SEARCA scholars pitch in with donations to the Los Baños community

  • 14 April 2020

SEARCA scholars doing their part to help the Los Baños community during the Enhanced Community Quarantine in the Philippines.SEARCA scholars doing their part to help the Los Baños community during the Enhanced Community Quarantine in the Philippines.Los Baños, LAGUNA – SEARCA scholars based at the University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB) conducted fund raising activities and a donation drive facilitated by the SEARCA Scholars Association (SSA) to help those greatly affected by the Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ). The ECQ which started on 17 March and will last until 30 April 2020 saw UPLB students stranded in their dormitories with dwindling resources.

The scholars donated part of their monthly stipend to Task Force CURE, University Housing Office (UHO) and Oplan Kawingan of the Office of Student Affairs (OSA) in UPLB. These organizations have been providing food and basic necessities to the university students who are still in campus. Besides the UPLB community, the scholars also provided relief packs to the town's tricycle drivers who lost their main source of income during the ECQ as well as the garbage collectors who continue to serve the town despite the situation.

Mr. Romiel John P. Basan, SSA President and DAAD-SEARCA scholar studying PhD in Agricultural Economics in UPLB, shared about the scholars' efforts amid the COVID-19 crisis: "In this trying times, though we all are frightened and anxious as to when this will end, it cannot stop us from doing great things. As what we believe in "We Learn. We Care", SSA will continue to spread goodness and will continue to share what we have. We are also stranded here in UPLB but that did not hinder us to extend help to the vulnerable ones who are affected by this health crisis. Personally, it is gratifying, as SSA President, that my co-SEARCA Scholars are always by my side and my heart is filled with gratitude for their gesture of kindness."

Prior to this, the SEARCA scholars also donated relief packs during the Mindanao earthquake in November 2019 which were given to 365 families.

SEARCA aims to enhance the human resource capacity of agriculture in Southeast Asia through graduate scholarships and professional studies. The scholars are envisioned to be agents of change and thought leaders that will transform the agricultural and rural development in the region. Now, more than ever, the scholars recognize that it is imperative to help one another in time of need and to enact change in their own ways and in their own spheres of influence.