The College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences (CFOS), UP Visayas, conducted the “CFOS and Friends” fund drive to help the victims of Typhoons Rolly and Ulysses that hit the country.
As of November 24, 2020, the fund campaign, which started on November 14, 2020, collected a total of P141, 038.00 through the generosity of its constituents, alumni, and friends.
The beneficiaries of the fund drive are affected students of CFOS, the UPV UPDanay initiative, survivors of Cagayan Valley and Camarines Sur, indigenous peoples (IPs) in hard-to-reach areas, and the family of one personnel of the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources, Region 2 (BFAR-RO2) who died during a rescue mission.
With the assistance of the CFOS Student Council, the College gave financial aid each to the three students who were seriously affected by the calamity. The student council reported four affected students, although one declined the financial support since the stipends from two scholarships were enough to support her family's needs.
The College also donated cash to UPDanay, the University’s Disaster Response Operation, which UPV Chancellor Clement C. Camposano received on November 20, 2020. Chancellor Camposano expressed gratitude for the donation, particularly benefitting the survivors in the Catanduanes and Cagayan Valley areas.
Moreover, CFOS tapped its alumnae, Dr. Mildred Ferrer-Banatao and Ms. Josette Genio, to provide emergency relief assistance to target beneficiaries in Cagayan and Bicol.
Banatao facilitated the assistance for Tuguegarao City and some parts of Cagayan, while Banatao has been working with other medical doctors and the United Methodist Church for relief operations in the City.
Genio extended help to the coastal communities in Ragay, Camarines Sur, on behalf of the College. Like Banatao, Genio has been involved in relief operations in the area in a personal capacity.
After the devastating flood, needs of immediate priorities, such as blankets to help address hypothermia, rice, bottled water, and other necessities, were purchased and distributed to affected families.
The family of Henry Kelly Villarao, an employee of the BFAR Region 2 who lost his life after getting electrocuted during a rescue operation in Tuguegarao City, Cagayan, likewise received financial assistance from CFOS and Friends.
The CFOS also coordinated with the local government unit of Jomalig, Quezon and the Tribal Center for Development Foundation, Inc. to extend help to the affected families of Jomalig Island (one of the small islands of the Polilio Group of Islands) and the IP community near the Kaliwa Dam in Quezon, respectively.
Recipients of the financial assistance expressed their gratitude to the CFOS.
A second-year student of CFOS from Quezon City was surprised and could not believe the amount deposited into her bank account. In her message to Brittany Briton, chairperson of the CFOS Student Council, the student said she did not expect to receive cash assistance. She said that the money is a great help for her family. They are able to buy materials and repair their roof which was damaged by the typhoon.
A third-year CFOS student from Bulacan likewise extended her gratitude.
“Pwede pasabi naman sa staff and faculty ng CFOS na maraming salamat talaga. huhuhu. Malaking tulong talaga ‘yung pera sa akin at sa family ko. Thank you,” she stated.
Meanwhile, Dr. Ferrer-Banatao told the CFOS that the Methodist pastors were very thankful as the donations will further stretch their reach for relief operations regardless of religious affiliation.
Melanie Villarao, widow of the BFAR regulatory officer, sent her gratitude for the financial assistance and the moral support extended to their family by CFOS and Friends.
Typhoons Rolly and Ulysses displaced thousands of families in Luzon. President Rodrigo Duterte had declared a state of calamity over the entire Luzon following these typhoons that hit the country.