ILOILO CITY–The never-ending demand for blood in hospitals in the City and Province of Iloilo is consistently high even—and especially—in the middle of the novel coronavirus pandemic, which makes blood donation drives more indispensable.
This was emphasized by Gilbert Paul Valderrama, administrator of the Philippine Red Cross (PRC) Iloilo Chapter, even as he appealed to all eligible donors to help support the PRC’s blood donation campaign.
“The need for a stable and sufficient blood supply is always present but with this raging pandemic, there is more reason for us to stress how precious every drop of blood in the PRC blood bank is,” he said.
With local government units setting aside their blood donation drives to give more attention and resources to battling COVID-19, the PRC-Iloilo blood bank has fallen short by about 3,000 to 5,000 units since the start of 2020.
“So we campaign harder and innovate in order to provide the city and district hospitals all over the province the blood they need,” Valderrama stated.
STILL ON TOP
Despite the present blood dearth nationwide, however, Valderrama is optimistic that things will normalize soon. His optimism is apparently buoyed by what he claims is the stellar result of their massive, far-reaching campaigns and the solid support of the community.
“PRC-Iloilo is No. 1 in terms of number of units collected, and this we owe to the people who responded to our calls,” he said.
According to Valderrama, it is because of donors from various organizations and companies–radio stations, religious and business groups, even fraternities–and from the LGUs that the province presently has an adequate supply of blood.
“Notwithstanding their fears, we are seeing a lot (of donors) step up,” he said.
“We have to remember that Red Cross cannot give what it doesn’t have, which means that behind every unit we supply to our hospitals is a donor who offered not only their blood but also their time and effort to help save the lives of others.”
“Red Cross Iloilo is strong because of the Ilonggo community,” he said, adding, “The donors should get all the credit.”
One such example of support Valderrama hails is the blood-letting activity on Monday, February 8, hosted by MORE Power.
“Without the involvement of companies like MORE and the others donor organizations, we won’t be able to overcome the need for more blood supply in the city and province of Iloilo,” he said, underscoring “In all our efforts, the key-point really is the community. Having said this, the Philippine Red Cross is beyond grateful for MORE Power and many other conscientious companies here in Iloilo that continue to initiate bloodletting drive. We hope that in the near future we will be seeing more of MORE.”
Sarah Diana Habacon, human resource manager of MORE Power, said that the bloodletting dubbed as “Blood Donation Drive 20/21” is part of the month-long activities lined up by the company in celebration of the 2nd year anniversary of its franchise as well as of its 1st year of operations.
To recall, while February 14, 2019 was when President Duterte signed into law Republic Act 11212 that gave MORE Power the franchise to distribute power in Iloilo City and the right to acquire the assets of PECO, it was only on February 29, 2020, after winning the legal battle with PECO, that MORE Power was able to officially begin its mandate in the City of Love.
“Since the anniversaries of the approval of our franchise and the start of our operations fall in the month of February, we have lined up a series of ‘loving’ activities for this month, kicking off with our blood-letting activity on the 8th,” she said.
Habacon said around 80 employees are going to join the activity along with donors from their third party service providers.
“These donors are composed of MORE Power staff, including line warriors, security and utility personnel, and the employees of our contractors who all volunteered,” she said, adding, “This will be a bi-annual activity from now on.”
For his part, Valderrama could not be any more enthused. “Voluntary blood-letting drives such as that of MORE Power are what help us overcome the constant challenge of blood collection. We are grateful for their patronage,” he concluded./INews