As part of Philippine Red Cross’ (PRC) Haiyan Recovery Program, PRC opened a new 1.5 hectare logistics and disaster management training center in Passi City, Iloilo. The new facility, which was built in partnership with the Korean National Red Cross (KNRC) and the local government of Passi, was inaugurated on April 21, 2017.
The inauguration was attended by PRC Chairman Richard Gordon, PRC Secretary General Oscar Palabyab, PRC Board of Governors member Jorge Lim, KNRC Secretary General Gunn-Joong Kim and KNRC Head of Disaster Relief Dong-Kee Kim. The local governments of Iloilo and Passi City were represented by Vice Governor Christine Garin and City Administrator Atty. Stephen Palmares, respectively. Also present at the event was the Head of Delegation of the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, Kari Isomaa.
Five hundred fifty-one new Red Cross 143 volunteers from the barangays of Passi City took their oath at the inauguration. Through the new Passi facility, PRC will capacitate the new volunteers with the knowledge and skills to respond to future disasters in service of their communities.
“Did you know that the Philippine Red Cross has built more houses than anybody else in this country, just for Yolanda? We have already built more than 70,000 homes, 500 schools, livelihood,” said Gordon. “We have to train new people here [in this new facility] para maipagpatuloy ang pag-aayos natin sa ating bayan, sa ating volunteers, para lumakas tayo. There are many faceless volunteers who must be given the proper respect because they do it without being told to do so. They offer themselves. That is what we will teach here.”
As of April 7, 2017, PRC’s Haiyan recovery efforts have resulted in the building of 77,456 shelters, 514 classrooms, and 85 health facilities; as well as livelihood programs for 62,683 households and WASH (water, sanitation, and health) facilities for 100 schools.