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USC, UP Corps of Cadets lead IskoOperation
by CMaj Roseanne D. Realubin 1Cl, UP Corps of Cadets
UP Corps of Cadets, photographers

The volunteers of IskoOperation repack relief goods for distribution.

(Sept. 10)—The UP Diliman University Student Council (USC) and the UP Corps of Cadets (UPCoC) led the last day of the IskoOperation relief operations at the Department of Military Science and Tactics (DMST) Quadrangle on August 24.

More than 100 Cadet Officers (CO)and cadets, along with 240 volunteers from NSTP (National Service Training Program) classes and student organizations gathered to conduct relief operations for victims of typhoon Maring and the monsoon rains. From registration to boxing of relief goods for deployment, cadets and volunteers were given specific stations to maintain an organized workflow.

IskoOperation is the relief operations program initiated by the USC in coordination with volunteer organizations in the university last year. This year, under the leadership of USC councilor Daniel Guzman, it aimed to prioritize disaster preparedness through seminars and capacity- building lectures.

The USC began relief operations as early as August 21 with eight COs and volunteer students deployed to Fairview Elementary School in North Fairview. The National Capital Region Regional Community Defense Group (NCRRCDG) sponsored an army truck for the transport of 1,000 packs of relief goods, benefitting some 200 families. School principal Eugenia Cristobal and barangay captain Jose Quebal received the donations and thanked the UP community and the Philippine Army.

Donations for the last day of operations included some P4,000 pesos worth of food, medicines and toiletries, and bags of clothes from the UP Vanguard Incorporated; P1,000 monetary donation and canned goods, instant noodles, bread and biscuits, bottled water, used clothes, toiletries and medicines from the UPCoC; and additional canned goods, instant noodles, biscuits, used clothes, bottled water, medicines and toiletries from walk-in donors.

In addition, 1,000 individual relief packs, 3,000 bottles of water, a sack of rice, instant noodles, canned goods, and toiletries were delivered from the College of Architecture (CA) which served as one of the drop-off points for relief goods. Money donated from the previous days of IskoOperation was used to buy additional noodles and canned goods. Other notable donations were packed goods from celebrity Tuesday Vargas and boxes of assorted food items from Senator Edgardo Angara.

There were also satellite drop off centers for IskoOperation at MRT stations at North Avenue, Quezon Avenue and Cubao and at the LRT Katipunan station.

Some students volunteered their personal vehicles to transport the relief goods from the CA to the DMST Quadrangle. The Civil Military Operations Group (CMOG) of the Philippine Army sponsored one truck for use during the operations. Another truck was sponsored by Vargas and celebrity Regine Velasquez.

The UP ROTC Rescue unit was deployed to Parañaque to turn over 1,000 packs of relief items for residents of Parañaque and Las Piñas. In coordination with the USC of UP Los Baños, 1,800 packs of goods were donated by IskoOperation for the residents of Laguna affected by the typhoon. Relief goods were also given to affected UPD security guards and janitorial personnel while 200 packs were turned over to the Office of Vice Chancellor for Community Affairs.

One hundred packs and extra items were donated to the CMOG relief operations and feeding program in celebration of the National Heroes Day for the residents of Barangay 105, Tondo, Manila. The CMOG, along with officials and residents of Barangay 105 were very thankful to the UPD USC and the UPD ROTC unit. The author and two Cadet Officer candidates were present during the event to represent the IskoOperation Committee and the UP CoC.

According to the UPCoC, IskoOperation is a good avenue for cooperation among different organizations in the university. It also promotes volunteerism and service to the students. This program should be further strengthened and supported by all organization and students for a more efficient and effective operations on the future.