Remaining steadfast in providing committed service for 58 years, the University of the Philippines Ichthyophilic Society (UPIS), in line with its anniversary celebration, organized an Outreach Program and Clean-up Drive at the coastal community of Brgy. Alegre, Oton, Iloilo on August 21, 2023. Grocery packages of rice, canned goods, coffee, milk, noodles, shampoo, soap, and toothpaste were given to 25 beneficiaries.
With the theme "Talaghay sa Paglalayag: Discovering new strengths in 58 years of committed service,” this year’s celebration focused on the organization's prevailing legacy of uplifting the fisheries sector through extending help to the people in need and the fishing community.
President of UPIS, Divine Amorsolo, expressed that the outreach program is an avenue for the resident members and alumni of the organization to give back to the coastal communities by addressing their needs and offering discussions, lectures, or IEC materials to teach them science-based approach towards coastal resource management.
Aside from giving groceries, UPIS partnered with the Institute of Marine Fisheries and Oceanology (IMFO) and invited Shirley M. Golez to give a talk to the beneficiaries, emphasizing the importance of accurate and science-based information in leading the community to coastal resource management and its significance to marine biodiversity.
"This kind of activity will really increase their awareness, especially sa ila nga role [and] responsibility sa ila nga coastal resources (This kind of activity will really increase their awareness, especially with their role [and] responsibility to their coastal resources),” highlighted Golez, an IMFO University Research Associate.
Further, the coastal clean-up drive along the coast of Brgy. Alegre was participated by around 40 people including its residents, local government unit (LGU) of Oton, and UPIS resident members headed by External Affairs Committee Chairperson and Outreach Program Head Blezi Ann Bernadette Casis.
“Okay man nga at least nakabulig man sa amon nga nanghatag kamo sang gift kag nagbulig man kami panglimpyo (It's good that you at least offered us presents that would be useful to us and that we were able to help with the cleanup),” shared Krystine Ganancial, one of the beneficiaries, as asked about her experience in the activity.
Ever since its establishment, UPIS has been an active socio-academic organization in community engagement through conducting various activities such as Outreach Programs, Coastal Clean-up Drives, Kamayan, Pamunit, Reef Ranger, Gift Giving, Patinikan, Young Wizards of Fisheries Science (YWOFS), Board Examination for Fisheries Technologist (BeFIT) Refresher Course, Balik Tanaw, ISDAtalk, Career Orientation, Medical-Dental Circumcision Mission (MDCM), and many more.