Senator Dick Gordon sent relief goods to families affected by the recent supertyphoon Odette in some parts of Visayas and Mindanao in an effort to spread hope to them and rebuild their lives with dignity.
Gordon assured that the Philippine Red Cross (PRC) he chairs will continue to assist the most vulnerable residents in Ubay and Talibon, Bohol, and the cities of Mandaue, Cebu, and Talisay, whose homes were damaged or destroyed by Odette.
“Walang pulitika sa ginagawa ko sa ating bayan.”
“Gusto ko lang sabihin sa inyo (na) ‘di namin kayo pababayaan. Walang pulitika sa ginagawa ko sa ating bayan. Noong araw pa natutunan ko sa nanay ko iyan na pagkagipit ang tao, tinatawag nating ‘taob na ang kaldero, wala na pati tutong’,” the veteran legislator said.
“Ang gusto ko makabangon kayong lahat, pilitin niyong tulungan ang inyong mga sarili. Masarap tulungan o buligan o tabangan o hatagan ang mga taong marunong tumulong sa sarili sapagkat dyan nag-uumpisa ang tulong sa lahat,” the seasoned lawmaker added.
The senator and his team were originally scheduled to fly to Bohol and Cebu, but were delayed due to inclement weather conditions.
Instead, he addressed the affected families via zoom for the Bohol leg of his itinerary. Joining Gordon in the live zoom was Bohol Governor Arthur Yap.
The entire event was posted on Facebook Live through PRC’s official FB page. The live broadcast was made possible through the use of a very small aperture terminal (or VSAT), a two-way satellite ground station with a dish antenna.
Gordon personally directed the PRC staff and volunteers to bring a VSAT to Ubay, Bohol to establish lifeline communication in the area. Ubay is considered as the “ground zero” of super typhoon Odette in Bohol province.
Later the day, the Cebu flights pushed on and he eventually led the distribution of multi-purpose cash grants and non-food items to 877 individuals in cities of Mandaue and Cebu.
Afterwards, Gordon and his team traveled to Talisay City to hand over 500 sets of hygiene and sleeping kits, jerry cans, and tarpaulins to the affected families.
In Bohol where devastation is widespread, the PRC also provided galvanized iron sheets and other building materials to help affected residents whose houses were damaged or destroyed to live under a decent roof.
He pointed out that help had just begun and will continue to be given until the most vulnerable residents afflicted by disaster are able to stand on their own feet again.
“Makakaasa kayo na hindi namin kayo pababayaan at tutulungan namin kayong makabangon.”
“Ako ay nakikiramay sa mga nawalan ng mahal sa buhay. Makakaasa kayo na hindi namin kayo pababayaan at tutulungan namin kayong makabangon,” Gordon stressed.
“Sabay sabay tayong babangon mula sa hagupit ni Bagyong Odette. Hatid ng Red Cross ay pag-asa sa mga labis na naapektuhan ng bagyo. Laging kaming narito upang tumulong upang maibalik ang dignidad sa mga tao at makatulong na tumayo uli sa sarili nating mga paa,” he added.
Since Typhoon Odette (international name: Rai) ravaged through numerous provinces, the PRC immediately deployed its payloader trucks to assist in clearing major roads.
Numerous welfare desks were also set up to provide help to stranded families, along with the availability of satellite phones that served as bridges to the scores of residents who have lost communication and electricity.
The PRC Chapters in Cebu and Bohol fed over 10,000 hot meals, gave psychosocial support to about 1,300 individuals, distributed about 550,000 liters of potable water, and cleared out 313 cubic meters of debris.
As the pandemic rages on, the PRC was also able to distribute over 5,000 face masks and medicines to help curb the spread of the coronavirus, and to help strengthen the residents’ immune systems.