Press Release
July 9, 2021


Reacting to a study by the World Bank that the plight of the Filipino elementary student is dire, Philippine Red Cross (PRC) Chairman and CEO says "It is what it is. Many children are being left behind as there is no clear plan. We must prioritize them and their education because that's the ticket for the future. Otherwise, we will miss the golden demographic sweet spot. No one must be left behind."

Gordon continues, "Due to a lack of vaccines in the Philippines, the only way to ensure that infection is testing. As soon as Philhealth pays PRC the P480million that is due, we can bring down the cost of testing to help our education sector and economy bounce back. Other countries are vaccinating at 12 years of age. We can do the same so our children can go back to school safely. If you are tested negative, follow health protocols. Our students are further challenged with a serious lack of sufficient facilities, bullying, and a high incidence of hunger. Hunger is further exacerbated since we are forced to stay at home. Also, the study was done in 2018, so it must be worse today. The lack of association and socialization that comes with face-to-face learning will gravely impact them. Filipino children are seriously disadvantaged and will continue to be disenfranchised in a competitive world."

The PRC, under the guidance of Chairman Gordon was the first to respond to the pandemic by vigorous testing, establishing multiple testing facilities, and introducing the cost-effective saliva test. To date, PRC has conducted over 3.4million tests, or 23% of the country's total count.

"We should be self-reliant and cannot wait for the pandemic to abate. With new variants, the pandemic may not end anytime soon. We should provide more public transportation to allow riders to physically distance, position bus stops every two blocks to ease congestion, and stagger work hours to prevent crowding. We should also consider coordinating with pharmaceutical firms to manufacture the vaccines in-country, or reverse-engineering the formulae so we can start creating our own," Gordon concludes.

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