The Philippine Red Cross (PRC), the country’s foremost volunteer organization, celebrates 72 years of alleviating human suffering and uplifting human dignity today.
The PRC’s history goes back to 1899 when, at the suggestion of Apolinario Mabini, the organization led by Mrs. Hilaria del Rosario Aguinaldo, wife of President Emilio Aguinaldo, applied with the International Committee of the Red Cross in Geneva, Switzerland, to be recognized as an independent society. It was finally constituted on April 15, 1947, at the Malacanang grounds with Mrs. Aurora Aragon Quezon as the first chairman of Philippine Red Cross.
Guided by its mantra “Volunteers + Logistics + Information Technology = Always First, Always Ready, Always There,” PRC today continues to move with the times. Sen. Richard Gordon, chairman of PRC, said that the world is facing severe humanitarian challenges due to extreme weather events and conflicts. PRC helps us face these challenges.
Today, PRC operates with 104 chapters nationwide, a fleet of 150 ambulances, and its own humanitarian ship, the MV PRC Amazing Grace, which can serve as an ambulance and disaster response ship, especially in hard-to-reach areas. PRC also has hundreds of response and rescue vehicles.
Equipment such as these allow PRC to mitigate the impact of disasters. This was seen when Typhoon Mangkhut (Ompong), struck last year. Prior to its landfall, PRC prepositioned its rescue vehicles and trucks loaded with relief goods. Then two weeks after the wrath of Ompong, PRC provided shelter repair kits, including quality galvanized iron sheets, to help hundreds who had been left homeless.
Today, PRC has nearly a hundred blood service facilities nationwide and its own Dialysis Center. It has two million volunteers who are always first, always ready, and always there in times of storms and other disasters.
The theme of the 72nd anniversary of PRC is “Resilience: Humanitarian Responders over the Years,” a celebration of humanity and a recognition of the humanitarian responders of the Red Cross, its volunteers, staff, and partners.
We salute the Red Cross volunteers and their partners—the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, the International Committee of the Red Cross, partner national societies, and private and corporate sponsors and donors.