SPECIAL : 12 Surprising Facts About Philippine Red Cross



Hello Filipino Thinkers!

Few hours from now Philippine Red Cross (NGO) will commission the Philippines’ most sophisticated and largest multi-role hospital ship to date. It was a result of a well-though decision approved by its Board of Governors led by its CEO/President Richard “Dick” Gordon who is concurrently an elected Philippine Senator.


In celebration of this historic event, we created a special article that will give you  a more in-depth perspective on how this humanitarian organization  operates.

1. First independent and  approved Philippine Red Cross was led by the wife of a former Philippine President and it happened on 1947 – The ICRC approved the recognition of the PRC, and telegraphed First Lady Aurora Aragon Quezon, the first PRC Chairman, on 29 March 1947. Philippine Red Cross (PRC) had an 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.


2. However, the first recorded effort to establish a local Philippine Red Cross was made by Apolinario Mabini –  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 government appointed Hilaria del Rosario de Aguinaldo – the consort of PresidentEmilio Aguinaldo – as the first head of the Association. Filipino diplomat Felipe Agoncillo, 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.



3.  There is a an existing Philippine Red Cross Law –  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 law is 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.


4. They are neutral –   In order to continue to enjoy the confidence of all, the Movement may not take sides in hostilities or engage at any time in controversies of a political, racial, religious or ideological nature.

5.  Philippine Red Cross is not alone, it is a member of a larger network of humanitarian organizations around the world called The International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement. –  The International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement is the world’s largest humanitarian network. The Movement is neutral and impartial, and provides protection and assistance to people affected by disasters and conflicts.

Gordon Yolanda 1

3am at PRC HQ Port Area, Day One, Typhoon Yolanda Catastrophe.

The Movement is made up of nearly 100 million members, volunteers and supporters in 190 National Societies. It has three main components:

– The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC)
– The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC)
– 190 member Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies

6. Philippine Red Cross have Amphibian vehicles that can be used in land or sea anytime – Philippine Red Cross is the first and only humanitarian group in the country who managed to deploy amphibious vehicles to rescue flood victims during Ondoy and various calamities and emergencies Philippine Red Cross is the only humanitarian group in the country also that has functional amphibian vehicles that was designed to do multi-role in land or in sea.

red cross amphibian

7. Philippine Red Cross is a Non-Government  Organization (NGO) – Being an NGO, PRC is not funded nor managed by the Philippine state/government.

8. The current Philippine Red Cross’ CEO/President does not receive any salary – Yes, it is not a financially rewarding job to be a CEO/President of this very big and complicated organization; like the Silicon Valley rockstars in the USA (i.e. Facebook’s Founder/CEO Mark Zuckerberg and et. al.)

Imagine, running a stressful and demanding job and not be paid a single peso, that’s the current position of Mr. Richard Juico “Dick” Gordon who is technically not just a leader of the organization but also a volunteer. He currently took the challenge and was successful in transforming PRC from a blood bank to a highly organized and professionally run humanitarian organization.




Photo from Rappler – Sourced from Google Images

isip dick

Think Philippines’ Founder during Richard Gordon’s Birthday Celebration last 2012

9. The Board Of Governors of Philippine Red Cross are usually composed of highly merited and most sought-after decision makers and leaders in the country – Many of you might have encountered these names before :

A. Juan Miguel “MIGZ” F. Zubiri – Philippine Senator

B. Dr. James G. Dy – Founder of Chinese General Hospital and Medical Center

C. Danilo L. Concepcion – President of UP (University of the Philippines)

D. Sherwin T. “WIN” Gatchalian – Philippine Senator

E. Atty. Rodolfo “INKY” Reyes – Former Administrator and CEO of Cagayan Economic Zone Authority popularly known as CEZA

F. Armand C. Arreza – Former Administrator and CEO of Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority popularly known as SBMA

10. Philippine Red Cross will commission another multi-role ship that was originally worth US$ 80,000,000.00 named M/V Amazing Grace  (Former M/V Susitna) –  M/V Susitna is actually a half-scale prototype for a proposed  Expeditionary Landing Craft (E-Craft) requirement for the US Navy, and was made by Alaska Ship & Drydock using a design from Guido Perla & Associates and concept from Lockheed Martin for the Office of Naval Research in 2010, and costed $80 million to build.


It was reportedly planned as a “3-in-1” vessel, being a High Speed Catamaran that uses the SWATH (small waterplane area twin hull) design, with a variable draft system that allows the ship to shift from SWATH mode to barge mode by lowering or raising the center deck which carries the cargo, using an advanced hydraulic system. The ship was also designed with icebreaking capability (the first icebreaking SWATH ship in the world), and has the capability to beach and used on unprepared docks.

Do you want the amazing part of the deal? Mr. Richard Gordon, CEO/President of Philippine Red Cross managed to buy  the high-tech ship for only  US$ 1,750,000.00 and it was all internally funded by PRC without a single cent paid by the Philippine state/government.

11. Philippine Red Cross has its own high rise tower as its central command for its nationwide operations. – They bought an existing tower that was used to be the office of PET Plans and refurbished it to fit the current needs of its growing operations. Again,these were all internally funded without any cost to the Philippine government/state. It was bought using donations from numerous believers and volunteers all around the world.


The New Philippine Red Cross Tower.

12. They have their own highly functional and efficient mobile application in iOS and Android plus a telephone hotline – They just recently launched a mobile application on top of their existing and always accessible telephone hotline : 143

SEE RELATED : https://thinkphilippines.net/2017/04/09/red-cross-mob-app-that-you-should-download-asap-in-the-philippines/
Did we forgot something? Feel free to comment below! Do not forget to volunteer and donate.




Edwardo Miguel Guevarra Roldan

  • Managing Partner at Princeton Business Initiative
  • Lead Convenor of Isang Samahan, Isang Pilipinas (ISIP)
  • Founder/Chief Blogger at Think Philippines!
  • Founder of Carpool Tour Philippines
  • Financial Investment Advisor at Rampver Strategic Advisors
  • Licensed Financial Advisor at Pru Life UK

(+63) 927 646 0088 WhatsApp/Viber/Philippine Mobile Number



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