SUBIC BAY FREEPORT — The establishment by the Philippine Red Cross (PRC) of its logistics and training center in the Subic Bay Freeport has once again validated the importance of this free port as a domestic and international logistics hub.
Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) Chairman Roberto Garcia pointed this out after the PRC formally inaugurated on Monday its logistics and training center at a 1.6-hectare property along the Corregidor Highway in the former Naval Magazine area here.
“Accessibility is the main factor here, and of course there is also the security aspect to it. It is just a few hours away from Manila; it is accessible by land, sea and air, and the place is as secure as it can get. That’s why the Red Cross is here,” Garcia said.
Garcia said the SBMA has allowed the PRC rent-free use of the property for 50 years.
“It’s our humble contribution to the noble mission that the Philippine Red Cross has been doing remarkably well,” he added.
PRC Chairman Richard J. Gordon, who led the inauguration ceremony on Monday, said the PRC’s Subic facility will serve as a hub for logistics support in local and international disaster response, as well as a training facility and operations center.
“We will preposition relief supplies here, both food and non-food items; also our equipment and our vehicles to facilitate prompt and efficient deployment in case of disasters, emergencies or mass casualty incidents,” Gordon said.
“We also conduct different trainings here (because) in a country with a buffet of disasters like the Philippines, we should always be prepared,” he added.
“(The facility) is also part of our tenet: Volunteers + Logistics + Information Technology = a Red Cross that is Always First, Always Ready, Always There,” Gordon also said.
The PRC facility has two warehouses, a function room that also serves as convention center, two dormitory buildings, two classrooms, and a mess hall. It will soon have a hotel and trade school.
The facility, which had its soft opening last March, has already produced its first batch of graduates for the Emergency Medical Technician and Emergency Filed Hospital courses.
During the inaugural rites, Gordon also presented Garcia a citation for the support that SBMA has extended to the PRC.
He also presented a similar award to the seven-man contingent of fire and rescue volunteers led by SBMA Fire Chief Ranny Magno, which participated in a recent rescue and relief mission in earthquake-devastated Nepal. (30)
SBMA Chairman Roberto V. Garcia receives a citation from PRC Chairman Richard J. Gordon and members of the PRC Board of Governors, in recognition of SBMA support in the establishment of the Philippine Red Cross Logistics and Training Center in the Subic Bay Freeport Zone. The facility, which will serve as a hub of logistics support in local and international disaster response, is located at a 1.6-hectare property that the SBMA has given for a fifty-year rent-free lease.