Philippine Red Cross distributes non-food items to ‘Usman’ victims

January 06, 2019

THE Philippine Red Cross continues to distribute relief goods to the victims of Tropical Depression Usman in different provinces, especially in the Bicol region.

PRC chairman Senator Richard J. Gordon said non-food items such as hygiene kits, towels, and blankets were provided to the affected residents to complement the food items being distributed by the Department of Social Welfare and Development.

On Sunday, the PRC distributed relief goods to 212 individuals temporarily staying at Naga High School in Albay. Gordon said PRC also set up filtration bladders for potable water.

The PRC chairman also called on the public to contribute to its effort to rebuild the lives of thousands of families in eight provinces affected by Usman.

“We were first to respond in Camarines Sur, Sorsogon, and Albay, where we provided rescue, water, and hygiene facilities. We are now preparing mechanics for giving cash grants so our affected countrymen can start anew with dignity. We have volunteers on the ground getting people out of harm’s way and retrieving those that can be saved,” he added.

PRC’s action teams identified cash assistance, safe water, and non-food items, and basic household items as the immediate needs in Usman-hit areas, especially in Camarines Sur, Camarines Norte, and Albay, where families were displaced due to landslides and flooding.

“I think there was a miscalculation on the damage. Usman was not as strong, but it brought a lot of rains. (It) is important that we become a little bit more aggressive and make sure that we respect any kind of tropical depression,” Gordon said.

Gordon also suggested that an evacuation camp be set up in a safer place by the local government where residents may temporarily take refuge while trying to stand on their own feet again.

He added the Philippine Red Cross would be willing to assist in camp management, Gordon said.

Data from the PRC Operations Center show some 289 families are still housed in 24 evacuation centers in Camarines Sur and Northern Samar.

The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies is supporting PRC’s operations to provide non-food items, multipurpose cash grants, emergency water, health, and welfare assistance.