MANILA, Philippines - Heavy rain and flood affect more than a million Filipinos and students are leading the way in relief operations.
David Lozada reports.
Donations arrive at the Ateneo college covered courts despite the heavy rains.
After the devastation caused by Typhoon Maring, students and administrators start relief operations for flood victims.
Ateneo students and administration kicks into DREAM Team mode whenever a calamity hits the country.
DREAM stands for Disaster Response and Management.
Sanggunian president Dan Remo says the students’ response is overwhelming.
DAN REMO, SANGGUNIAN PRESIDENT: Really the need now is to try to identify what are the needs on the ground and how we can best help our communities. We really make sure that we reach out to them and make sure we get the needed supplies.
But Ateneo students are not alone.
DAVID LOZADA, REPORTING: The Ateneo community join various colleges and universities in Metro Manila in relief efforts for Typhoon Maring victims. They give food, clothing and other items to hard hit communities.
In the University of Asia and the Pacific, students utilize social media in their operations.
They post the relief goods they need and update the status of operations in social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter.
UA&P student Erica Ng says the use of social media gives them a wider reach.
ERICA NG, UA&P STUDENT: What’s unique about UA&P is that our relief operations has a special team just for social media so that information could be disseminated easily and more effective through the whole UA&P community and even outside. That’s why we also get donations from people we don’t even know, who are not even part of UA&P.
In the University of the Philippines, iskos and iskas lead relief operations.
The National Union of Students of the Philippines organized #TulongKabataan to assist distressed communities near UP.
But UP student Jerome Dela Cruz says relief operations are only short term solutions.
JEROME DELA CRUZ, UP STUDENT: Tinitingnan natin kung ano ba talaga yung problema. Kung bakit nagkakaroon ng biktima. Bakit nagkakaroon ng evacuees. Yung problema sa pagkakaroon ng urban poor, ito ba ay dahil lang wala silang trabaho o kapabayaan ba ito ng gobyerno. Kailangan natin tignan lahat yan. (We should look at the real problem. Why are there victims? Why do we have evacuees? Are the people in urban poor communities simply jobless? Or are they the result of the government’s neglect? We look at all of these issues.)
Relief efforts from other schools can be found in Rappler’s Move.PH.
DAN REMO, SANGGUNIAN PRESIDENT: As long as Ateneo and other individuals are willing to give, the operations will continue. There’s no shortage of enthusiasm from the community.
David Lozada, Rappler, Quezon City.