As government troops and members of the ISIS-inspired Maute group and Abu Sayyaf engage in gunfights for the sixth day after the latter placed parts of Marawi City under siege, the Philippine Red Cross (PRC) continues to extend humanitarian assistance to the city’s internally-displaced persons (IDPs).
Senator Dick Gordon, concurrent PRC Chairman and chief executive officer, commended PRC’s staff and volunteers for becoming the light for the affected residents in the city’s dark hour.
“So immensely proud of Red Cross Volunteers. This is the power of humanity. It ain’t easy. PRC Volunteers do a lot of heavy lifting for suffering humanity in Lanao. They do it because they want to be part of the solution,” the veteran legislator said.
The seasoned lawmaker also said that at least 90 personnel, six staff and 84 volunteers, have been deployed to assist some 40,357 families that were affected by the siege. The services provided include medical and relief assistance, psychological services and welfare desks to advise and assist IDPs.
PRC has likewise supplied 18 units of blood to the Adventist Medical Center where the wounded are admitted. PRC’s health assistance also included first aid management, administering vaccinations, transporting patients to hospitals, and providing cadaver bags, among others.
In the evacuation centers, PRC has provided water to IDPs in the evacuation ventersfor drinking and other sanitary requirements (5,800 liters of water distributed to date). In addition, PRC has been providing hot meals and other food items to IDPs.
Welfare desks have been set up along highways, gymnasiums and hospitals. Some individuals were assisted in finding their families, while others were also given psychological support.
“I advise everyone to keep safe and be alert at all times. Let us take this dark hour in our history as a time to reflect on our country. Let us work together in Mindanao as one to ensure everybody’s safety! In this dark hour, let’s be the light for our fellow countrymen. Regardless of religion, remember we are one people and one country,” the senator passionately stressed.