University of the Philippines Los Baños

UPLB was at the forefront of the extensive national efforts to raise funds and in-kind donations for survivors and victims alike of super typhoon Yolanda, including students who were among those affected by the devastation wrought by the killer typhoon. The University has ably demonstrated a concerted and comprehensive approach in its various outreach and relief assistance activities.

Relief Operations

Affirming its character as a public service university, UPLB was the first among constituent universities to send a truckload of relief goods as early as Nov.15, 2013. Through the Office of the Vice-Chancellor for Community Affairs (OVCCA), which coordinated UPLB’s relief efforts, more than Php130,000 were received by UPLB as of Nov. 26, 2013. This was complemented by donations from the UPLB Foundation Inc., student organizations, and other socio-civic organizations given through the OVCCA, through conduit national and local organizations, or directly to the victims themselves.

Student cross-enrollees

Through the initiatives of the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, the University has waived the tuition fees of at least 30 undergraduate students from typhoon-affected areas. This was achieved through STFAP re-bracketing of the concerned students to E1 and E2. Those who applied for the STFAP during the semester will be re-bracketed to E2, which will entitle them to full tuition discount and a stipend of Php2,400 per month for the whole semester. The 30 undergraduate students who have applied for STFAP will be re-bracketed to E2, while 34 students will be re-bracketed to E1. On the other hand, students who did not apply for the STFAP during the semester will, upon application, be re-bracketed to E1 that will entitle them to free tuition and miscellaneous fees.

To date, UPLB has identified 66 undergraduate and 28 graduate students who were from the typhoon-affected areas, including two students who were cross-registrants from UP Visayas-Tacloban City Campus. They were contacted personally by SMS and by email to inform them of the possible assistance that UPLB could provide, assuring them that their studies need not be disrupted due to the calamity.

Apart from the tuition break, UPLB has also provided free dormitory accommodations, which were availed of by 19 undergraduate and 15 graduate students. From the collective funds it has raised, UPLB has been providing financial assistance and meal stubs to the concerned students. This was made possible by a number of organizations/groups who pooled their resources to provide monthly financial assistance. To date, 24 of the undergraduate students have been provided living allowance of Php4,000 to Php5,000 per month for the month of December. In addition, since November up to December, groups of concerned individuals have provided meal stubs that would entitle students three meals for a day. Fourteen students have already availed of the meal stubs.

To address the mental and emotional well-being of the students, UPLB is providing counselling services to the distressed individuals. The Counseling and Testing Division of the Office of Student Affairs organized the session “Makulay ang Tuloy-tuloy and Buhay”, composed of ‘Creative Stress Buster’ activities using art, dance, music relaxation techniques, Tai Chi and ‘Laughter Yoga’ for 15 students.

Faculty, Alumni, and Student Contributions

In the Spirit of the Yuletide Season, UPLB has facilitated a special program for displaced students called ‘Foster Family for the Christmas.’ Ten students from the typhoon-affected areas who were unable to go home were ‘adopted’ by families from UPLB. Moreover, some groups chose to forego with their traditional Christmas parties and donated the money instead to financially support the students. For those who pushed through with their Christmas thanksgiving, students from the Visayas were invited and were given Christmas gifts and cash.

Faculty members and alumni from the different colleges have contributed to the collective fund as well, while some student organizations have conducted various fun-raising activities to support the tuition fees and living allowances of affected UPLB students. In particular, the two cross-registrants from UP Visayas - Tacloban City Campus, together with 10 other UPLB students, were provided Php5000 each by the alumni, faculty and staff of the College of Engineering and Agro-Industrial Technology (CEAT).

On the other hand, the UPLB Faculty Follies, which traditionally features performances by faculty members, staff and students of the different UPLB colleges, was transformed into a benefit show to raise funds for the students affected by Typhoon Yolanda. The event was graced by Miss Universe 3rd Runner-Up Ariella Arida (UPLB BS Chemistry graduate, Class 2011) who herself was busy with Yolanda relief efforts. The activity raised more than PhP 145,000 for the survivors.

The other activities by UPLB and its constituents to raise funds for the students are the following:

  • Fund raising show by the Institute of Chemistry (IC) and Institute of Mathematical Sciences and Physics (IMPSP), College or Arts and Sciences (CAS);
  • Christmas fund raising and thanksgiving get together organized by the University Housing Office (UHO) and UPLB Dormitory Association;
  • Sponsorship of four students (one each per department) by the College of Economics and Management (CEM);
  • Pledge of PhP 100 per month by all the faculty members of the College of Development Communication (CDC) for the whole semester;
  • Pledge of support for six agriculture students from typhoon affected areas by the College of Agriculture (CA);
  • Pledge to support three Veterinary Medicine students from typhoon affected areas by the College of Veterinary Medicine (CVM);
  • and Fun raising Fun Walk organized by the College of Arts and Sciences (CAS).