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UPLB appeals for help for stranded students as resources run out

At the University of the Philippines in Los Banos, Laguna, daily meals are cooked in huge cauldrons for the over one thousand students stranded in dormitories because of the quarantine imposed to prevent the spread of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

Professors, volunteers, donors and the students themselves take charge of the daily routine, but raised concern that their supplies on hand may last only up to Monday next week.

"Hindi namin mabibitawan yung mga estudyante kaya patuloy kaming lumalaban para maitawid namin yung pang-araw-araw na pangangailangan nila," Rocky Marcelino, vice chancellor for student affairs said in a 24 Oras report of John Consulta.

An owner of one of the restaurants in the campus, Emma de los Santos, has been helping prepare the meals of the students since the enhanced community quarantine was imposed in Luzon on March 17.

"Main client po namin ang UPLB, so it's time to give back," she said.

Aika Varonda, one of the students staying in the dormitory, expressed appreciation for the community.

"Sobrang laking tulong na nandito sila na pwedeng piliin na nandun sila sa bahay nila pero tinutulungan kami," she said.

Many of the students have been forced to stay when the mass transportation was suspended when the quarantine was enforced.  Some of them also came from families who do not receive pay when there is no work.

On Thursday, the municipal government of Los Baños, Laguna confirmed the town’s first case of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) died on March 21.

According to GMA News’ COVID-19 bulletin, Los Baños Mayor Caesar Perez said the patient is a 69-year-old male who went to Baclaran on March 11 and Quiapo on March 16.

Several barangays in the town have been locked down due to the COVID-19 cases in the province.

Jennifer Garcia said her family has been feeling the pinch of the lockdown because no money is coming even for her baby's milk.

Edwin Matunog of Barangay Nueva in San Pedro town also appealed for help for his townmates impacted by the quarantine.

"Napakahirap lumunok na alam natin na habang kumakain ka alam natin na yung batang sa paligid mo ay umiiyak, . . kung ano'ng kaya nating itulong, isakripisyo natin," he said. —LDF, GMA News