For 71 years, the Philippine Red Cross (PRC) has been steadfast in its mission as a humanitarian organization in the country to save lives, alleviate human suffering and promote human dignity. This mission has always put the most vulnerable sectors of society at the top of its priorities.
On April 12-13, the PRC will be renewing its commitment to serve humanity as it elects a new policy-making body on its 32nd Biennial National Convention. On this occasion, the administrators, board of directors, staff and volunteers from the PRC’s 103 chapters nationwide will gather together to elect nine governors to replace the members of the incumbent board of governors whose terms have expired.
The convention is also a venue for the PRC and its stakeholders to share its best practices and lessons learned. Over the past two years, the PRC has continued to expand its operations in areas where humanitarian aid was needed most.
The PRC carries on its Yolanda rehabilitation program, now on its fifth year of building homes and uplifting lives. The agency was the first to respond to that call at the height of the Marawi crisis last year, and has since been pooling its resources together and delivering its major services to the displaced families even to this day.
The world also witnessed how Red Cross volunteers worked round-the-clock, sacrificing their Christmas holidays to deliver aid to those affected by typhoons Urduja, Vinta and Agaton in December last year. As in other operations, the PRC ensured that the priority needs of typhoon-affected families such as food and water were addressed.
Just last year, the PRC acquired the country’s first and only humanitarian vessel to serve as an ambulance and disaster response ship, especially in hard-to-reach areas. The PRC also continuously promotes its Red Cross 143 program to get more volunteers who are equipped to respond in times of emergencies and disasters.
To thrive in the digital age, PRC harnessed its information technology, utilizing digital platforms for information sharing in times of disasters. One of these is the Virtual Volunteer App, an online information platform for migrants, first launched in the Asia Pacific region last year.
Republic Act 10072, the Philippine Red Cross Act of 2009, confirms the PRC as a voluntary, independent and autonomous non-governmental society in the field of humanitarian work.
This year’s convention theme “PRC: The Lifeline of the People” is a celebration of the impact of the organization’s various services to the people: blood, disaster management, safety, welfare, health, volunteer and Red Cross Youth.
PRC’s convention also coincides with the humanitarian organization’s 71st founding anniversary on April 15. Since its establishment in 1947, the PRC has reinvented itself not just as the foremost humanitarian organization in the country but also one of the strongest Red Cross societies in the world. The PRC is a member of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, and the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement.
Together, they embody the fundamental principles of humanity, impartiality, neutrality, independence, voluntary service, unity and universality.