Philippine Red Cross
Seal of the Philippine Red Cross
|Motto||Always First. Always Ready. Always There.|
|Formation||December 4, 1917 (as chapter)
April 15, 1947
|Membership||International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement|
|Official language||Filipino and English|
|Chairman of the Board of Governors||Richard J. Gordon|
|Secretary General||Gwendolyn T. Pang|
Born officially in 1947, the Philippine Red Cross (Filipino: Krus na Pula ng Pilipinas, abbreviated as PRC) is a member of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, has roots going back to the revolutionary days.
The PRC has been established 60 years ago. Before, the PRC used to be involved only in providing blood and in disaster-related activities and short-term palliatives. Now it also focuses on a wider array of humanitarian services.
At present, the PRC provides six major services: Blood Services, Disaster Management, Safety Services, Community Health and Nursing, Social Services and Red Cross Youth. All of them embody the fundamental principles of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement – humanity, impartiality, neutrality, independence, voluntary service, unity and universality. These values guide and inspire all Red Cross staff and volunteers, to whom being a Red Crosser is more than just a philosophy but a way of life.
Apolinario Mabini encouraged the Malolos Republic to form a national Red Cross organization. On February 17, 1899, the Malolos Republic approved the Constitution of the National Association of the Red Cross. The Republic appointed Mrs Hilario del Rosario de Aguinaldo as President of the Association.
Felipe Agoncillo, Filipino diplomat, met with Gustave Moynier, an original member of the Committee of Five and ICRC President on 29 August 1900. He sought recognition of the Filipino Red Cross Society as well as the application of the First Geneva Convention during the Philippine–American War.
On August 30, 1905 the American Red Cross (ARC) formed a Philippine Branch with Filipino and American leaders. After several years of continuous effort from Nurse Paula Emperado of the Philippine General Hospital, the ANRC officially recognized it as a Chapter on December 4, 1917.
In 1934 President Manuel L. Quezon established an independent Philippine Red Cross. However, because the Philippines was a U.S. territory, and later a U.S. Commonwealth, it could not sign the Geneva Conventions and therefore it could not be recognized by the ICRC.
In 1942, during the occupation of the Philippines by Japan, the Japanese created a Philippine Red Cross that they controlled to care for internees. Once Manila was liberated by United States and Filipino forces in 1945, local Red Cross officials and the ANRC reestablished an independent Red Cross.
The Philippines gained independence from the United States on July 4, 1946. Dr. J. Horacio Yanzon, was appointed the first Filipino Red Cross Manager in December 1946 with thirty-six Red Cross chapters initially set up in the country. On 14 February 1947 President Manuel A. Roxas signed the Treaty of Geneva and the Prisoners of War Convention. On 22 March 1947 President Roxas signed Republic Act 95, the Philippine Red Cross (PRC) Charter.
The ICRC approved the recognition of the PRC, and telegraphed Aurora Aragon Quezon, the first PRC Chairman, on 29 March 1947. Philippine Red Cross (PRC) had its inaugural ceremony on 15 April 1947.
The PRC was admitted as a bona fide member of the League of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies on 17 September 1947.
As of 2008, the Chairman of the PRC Board of Governors is Senator Richard J. Gordon. Since 1965, the actress Rosa Rosal has sat on the Board of Governors. For her activities with the PRC, Rosal was awarded in 1999 the Ramon Magsaysay Award for Public Service.
The Philippine Red Cross Act of 2009
The consolidation of the Senate Bill 3285 and House Bill 6509 was signed by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, and is now known as Republic Act No. 10072 or The Philippine Red Cross Act of 2009.The said act is basically an affirmation of the country's "conformity with the Geneva Conventions of 1949 and their additional protocols, and the Statutes of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement," as well as a confirmation of Philippine Red Cross' stand as a "voluntary, independent and autonomous nongovernmental society auxiliary to the authorities of the Republic of the Philippines in the humanitarian field."Apart from the apparent change in the organization's name from "Philippine National Red Cross" to "Philippine Red Cross" - included in the Act's new provisions is the organizations' exemption from real property taxes, direct and indirect taxes, duties and fees that will emerge from its operations and its exclusive importations and purchases.
The Mother of Philippine Red Cross: Trinidad Tecson
Trinidad Tecson (1848–1928) was a revolutionary during the Philippine Revolution, famous for being The Mother of Biak-na-Bato. She was also called Mother of Mercy. She was born in San Miguel, Bulacan province on November 18, 1848. Her parents were Rafael Tecson and Monica Perez. She was trained in arnis (sword fighting) at a young age.
During the Philippine Revolution she joined the rebellion, taking care of the sick and wounded in the mountains. Along with three other companions, she went to the courthouse in Kalookan - Caloocan to seize firearms. They overpowered the Guardia Civil and carried away their guns. She was with the revolutionaries in 12 battles under five Filipino generals and organized groups of women to nurse the wounded Filipino soldiers. Emilio Aguinaldo called her 'The Mother of Philippine Red Cross'. Tecson was a Brigadier-General during the Philippine Revolution and was called Babaing lalaki (a woman who acts like a man). She was a woman member of Katipunan.
Tecson died on January 28, 1928, in Philippine General Hospital and was buried in Veterans Plot of La Loma Cemetery. Trinidad Tecson Elementary School is a memorial school for her, in District IV Manila.
The Tecsons of San Miguel, Bulacan; Balanga, Bataan; San Jose, Batangas; Tanay, Rizal; Candaba, Pampanga; Tanauan, Leyte; Cabiao, Nueva Ecija; San Quintin, Pangasinan, and the Ticzons of San Pablo, Laguna are all descendants of the three Tek Sun brothers from Guangzhou, China. The tombstone of José Tecson (d.1728) can be seen at the front door of the church of Saint Andrew in Candaba, Pampanga. It is written in Chinese characters that denote his name: José Tecson - Hu Si Tek Sun Bu, as well as the name of a place, Immortal Torch.