Donations and other forms of assistance continue to pour in for UP students stranded in campus and off-campus housing.
Food, hygiene needs, and even transport going home are being facilitated by University offices and concerned groups and organizations. Members of the UP community across its constituent universities—alumni, students, faculty, administration, and staff—as well as private individuals, businesses, government units, and the armed forces have been pitching in to help.
In UP Diliman (UPD), the administration has called for donations and volunteers. The University Food Service remains in operation to prepare meals for dormitory residents on campus and donations of ingredients are being received. UPD psychosocial services are still being provided through PsycServ. The mode of counseling has been shifted from face-to-face to online.
The UPD University Student Council (USC), meanwhile, launched IskoOps: COVID-19 to help not only the more than 250 students, but also the vendors and jeepney drivers affected by the enhanced community quarantine.
Oplan Kawingan and Oplan Hatid were initiated in UP Los Baños (UPLB). There are 517 students in University-administered dormitories, 106 in UPLB partner institution housing facilities on campus, and more than 900 who live off-campus. UPLB needs at least P1.9 million per week to provide three meals per day to all of its stranded students.
Oplan Kawingan is a food drive from the consolidated effort of UPLB, Every Nation Campus, Serve the People Brigade Task Force Community Unit Response, Chelsea’s, volunteers, and independent contractors, with support from Barangay Batong Malake.
The UPLB Dairy Training and Research Institute delivered and has committed to deliver milk and white cheese to the campus dorms twice a week. The Institute of Plant Breeding has also provided produce to the dorm residents. Those stranded continue to be the beneficiaries of alumni as well as organizations like the UPLB USC, UPLB All UP Academic Employees Union, Bounty Agro Ventures Inc., and Art Relief Mobile Kitchen, among others.
The call of those who wanted to go home was also heeded through Oplan Hatid. As of March 23, 94 students have been reunited with their families through the initiative of UPLB, UP Rural High School Alumni Group, and the Armed Forces of the Philippines Second Battalion.
Hygiene kits and other essentials have also been received and the University continues to provide stable internet connectivity so students can remain in contact with their families and relatives.
UP Danay, a play on the Ilonggo word “updanay,” which means coming together or fellowship, is the UP Visayas (UPV) Community Donation Drive. UPV dormers have received donations from alumni, facilitated by I am UPHi. The UP Iloilo College (UPV’s former name and status) Class of 1961 has also given assistance.
In return, the UPV stranded have decided to pay it forward. Mobilized by the UPV USC, they have been making improvised face shields for distribution to health facilities nearby. They have created around 1,500 face shields from March 18 to 20.
In a UPV bulletin released on March 20, the administration will be facilitating the transport of Panay-based UP students so they can go home. Protocols for implementation are currently being studied.
In UP Mindanao (UPMin), the Office of Student Affairs (OSA) has been spearheading the donation drive for its dorm residents. UPMin faculty, students and student organizations, alumni, and friends of UP have provided needed assistance. OSA’s Health Services and Student Housing units have also remained on duty.
UP Baguio (UPB) has also distributed what they referred to as “care packs” to its dormers and students living outside the campus. Faculty members have volunteered to distribute these. Donations are facilitated by the UPB Ugnayan ng Pahinungod. Transportation for those who want to leave Baguio and return home are being facilitated by the UPB administration, subject to the protocols of the local and national government during the enhanced community quarantine period.
All in all, the various UP constituent units have been demonstrating concern and compassion for the UP students and other sectors who have been most impacted by the enhanced community quarantine, in keeping with the bayanihan spirit of the UP community. If you would like to give a donation to help support our UP student-dormers and the other members of our UP community during this difficult time, please consider donating to Give to UP: UP Fights COVID-19!
*Featured image courtesy of Gulay Lang PH Facebook page