The arrival of 14 Ilonggo UP Diliman (UPD) students in Iloilo City on May 31 may have come as a surprise to the UP Visayas (UPV) administration and alumni, but they wasted no time in taking care of these students.
The students were able to return to Iloilo after being cleared to go home. They were stranded in Metro Manila when flights were cancelled due to the implementation of quarantine measures to reduce the spread of COVID-19.
While UPV had prepared its dormitories in its Iloilo City and Miagao campuses for UP constituents coming home from other units, it learned of the UPD students’ arrival only after they had already landed at the Iloilo International Airport via a sweeper flight organized by the Iloilo City government. No prior official communication had been delivered to UPV regarding the students’ inclusion in the flight.
UPV alumni sprung into action upon learning that the UPD students were brought to Iloilo City Diamond Jubilee Hall, the city’s isolation facility, where they will wait out the required 14-day quarantine. Recognizing the urgency of protecting them from possible exposure to SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, the alumni coordinated with the local government and UPV for the transfer of the UPD students to another location.
They are now finishing their quarantine period in a private pension house at a great discount. UPDanay, UPV’s institutional call for relief in response to the pandemic, will do what it can to help pay for their lodgings. UP alumni groups, such as the UP Alumni Association-Iloilo Chapter and the UP High School in Iloilo alumni organization, iAmUPhi, through UPV Legal Counsel Nellie Jo Regalado, have campaigned to provide the students with food and other health needs. Faculty and staff members of UPV have also sent various forms of assistance.
The UPD students await the result of their RT-PCR tests while in quarantine. Once they have been given the all clear, UPV will transport them to their residences to be with their families.
The arrival of these Ilonggo students from UPD has prompted UPV Chancellor Ricardo Babaran to instruct the Office of Student Affairs to coordinate with its counterpart offices in other UP constituent universities to ensure that Ilonggo UP students from across the country will be taken care of by UPV upon arrival in Iloilo.
(With report from the UP Visayas Information and Publications Office)