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Homelessness

Richard Gordon

THE government continues to respond to the still increasing backlog of housing units in the Philippines, but destructive typhoons torpedo efforts to address the homelessness problem.

Every year, no less than 20 typhoons and storms ravage this impoverished Southeast Asian nation of election-crazy people, destroying thousands of houses and other dwelling units.

That’s why we laud Sen. Richard J. Gordon for seeking assistance from the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) to help build homes in typhoon-hit areas.

One of the youngest members of the 1971 Constitutional Convention, Senator Gordon is chairman of the Philippine Red Cross (PRC) and heads the powerful Senate blue ribbon committee.

Gordon said PRC teams will be conducting assessment operations to determine the extent of damage in areas hit by super Typhoon “Rolly” (international name “Goni”) and Typhoon “Quinta.

Nag-appeal na ako sa IFRC, baka maghanda tayo para sa maaring maging pabahay kung kakayanin natin,” said the highly-articulate Gordon, a lawyer and a long-time mayor of Olongapo City.

Gordon said he will send PRC’s assessment report to the headquarters of the IFRC in Geneva, Switzerland, adding “mag-aappeal tayo sa buong samahan ng Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement.

It will be recalled that PRC and IFRC built no less than 90,000 houses in communities, particularly in Eastern Visayas, devastated by the deadly 2013 super Typhoon “Yolanda.

At the same time, Gordon assured the public that the PRC, which was founded on April 15, 1947, will continue to support the government’s assistance to evacuees living in disaster-prone areas.

The PRC has been providing food, water, medicine, hygiene kits, and psychosocial support to evacuees across the country. Likewise, it maintains sufficient blood supply for disaster victims.

Indeed, the PRC, with its still growing army of highly-dedicated volunteers, has not shown any sign of backing off from its commitment to help the needy without discrimination.