The Southern Leyte State University (SLSU) has mobilized its manpower and resources in five campuses, providing needed supplies to men and women out there in the field, at the forefront of the battle against an unseen enemy, the coronavirus disease.

As soon as the pandemic spread like bushfire, local government units moved to contain its spread in their own localities, and so the state-run school also swiftly acted with a similar mindset — to make communities safe.

Acting more like an institution for practical, health-related matter these days than a house for academic learning, SLSU crafted  a course of action which in essence aims to stop the growth of the pandemic, called “OPLAN SUPPRESS,” or SLSU Unified, Proactive and Progressive Response Extension Support Services.

“We created a program to help address this crisis called SUPPRESS Initiatives,” said Dr. Jean Costillas, one of SLSU’s vice presidents, in a text message, adding that “this program articulates all our nine expected outcomes in this time.”

Indeed, in its Week 2 Report dated April 5, the only state university in the province has already delivered the following items under Oplan Suppress to frontliners:  296 liters of liquid soap and 1,397 liters of disinfectant/alcohol.

There were 2,540 pieces of functional face shields and 2,110 pieces of face masks produced and distributed to all, including the Mamanwa indigenous peoples in the pacific area of the province.

In addition, the school produced audio-visual information, education, communication (IEC) materials, disinfected 76 of its rooms and offices, extended student welfare program to 95 OJT and  five non-OJT students, conducted four lectures on how to make disinfectants, and gave out 3,550 seeds and 100 cuttings for a vegetable gardening program in its host communities.

On the distribution of food items, the menu included 280 ready-to-eat food packs, 325 relief packs, 40 pieces fresh buko, and 120 pieces of boiled quail egg s —  all delivered to places that mattered most, the checkpoints.  

Innovations are aplenty, such as touch-free hand sanitizer dispenser, improvised hand washing facility, touch-less faucet dispenser, while  vehicles passing border checkpoints were disinfected by way of a sprinkler, and a whole lot more that have something to do with technology, science, and math.

How do all these came about?

“As an SUC, SLSU always commit to creating positive impacts to lives of the people in the service areas,” Costillas said.

“Upon the onset of the COVID-19 as a global health crisis, the university, through the able leadership of our University President, Dr. Prose Ivy Yepes fully supported by all members of the top management, immediately responded to the needs, especially the frontliners,” Costillas shared.

She said series of online meetings where done to assess everything, the resources, capacity to help, as well as listening to requests from LGUs, rural health units, and disaster bodies.

“The personal protective equipment (PPEs), relief packs, emergency foods, and other services that we offered were realized through the unconditional commitments of university employees to help in the production  —  all who have immediate access and can safely report to the university just came and help,” Costillas reported, adding that she engaged herself in the production and distribution of PPEs.

“Real happiness in this time of crisis is to see others happy of what have you done to them,” Costillas mused.

In a word, or two, SLSU delivers.  (ldl/mmp/PIA8-Southern Leyte)