AROUND 11,500 families affected by tropical storm “Ondoy” got relief packages from UST’s “Tulong Tomasino” relief operation, which covered Metro Manila, Cainta and Taytay in Rizal, and more than a dozen UST partner-communities in Bulacan.

“The Rector himself handed donations like sacks of rice, water and toiletries to the affected families,” said Jeanne Luz Castillo, Central Student Council (CSC) president.

Cash donations collected from students, alumni, and UST officials amounted to P298,347 half of which was used to buy more relief goods.

A total of 120 UST employees were also given assistance.

The CSC and the National Service Training Program (NSTP), under the supervision of the Office for Student Affairs and the Office for Community Development, organized the relief drive.

“Our priority is to help [the] 24 UST partner communities. If there are extra packages left then we will also be helping those identified communities by the National Disaster Coordinating Council,” said Laelani Arocha, NSTP facilitator.

Packages given to communities were classified depending “on what they asked for or what they need,” she said.

There were four types of packages: package A included food like rice, noodles, and canned goods; package B included toiletries like soaps and shampoo, toothpaste, toothbrush and sanitary napkins; package C had used clothes, and the last package contained medicines.

But problems in logistics have been stalling the donation drive.

“UST buses and Elf trucks were not enough to deliver the goods,” said Arocha.

Paul Castillo, another NSTP facilitator said, “some alumni have volunteered to lend their vehicles in order to deliver the goods to storm victims.”

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“Right now, all of us (NSTP facilitators) are already deployed and we are short in terms of transportation means, so we do things little by little,” Arocha said. “It is also hard to ask for students’ help because they are catching up with their final exams and school activities.” Jilly Anne A. Bulauan

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