Pro-development groups in Barangay Sumalo in Hermosa, Bataan has recently responded to the call for community-based volunteers by the Philippine Red Cross, with a total of 143 volunteers stepping up to the task.
The primary organizers of Red Cross 143 in Hermosa conducted an orientation for the volunteers on April 20, 2023, comprising men, women, and youth from Sumalo who are members of KABISIGKA Sumalo, Utol ng Sumalo and Tropang Mapaglingkod.
The successful launch of Red Cross 143 in Sumalo was witnessed by Zeny Soriano, a media personality who was impressed with the turnout.
“I am impressed. This was accomplished despite the absence of a proper barangay system… Let’s admit it: there is new leadership in Sumalo… Even though they have not yet arrived in the barangay, and the current barangay leaders are hiding and being pursued by various administrative and criminal cases, we are slowly seeing a new order emerging in Sumalo,” Soriano said.
The Red Cross 143 program aims to train volunteers in basic life-saving skills, such as first aid, basic search and rescue, and disaster response. These volunteers will also serve as a vital link between the community and the Philippine Red Cross in times of emergencies or disasters.
Dani Beltran, estate and community development manager of the Riverforest Development Corporation, told local newsmen that the successful launch of Red Cross 143 in Barangay Sumalo is a testament to the community’s resilience and willingness to help. Despite the challenges posed by the absence of proper barangay leadership, the community has banded together to form a volunteer group that will be instrumental in saving lives and mitigating the effects of disasters.
The Philippine Red Cross continues to encourage communities to form their volunteer groups under the Red Cross 143 program. Through these community-based volunteers, the organization hopes to empower communities to be self-sufficient and disaster-resilient.