities.
- Organize and promote services that will help improve people’s health, safety, and welfare.
- Create any means that encourages every resident and citizen of the Philippines to become a member of the Philippine Red Cross.
- The Philippine Red Cross will also coordinate as a part of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC).
The mission of the Philippine Red Cross is to provide a sustainable and efficient humanitarian service devoted to establishing resilient communities. It’s operated by highly-trained and committed people, from their staff to volunteers, inspired with integrity and armed with essential logistics and information technology. The Philippine Red Cross will keep developing its volunteer network in the country to provide immediate assistance and services.
The Philippine Red Cross aims to be the leading humanitarian organization prepared to face challenges. Also, the organization can competently deliver prompt humanitarian services to prevent and reduce human suffering and boost the dignity of indigent Filipinos or the most vulnerable.
Philippine Red Cross Programs and Services
The programs and services offered by the Philippine Red Cross embody the core principles of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, including humanity, impartiality, independence, neutrality, unity, universality, and voluntary service. These core values help inspire and guide the entire staff and volunteers of the organization, where they believe becoming a Red Crosser is a way of life rather than a philosophy. Currently, the Philippine Red Cross offers six (6) services, including the following:
The Blood Services of the Philippine Red Cross utilizes the latest medical technologies in transfusion medicine, vital in emergency and surgical medicine. It enables the organization to become the one that will provide various blood products to transfusion centers, hospitals, and even those who are in need.
Disaster Management Services
Under the Disaster Management Services, the Philippine Red Cross will prioritize relief and fulfill urgent disaster-related needs. In case of disaster, the organization will provide food, shelter, medical, and mental-related services. Moreover, the Philippine Red Cross will distribute bulk essential items, ensuring they meet basic human needs. The organization will also extend assistance and information by helping connect with others to support recovery.
With the Safety Services, the Philippine Red Cross will focus on helping save lives and strengthening communities. Furthermore, the agency will help spread confidence and hope through practical skills. As the leading humanitarian organization, the Philippine Red Cross will also provide training and other products that educate and prepare people to respond during disasters and life-threatening emergencies.
The Philippine Red Cross will also provide adequate and extensive Health Services to reinforce communities by offering training and other relevant products. The organization will provide training and products that will benefit and help protect the people’s health.
- Health in Disaster and Emergency – This program aims to reduce the impact of disaster and emergency by supporting the government in health issues that concern the nation. Through the Red Cross 143 Community Health Volunteers, this program focuses on performing community-based surveillance and epidemic control. Also, this program involves emergency response by deploying emergency medical teams from partner hospitals and medical organizations.
- Primary Health Care – focuses on creating safe, healthy, and resilient communities by administering community-based activities that promote continuous care. This program is made possible by implementing a community-based Health and First Aid approach to communities in the most vulnerable areas. Additionally, it helps promote health and prevent diseases through beneficial activities.
Red Cross Youth & Volunteer Service
The Red Cross Youth and Volunteer Service refers to the Philippine Red Cross programs, encouraging everyone to share their time, effort, and resources. It aims to create positive changes and alleviate or reduce human suffering. Although it exhibits the core principles of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, the organization’s services and programs aim to inspire and guide everyone to lead the way of life of the Red Crosser.
- Red Cross 143 Program – refers to the organization’s community-based volunteering program, where one leader and at least 43 members become part of an active corps of skilled, committed, and caring people. This program encourages a self-help culture in communities by inspiring Red Cross volunteers who will help determine possible risks, prepare, plan, and apply to ensure successful disaster risk reduction.
Aside from that, the Philippine Red Cross will provide Welfare Services. This service includes assistance and care activities that benefit people during a disaster crisis. It refers to emergency communication services, assistance for the ill and injured, and support in acquiring emergency financial aid. Below are the programs under this service:
- Psychosocial Support Program – helps the community to manage and overcome any trauma or stress caused by disasters. It involves assistance and care activities to prepare communities for crises or disasters.
- Restoring Family Links – refers to activities that prevent family members from disappearing or separating. It helps family members maintain and restore contact and verify missing persons’ fate. This program includes Tracing, Family Visit Program, and Emergency Leave Assistance.
- Military Welfare Service – includes welfare/case management, livelihood skills training, and recreational activities for the ill and injured members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP). The same program was launched under RA 10072, focusing on the welfare needs of the AFP and their dependents.
- Livelihood Program – support livelihood restoration for the most vulnerable areas in the country. It focuses on short-term prompt intervention and cash grant provision.
- Hot Meals – refers to the organization’s emergency mass feeding program, included in emergency response to provide the nutritional needs of those affected by crises, disasters, or armed conflicts.
- Referral Service Clients – The organization will provide referrals to relevant agencies to clients who need assistance but are not within the scope of the Philippine Red Cross.
- Capacity Building of Chapters – involves logistics and technical support by administering training to staff and volunteers, like Case Management, Psychosocial Support Training, Restoring Family Links, and Welfare Desk Management.
- Welfare Desk Management – pertains to the extended package of services and programs granted to affected populations in case of disaster and emergencies.
- Welfare Programs for Vulnerable Groups for Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs); technical assistance to persons with disabilities (free wheelchairs); elderly people; and women in difficult circumstances.
To sum up, the Philippine Red Cross has long proven its commitment to humanitarian work. This autonomous and independent non-government organization is devoted to its mandate to provide assistance and life-saving services to people. With over 75 years in the humanitarian field, the Philippine Red Cross also boosted the reputation of non-government organizations (NGOs) and continuously helped improve the lives of the most vulnerable.