UST has launched the Bicol Relief Drive to collect donations and raise funds from different colleges for the victims of typhoon Reming.

“We encourage all colleges and students to donate goods and say prayers for the victims,” said Office of Community Development (OCD) director, Joey Cruz. Donations in cash and or kinds can be sent directly to OCD or through local student councils and the dean’s offices.

As of Dec. 6, Cruz said the OCD had collected P36,000 in cash and goods. Donations were immediately handed over to the Aquinas University, a sister university of UST in Legazpi City.

Aquinas is serving as an evacuation site for those displaced by the typhoon. Aquinas itself was damaged by Reming, Cruz said.

Fr. Gerard Francisco Timoner, O.P., vice-rector for religious affairs, said that the relief goods would merely address the short-term needs of the victims.

“As of the moment, we still do not know what we can do to help them in the long-term because we do not know the extent of their needs,” Timoner told the Varsitarian.

Cruz, said he went to Aquinas to assess the situation.

“Hopefully, by interacting with them (the victims) we will know what to provide,” said Cruz, who stayed in Bicol for two days.

Cruz added that half of the proceeds of this year’s Paskuhan would go to the calamity victims.

Legazpi City, the provincial capital of Bicol, was hit badly by Reming (international codename: Durian), which slammed at the capital last Nov. 30, unleashing volcanic mud and boulders that destroyed villages and took hundreds of lives.

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“UST has launched disaster relief drives before,” Cruz said. It sent medical teams to assist the survivors of the Ormoc mudslide last year and the Infanta, Quezon floods in 2004.”

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