I. What is the Philippine Red Cross?

The Philippine Red Cross (PRC) is an independent and autonomous non-government organization tasked to help the Philippine government in the humanitarian field and to adhere to the obligations of the Philippines to the Geneva Conventions and International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movements.[1]

On February 14, 1947, the Philippines proclaimed its commitment to adhere to the Geneva Red Cross Convention, which necessitated the creation of a Philippine Red Cross. The creation of this body was fulfilled on March 22, 1947, when Republic Act 95 was signed into law by President Manuel Roxas. Since its creation, the Philippines Red Cross Charter (RA 95) has undergone several changes by virtue of Republic Acts 855 and 6373, and Presidential Decree No. 1264 s. 1977. The original charter and amending laws were eventually repealed in 2010 when President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo signed into law Republic Act 10072, otherwise known as the Philippine Red Cross Act of 2009. RA 10072 currently serves the charter of the Philippine Red Cross.

The purposes of the Red Cross are as follows[2]:

  1. To cooperate with public authorities in the prevention of disease, promotion of health and the mitigation of human suffering through programs administered by the Philippine Red Cross;
  2. To organize emergency relief operations and other such services to aid the sick and wounded of the armed forces in time of armed conflict;
  3. To perform all duties devolving upon the Philippine Red Cross as a result of the adherence of the Republic of the Philippines to the Geneva Convention;
  4. To act in matters of voluntary relief and of communication between the Republic of the Philippines and their Armed Forces, and between other countries, their Governments and people, and the Armed Forced of the Republic of the Philippines.
  5. To establish and maintain a system of national and international relief in times of calamities.
  6. To devise and promote services as may be found desirable in improving the health, safety and welfare of the people; and
  7. To devise such means to make every citizen and/or resident of the Philippines a member of the Philippine Red Cross.

In addition, the Philippine Red Cross is also part of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC)[3].

Further, the Philippine Red Cross is headed by a central body called the Board of Governors and has certain financial privileges from the government.

II. Relationship with the Philippine Government

Republic Act 10072 has given the Philippine Red Cross autonomy and independence and tasked them with supporting the Philippine government in humanitarian tasks. According to the law, the Philippine government only has a role in the Philippine Red Cross through the following:

  • Appointment of six (6) members of the Board of Governors
  • Tax incentives
  • An annual report submitted to the President by the Philippine Red Cross
  • The President of the Philippines as its honorary President

III. Privileges extended to the Philippine Red Cross

The Philippine Red Cross Act of 2009 exempts the organization from certain tax obligations to the Philippine government in order for it to fully adhere to the Geneva Conventions and International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movements. It is exempt from all direct and indirect forms of taxation such as Value Added Taxes (VAT), property taxes, and donor’s tax.[4]

IV. Officers of the Philippine Red Cross

The President of the Philippines is the honorary President of the Philippine Red Cross[5]. Its officers are as follows:

  • Chairman
  • Vice Chairman
  • Secretary
  • Treasurer
  • Counselor
  • Assistant Secretary
  • Assistant Treasurer

These officers are elected by the Board of Governors from within their ranks and shall have a term of two (2) years and may be re-elected. The election of these officers takes place 60 days after the Board of Governors has been constituted.[6] In addition, the officers do not receive compensation for their term of service.

V. The Board of Governors

The central body of the Philippine Red Cross, called the Board of Governors, acts as the leadership of the Philippine Red Cross. It is composed of thirty (30) members appointed or elected as follows:

  • 6 members appointed by the President of the Philippines
  • 18 members elected by chapter delegates (two sets of nine alternately elected every two years[7])
  • 6 members elected by the 24 members already chosen

In case of vacancies due to death or resignation, the board, at its next meeting, may elect a replacement except for the positions appointed by the President of the Philippines. Vacancies among the presidential appointees shall be filled by the President[8].

The members of the Board of Governors do not receive compensation from the Philippine Red Cross.

ANNEX C: SOURCES

Official Documents

Republic Act 10072. An act recognizing the Philippine National Red Cross as an independent, autonomous, nongovernmental organization auxiliary to the authorities of the republic of the Philippines in the humanitarian field, to be known as the Philippine National Red Cross

Republic Act 10121. An act strengthening the Philippine disaster risk reduction and management system, providing for the national disaster risk reduction and management framework and institutionalizing the national disaster risk reduction and management plan, appropriating funds therefor and for other purposes.

______________

Endnotes

P.S.R. No. 422, 16th Cong., 1st Sess. (2013) Retrieved from http://www.officialgazette.gov.ph/2010/05/27/republic-act-no-10121/

[1] Republic Act 10072, Sec. 3

[2] Republic Act 10072, Sec. 4

[3] Republic Act 10121, Sec. 11

[4] Republic Act 10072, Sec. 5

[5] Republic Act 10072, Sec. 7 (b)

[6] Republic Act 10072, Sec. 7 (b)

[7] Gordon elected Red Cross chair unopposed. (2014, January 29).Philippine Red Cross. Retrieved April 29, 2014, from http://redcross.org.ph/press/news/item/546-gordon-elected-red-cross-chair-unopposed

[8] Republic Act 10072, Sec. 7 (a)(2)