EU diplomats show solidarity with Filipinos, donate blood to Red Cross

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By Victoria “NIKE” De Dios

Knowing the increasing need for blood and diminishing supply in the midst of coronavirus pandemic, the European Union ambassadors and diplomats have donated their blood to help high demand for blood during the quarantine. The donation took place this afternoon on July 7, 2020, at the Philippine Red Cross in Mandaluyong City.

Headed by Mr. Thomas Wiersing,  Chargé d’Affaires a.i. of the EU Delegation to the Philippines, together with Ambassadors Saskia de Lang (Netherlands), Mr. Harald Fries (Sweden), Chargé d’Affaires a.i. Mr. Mihail Sion (Romania), Mr. Fernando Heredia, Consul General of Spain, and colleagues from the Embassies of Belgium, the Netherlands, and the EU Delegation participated in the bloodletting drive.

From left, Philippine National Redcross Chairperson Dick Gordon  and Mr. Thomas Wiersing,  Chargé d’Affaires a.i. of the EU Delegation to the Philippines

Senator Richard Gordon who is also Chairperson of the Philippine Red Cross personally witnessed the drive and spoke with the European Union ambassadors and diplomats.

In the statement of Senator Gordon to THEPHILBIZNEWS, he said, “We are very happy to have them all here to give blood. That’s the best gift you can give to humanity especially during challenging times. We thank all the ambassadors and all the representatives of EU. It is something that I am really very happy about.”

Philippine National Redcross Chairperson Dick Gordon giving opening remarks during the EU Diplomats’ blood donation  

“The European Union is a great ally of the Philippines. There are a lot of things to be thankful for the EU at natutuwa ako na nagbigay sila ng dugo. Napakalaking simbolo iyan ng ating pagsasama. The European Union has always been on our side, helping us not only in terms of commerce but also other things including education and security,” Senator Gordon added.

“Ang mga binigay ng European Union sa Philippine Red Cross through their Red Cross societies ay napakarami. We built about 151,000 homes; most of them came from Europe. During other disasters, they’ve been here to help us that’s why I urge us to have closer relationships with our European brothers and sisters,” the Senator and Chairperson of the Philippine Red Cross concluded.

Photos Clockwise, from top-left Swedish Ambassador Harald Fries, Mr. Mihail Bujor Sion Chargé d’affaires a.i. of Romania, 
Spanish Consul General Mr. Fernando Heredia Noguer, and Dutch Ambassador Saskia De Lang

Meanwhile, Mr. Thomas Wiersing, Chargé d’Affaires a.i. of the EU Delegation to the Philippines reiterated the support of EU Embassies and the diplomatic community to the Philippines.

“Team Europe in Manila stands in solidarity with the Filipinos in the fight against COVID 19,” Mr. Wiersing said.

“In response to the call of the Philippine Red Cross for blood donation, we have all come here to donate our blood to avert the shortage of supply created by the pandemic,” he added.

Mr. Thomas Wiersing  CDA of EU Delegation to the Philippines given a tour in the bloodbank of the Philippine National Redcross 

Interestingly, the EU has been a long-standing partner of the Red Cross movement in the Philippines and has always been the first one to respond in times of disaster. Through its humanitarian office (ECHO), the EU has been a donor and partner of the Philippine Red Cross.

During the Taal Volcano eruption early this year, the EU has provided more than Php 42 million to the Red Cross response. ECHO also provided funding support during recent calamities including Typhoon Tisoy, dengue outbreak, Batanes earthquake, and the conflict in Mindanao.

The EU has been in one with the Red Cross in search and rescue, clearing operations, food assistance, multi-purpose cash, water, sanitation and hygiene promotion, emergency health units and welfare desks.

“We continue to express our support as “we heal as one” community. We believe that together we can fight this pandemic”, said Mr Wiersing concluded.