Olongapo SubicBay BatangGapo Newscenter

Monday, October 24, 2005


After immediately sending a three-man emergency disaster response team to Pakistan to lead the Southeast Asian Regional Delegation to help recover and relocate survivors of the recent earthquake that hit South Asia, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent (IFRC) has asked the Philippines to send another team to assist in the ongoing relief operations.

Senator Richard Gordon, Chairman of the Philippine National Red Cross (PNRC), today said a second 3-man team will again be sent to Pakistan to provide assistance in logistics, disaster management, and critical incident stress debriefing. The team will consist of Nenita Briones, from the Cotabato City Red Cross Chapter; Grace Avellano of the PNRC Social Services Department; and National Field Representative Leo Abajo of the PNRC Safety Services.

The initial team sent by PNRC led by Raul Garganera went first to Bangkok two weeks ago for a pre-deployment briefing together with the other 11 members of the Southeast Asian delegation consisting of seven members each of the medical and relief teams. After the briefing, they were all sent to Islamabad in Pakistan.

According to Gordon, the PNRC took the initiative in preparing emergency search and rescue teams that can assist in the rescue operations in South Asia. After a week of rescue and relief operations in Pakistan, Geleta Bekele, IFRC head of the Southeast Asian Regional Delegation, personally called up Gordon to ask for more help by sending a 2nd disaster response team.

“Although this is the first time that Filipinos led other Southeast Asian volunteers to help South Asia, their entire delegation saw the efficiency and professional skills of our Filipino Red Cross volunteers that is why they asked for another batch of disaster response team,” said Gordon proudly. “We are glad that the PNRC can provide assistance to our brothers and sisters in South Asia. And we are proud of these PNRC staff who are all highly trained in disaster response,” beamed Gordon.

He added that aside from the 2nd batch of rescue team, the PNRC will also send monetary help for the victims.

Since Gordon became its Chairman, the PNRC has been seen actively providing assistance not just in the Philippines but also to other countries. It started to become a donor society when it sent monetary assistance to the victims of the tsunami that hit South and Southeast Asia in December of last year and recently to the victims of Hurricane Katrina in the US


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