MANILA, Philippines — Senator Richard J. Gordon on Sunday said that the Philippine Red Cross is studying where best to put up an emergency medical unit in Batangas to accommodate ill residents following the closure of at least six hospitals due to the rage of Taal Volcano.
“We are studying where we should put up a medical tent because six hospitals were already closed down. The way things are going, we have to prepare for a possible increase in cases of respiratory illness. The hospitals there may not be able to accommodate all the patients,” Gordon said.
He added Red Cross teams deployed to Batangas assisted other government agencies in evacuating seriously-ill patients from the six hospitals.
Gordon also instructed Red Cross chapters in Metro Manila as well as in Bulacan to send additional staff and volunteers to augment the teams already deployed to Batangas.
“Our chapter in Batangas immediately responded. May 100 staff and volunteers na doon pero magpapadala ako ng additional staff and volunteers from our chapters in Metro Manila and from our Bulacan chapter para may kapalitan sila. We are also getting additional equipment and vehicles from our other chapters,” he said.
The PRC chief said staff and volunteers of the organization are assisting the government evacuate residents, who have not yet been evacuated, to the 179 evacuation centers in Batangas, Cavite and Laguna.
Since the volcano’s sudden activities last Sunday, the PRC has distributed masks to the affected population, provided hotmeals, distributed hygiene kits, sleeping kits, jerry cans, and multi-purpose cash grants.
It also mobilized four food trucks, a rescue truck, nine ambulances, and four water tankers. The PRC also installed 15 portable toilets, set up 20 welfare desks and 20 first aid stations and constructed temporary shower rooms.
Aside from the Taal Volcano eruption, Gordon has led numerous eruption operations, such as Mayon Volcano which has been the most active volcano for the past several decades, and the 1991 Mount Pinatubo. (Stacy Ang/IAMIGO/Currentph.com)