More than a year after the destruction left by Typhoon Ompong, the strongest typhoon to hit Luzon since 2010 and the strongest to make landfall in the Philippines since Typhoon Yolanda in 2013, the Philippine Red Cross (PRC) has enabled affected families in Cagayan get their lives back.

Senator Dick Gordon, PRC chairman and CEO, recently led the turnover of houses to some 244 families in Amulung Gattaran, and Alcala, among others, in Cagayan.

“When the world no longer watches, we do what must be done.”

“Like what the Red Cross Hymn says, ‘When the world no longer watches, we do what must be done.’ We don’t take people for granted, especially those who are suffering. That is why we are here today. This time, we want to ensure that the families affected by Typhoon Ompong are able to recover,” Gordon said.

“We want them to get back on their feet again with dignity.”

“We want them to get back on their feet again with dignity because our mission in the Red Cross is to alleviate human suffering and to uplift human dignity,” the veteran legislator added.

Typhoon Ompong (international name Mangkhut ) made landfall in Baggao, Cagayan on Sept. 15, 2018, affecting more than 2.5 million people when it badly hit the Ilocos and Cagayan regions. A state of calamity was declared in the following provinces: Cagayan, Isabela, Abra, Kalinga, Benguet, Ilocos Norte, La Union, Quirino, Apayao and Mountain Province; the cities of Vigan, Ilagan, and Tuguegarao; and the municipalities of Luna (La Union), San Fabian (Pangasinan) and Mayoyao and Aguinaldo (Ifugao).

The PRC, upon instructions of its chairman, immediately extended assistance. The country’s foremost humanitarian organization served 17,778 individuals with hot meals; 3,700 families with food items (consisting of two to threee days ot ration and assorted packs), and rescued 53 individuals, among others.

To enable the recovery of affected families, the PRC, in partnership with its Movement Partners, provided 244 families with full shelter assistance, the houses complete with latrines with septic tanks; and distributed agricultural assistance worth P15,000 each to some 198 families so they can recover their damaged farms and become productive again.

“With the help of our partners, we will provide humanitarian assistance to families affected by the buffet of disasters that visit our country, especially those who are most vulnerable,” the seasoned lawmaker assured.

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