PNRC's Gordon, US ambassador lead relief operations in Sorsogon
by MHA Loterte
Sorsogon City (25 October) -- Philippine National Red Cross (PNRC) national chairman Senator Richard Gordon and US Ambassador to the Philippines Kristie Kenney personally led the distribution on Thursday, October 19, of relief goods to residents devastated by Typhoon "Milenyo".
Some 1,169 families from Barangays Bitan-o, Sampaloc, Sirangan and Balogo, this city received non-food and food assistance, including two plastic sleeping mats, two large blankets, a mosquito net, a hygiene kit containing soap, shampoo, toothpaste, toothbrushes, and towels; a food pack to last for two days for a family of six, including five kilos of rice, four tins of canned food, and four packs of noodles.
Moved by the sufferings and pleas shown by the typhoon victims, Senator Gordon and Ambassador Kenney spent more time with them at the Sorsogon Provincial Gymnasium, giving words of sympathy to the families and encouragement to move on. The US Ambassador even embraced the children who suffered most from the disaster.
Senator Gordon reiterated his call for more support to the victims, noting that the devastation caused by Typhoon "Milenyo" is far worse than other disasters that wrought havoc in the country like the landslides in Guinsaugon, Southern Leyte or the oil spill in Guimaras.
In a media forum afterwards, Gordon urged anew the national government and local government units as well as relief organizations to beef up efforts in providing more assistance to ease the sufferings of the Sorsoguenos.
Ambassador Kenney, on the other hand, said the American people donated $100,000 through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), to assist the humanitarian relief efforts of the PNRC to help the typhoon victims "recoup, recover and get back on their feet" in the wake of the "Milenyo" disaster.
"The US Embassy extends their condolences to those who were devastated by the typhoon stressing that the United States will continue to stand in partnership with the people of the Philippines in addressing the humanitarian and health needs caused by this natural disaster," Kenney said.
Gordon also expressed appreciation to other foreign donors including the governments of France, New Zealand, Australia, that donated EUR40,000, P3.4 million and P1.9 million, respectively; and, the Japanese Red Cross Society that pledged $250,000.
Gordon and Kenney also met with some local chief executives of the different municipalities in the province, and the PNRC Sorsogon chapter administrator and board of directors during the sortie (PIA Sorsogon) [top]