Press Release
November 6, 2016


Almost three years after super typhoon Yolanda wrought destruction in the Visayas and Palawan, Senator Richard J. Gordon has expressed hope that the country has become more disaster-resilient and has learned a valuable lesson from the tragedy.

Gordon, also Chairman and CEO of the Philippine Red Cross (PRC), said that with the organization having almost completed its rehabilitation programs in Yolanda-affected provinces, he also hopes that the communities have started to recover.

"As we mark the disaster that was Yolanda, I hope our country has strengthened its disaster response and management capability. Not only the government, but all of us. Yolanda should have taught us that ceaseless recovery and renewal should be our motto. Dapat walang tigil tayong lumaban sa mga unos na dumarating. Sana natutunan natin na ang pagbangon at pagbago ng sangkatauhan natin ang kailangan," the senator stressed.

"Our country is hit by a plethora of disasters. If we don't change our attitude, if we haven't learned from Yolanda, tatamad-tamad tayo, nandiyan na yung malakas na bagyo di pa rin tayo lumilikas sa mas ligtas na lugar, mauulit nang mauulit ang nangyari sa Yolanda. We have seen the tragedy magnified by lack of preparedness, the difficulties we faced in order to provide assistance, we should have learned from them," he added.

Gordon noted that the PRC's rehabilitation program have endeavored to help the recipient communities become more disaster-resilient: the houses and classrooms built are safer and more capable of withholding strong typhoons; the communities are better trained and have improved disaster response capabilities, among other initiatives.

Under his leadership, the PRC has built 76,461 homes as of October 28, 2016 in nine Yolanda-devastated provinces in Eastern, Central and Western Visayas and Palawan. PRC has also supported 62,670 families through livelihood assistance amounting to more than P752-million; repaired and reconstructed health facilities with a value of P59.9-million, as well as classrooms amounting to P128-million; and provided schools with water and sanitation facilities, worth P58.2-million, among others.

Gordon also attributed the success of PRC's Yolanda Operations to the support of the humanitarian organization's partners in the Red Cross and Red Crescent (RCRC) Movement and other private partners.

"Our Yolanda Operations would not have been as successful without the generous contributions of our partners in the RCRC Movement and our Private Partners. Because of the massive destruction caused by Yolanda, there was also a massive outpouring of support that came to us and enabled us to alleviate the suffering AND restore THE life and dignity of people whose lives were shattered by Yolanda," he said.

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