By Caleb Buenaluz
Volunteers, student organizations, and offices in the University of the Philippines Los Banos (UPLB) aided stranded students and affected community members inside and outside the campus. Among them include about 1,500 UPLB students stranded due to the implementation of the Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) in Luzon last March 16, 2020.
Days after the ECQ, the Serve the People Brigade Task Force Community Unit Response (STPB TF CURE) mobilized and conducted its own relief response to aid those students outside the campus, to help the concerned office to provide the basic needs of the students. The Office of the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs (OVCSA), alongside non-government organizations, also adopted the same initiative and spearheaded Oplan Kawingan to all stranded dormers inside and outside the campus. Also, the student-led
The program provided food assistance through meal deliveries to their respective dorms. Students were requested to fill-up an online form to immediately grant their aids. Dormitories listed by the OVCSA would automatically be assisted. As of March 26, OVCSA data revealed that 650 students were assisted by Oplan Kawingan.
Transporting students to their hometowns
Moreover, the OVCSA also launched the Oplan Hatid program. The program aimed to transport stranded UPLB students to their hometowns in any of the provinces in Region IV-A, and the cities in the National Capital Region (NCR). As of March 26, there are 161 students who have returned home. The OVCSA later included Bulacan, Cagayan and Nueva Ecija last March 28.
However, students who missed out on filling-up the form were requested to send a message via online to the Office of Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs (OVSCA) helpdesk to be included in the program. 161 students were sent home from Oplan Hatid, as of March 26.
The College of Human Ecology (CHE) initiated Oplan Damayan this April 3 to aid affected smallholder farmers in Benguet including the workers in Los Banos, Laguna. The program aimed to transport the harvested vegetables from the said region and bring to the communities who were in-need to give them relief-packs despite the crisis.
Moreover, the College of Development Communication (CDC) initiated a donation drive, with its field school partners and local government units (LGUs). The program aimed to donate basic necessities such as foods and medical supplies to the students.
Additionally, the Institute of Animal Science (IAS) of the College of Agriculture and Food Sciences (CAFS) also acknowledged their assistance of donating raw meats, poultries and eggs specifically in Barangay Putho Tuntungin of Los Banos.
Cash assistance to students
Furthermore, OVCSA also partnered with the Philippine Red Cross (PRC) and Department of Social Welfare Development (DSWD) coordinates, they conducted a Lingap program where they also provided cash assistance to the students who were affected by the quarantine through one of their programs: “Adopt a Dormer.”
As of April 2, the Social Welfare Department already rolled out the payout for those students who signed up for the first batch of the cash assistance program.
As of the writing, there are yet no updates about the total count of students who were assisted by the said program, but OVCSA told that they were doing their best to accommodate all students’ aid. [P]
Photo from the University of the Philippines Los Baños’ Facebook Page