The University has formed the Disaster Preparedness Committee (DPC) to respond immediately and effectively to such emergencies as typhoons, floods, fires, and earthquakes.

In a meeting last July 31 at the Rizal Conference Hall, DPC chairperson and UST Vice Rector for Finance Fr. Roberto Pinto, O.P., presented the safety guidelines to cope with emergencies.

According to DPC member Dr. Lito Maranan, each building in the University has an assigned evacuation area, where students, faculty members, and administrators will stay during emergencies and drills.

For Main Building and the Beato Angelico, the evacuation area will be the football field; for the Engineering and Education Buildings, the Sports Complex; for the Commerce Building, the Tinoco and Colayco parks; and for the UST Pay High School, the Escudero Garden.

Furthermore, Maranan said it is necessary for each department to form different emergency committees, such as first-aid and fire-fighting teams, to cover every floor of a building.

Offices handling money and official documents must have their own evacuation system, Maranan said.

Fr. Pinto said anyone who refuses to participate in the emergency plans of the University will have to pay P1,000 and surrender his or her ID since a Manila ordinance enjoins everyone to participate in disaster preparedness programs.

The emergency plans include food provision. Dr. Evelyn Songco, Assistant to the Rector for Student Affairs and Community Service, said the University has an agreement with Jollibee Foods, Inc. that allows UST to order food items from the fastfood chain and be billed later.

The final emergency plans will be sent to all departments after consultations, officials said.

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Meanwhile, the full air-conditioning of all classrooms in the University, according to Engr. Oliver Gagarin, assistant superintendent for Electrical Engineering, will depend on the completion of the power substation next month.

In another development, the University is venturing into another contract with Globe Telecom for Short Message Services (SMS) to provide Thomasians better and faster information dissemination.

However, as of press time, Fr. Pinto said the details of the new contract cannot be disclosed because of confidentiality.

“Sabi nga nila (Globe Telecom) mas mabuti daw na hindi tayo sumali dun (Campus Bulletin) kasi mas maganda daw ito (new contract) ngayon,” said Pinto, referring to the previous contract Globe offered the University which UST did not approve.

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