When the Luzon-wide enhanced community quarantine was implemented earlier this year as a response to COVID-19, UPLB found itself with the unprecedented challenge of managing the welfare of over 2,000 students stranded inside and outside the campus.
Through the concerted efforts of the UPLB community, a series of programs was conducted to take care of the students’ needs during those times.
These frontline responses that the UPLB administration spearheaded will not be realized without the help of volunteer staff and students and donors.
In recognition of the invaluable contributions and assistance of the frontliners, volunteers, and donors to the students and to UPLB during its time of need, the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs (OVCSA) held an online recognition program in their honor entitled “Pagpupugay, pasasalamat, at pagkilala sa panahon ng pandemya” on Oct. 23. This video premiered on OVCSA’s Facebook page.
During the program, OVCSA recognized the 1,144 individuals and organizations who took part in Oplan Kawingan, Oplan Lingap, Oplan Hatid, Oplan Sundo, and Oplan Kumustahan.
Oplans Kawingan and Lingap provided food and material aid to the stranded students in on-campus and off-campus residences; Oplans Hatid and Sundo repatriated the stranded students to their homes in various cities and provinces all over the country and in other countries; while Oplan Kumustahan reached out to students for psycho-social support.
After presenting the roll of names of the honorees, some of them gave their testimonials, which revealed their insights on the spirit of volunteerism in the university.
OVCSA’s top officials, Atty. Eleno Peralta, vice chancellor, and Rocky Marcelino, assistant vice chancellor, graced the virtual program.
According to Atty. Peralta, the success of the programs was due to the outpouring of sacrifice, help, time, prayers, and compassion from all the frontliners, volunteers, and donors.
For Marcelino, the experience truly gave truth to the maxim “volunteerism is never expecting something in return”. He noted that what volunteers gave was truly priceless despite the physical, mental, and emotional toll it took on them. (Albert Geoffred B. Peralta)