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According to the PNRC's website, Prime Minister Apolinario Mabini encouraged the Malolos Republic to form a national Red Cross organization. On 17 February 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 Filipino-American war.
On 30 August 1905 the American National Red Cross (ANRC) formed a Philippine Branch with Filipino and American leaders. The ANRC officially recognized it as a Chapter on 4 December 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 of 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 National Red Cross (PNRC) Charter.
The ICRC approved the regocnition of the PNRC, and telegraphed Aurora Aragon Quezon, the first PNRC Chairman, on 29 March 1947. The Philippine National Red Cross (PNRC) had its inaugural ceremony on 15 April 1947.
The PNRC was admitted as a bona fide member of the League of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies on 17 September 1947.
1. Disaster Management Service, responsible for Disaster Preparedness, Training of Staff and Volunteers, Community based disaster management, the Integrated Community Disaster Planning Programme (ICDPP), Relief, Resource mobilisation, Information system for assessment and reporting, Rehabilitation: housing, agro-forestry, and livelihood.
2. National Blood Service, responsible for provision of safe blood including donor recruitment, blood typing and blood screening. (The PNRC provides 40% of all safe blood used in the Philippines).
3. Community Health and Nursing Service, responsible for Health and Home Nursing Education and Training, Disaster Nursing and Disaster Health Response, Community Health Nursing Affiliation Training, PHC Community Based Health Services and Training of Barangay Health Workers, Health Action Programme.
4. Safety Service, responsible for Safety courses, including First Aid, Accident Prevention, Water Safety, First Aid Stations, Beach Patrol and Life Guarding plus Ambulance and Transport service and services of emergency response teams (first aiders)
5. Social Service, responsible for Emergency leave for Filipino US service men, Disaster family service program for the disabled community, Tracing, Family Visit Program for Detainees, Outreach Program, including skills training and livelihood projects, Technical aid for handicapped given on loan basis. Crisis intervention for disadvantaged women, youth and children and training on critical incident stress debriefing (CISD), Military Welfare Service and Welfare services for vulnerable Groups, such as
– programme for Disadvantaged Women – Crisis Centre for Women– Assistance for Overseas Filipino Workers– Assistance for disabled persons– Assistance for Street Children– Assistance for Disaster Victims
6. Red Cross Youth Service, responsible for Organisation and membership of youth volunteers to include organisation of National and Chapter Youth Council, Youth Congress and summer camps, Red Cross Youth leadership training course (training of trainers), including HIV/AIDS prevention, drug abuse prevention training, Mobilisation of RCY member to promote RC services to include "Pledge 25" (young volunteer blood donors and voluntary blood donation advocates), tree planting, construction of artesian wells and organisation and training of junior health campaigners.
The Principles of the Red Cross
HUMANITY ,The Red Cross, born of a desire to bring assistance without discrimination to the wounded on the battlefield, endeavours – in its international and national capacity – to prevent and alleviate human suffering wherever it may be found. Its purpose is to protect life and health and to ensure respect for the human being. It promotes mutual understanding, friendship, co-operation and lasting peace amongst all peoples.
IMPARTIALITY, It makes no discrimination as to nationality, race, religious beliefs, class or political opinions. It endeavours only to relieve suffering, giving priority to the most urgent cases of distress.
NEUTRALITY, In order to continue to enjoy the confidence of all, the Red Cross may not take sides in hostilities or engage at any time in controversies of a political, racial, religious or ideological nature.
INDEPENDENCE ,The Red Cross is independent. The National Societies, while auxiliaries in the humanitarian services of their Governments and subject to the laws of their respective countries, must always maintain their autonomy so that they may be able at all times to act in accordance with Red Cross principles.
VOLUNTARY SERVICE, The Red Cross is a voluntary relief organization not prompted in any manner by desire for gain.
UNITY, There can be only one Red Cross Society in any one country. It must be open to all. It must carry on its humanitarian work throughout its territory.
UNIVERSALITY, The Red Cross is a world-wide institution in which all Societies have equal status and share equal responsibilities and duties in helping each other.