Can you help 'displaced' UP Diliman students?
MANILA, Philippines – Classes began at the University of the Philippines on August 3 with concerns over several provincial students who found themselves homeless in Manila. The applications of these students to be admitted in campus dormitories were earlier turned down. Decisions on their appeals were delayed.
Many spent stayed in the homes of friends, inside campus offices, and even in restaurants, according to some of the affected students, many of whom were finally accommodated in dormitories. UP Diliman Chancellor Michael Tan announced that more than 320 dorm application appeals were approved as of August 6. (READ: UP Diliman chancellor: No more 'homeless' Iskolar ng Bayan)
However, according to the UP Diliman University Student Council (USC), as of Tuesday, August 11, at least 37 students - most of whom are low-income – are still in tenuous situations. Some are still waiting for their appeals to be approved. A number were assigned to more expensive university dormitories, and could not afford to check into their assigned rooms. Several others whose appeals were disapproved have been forced to rent private rooms in or near the campus for rates they cannot sustain throughout the semester.
According to Tolits Tanaka, head of the USC basic student services committee, the council is completing a list of affected students with the help of various local student councils in UP Diliman. The UP Diliman administration has not yet released an official list of the students whose appeals were approved. The university is still deliberating on some appeals, said Tanaka, who is expecting the number of affected students to increase in the coming days.
How to help
Since the issue broke out, there had been a growing clamor to support the affected students. Many have already extended help or are inquiring about ways to extend assistance.
A UP alumna who did not wish to be named has contacted Rappler’s civic engagement arm MovePH, offering to sponsor a full semester's dorm rent for a student in need. Many other generous donors have pledged to provide similar assistance. (READ: Gusto kong mag-sponsor ng UP boarder)
The USC, in coordination with MovePH, is providing a mechanism to receive these donations to help address the short-term needs of the affected students.
Here's how you can extend your assistance:
1. Contact the UP Diliman USC via the details below. The USC will be in touch directly to pair you with a student and discuss means of payment.
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Facebook page: facebook.com/uscupd
MovePH will forward to the USC all inquiries and offers of assistance it receives from the online community.
The USC assures the public that all donations are being handled in a transparent manner and will reach the intended beneficiaries at the soonest possible time. Donors will receive reciepts, and MovePH will be provided with a regular report which will be reflected in a tracker to be published under its section.
The USC is also open for audit and will release a report on the amount generated by the drive.
MovePH will respect the wishes of donors who prefer not to be identified.
The USC suggests that donors cover the dorm rent of a beneficiary for a full semester or academic year.
A bed space costs P3,000 per month (exclusive of electricity and water) in Acacia, the newest UP dormitory.
The Centennial dormitory, meanwhile, charges P1,500 a month, inclusive of electricity and water.
The rates in other UP dormitories range from P225 to P500 per month, inclusive of electricity and water.
UP Diliman, which has nearly 26,000 students, maintains a residence hall system with 13 dormitories . Its dormitories can only accommodate about 3,700 students.
To address this problem, Tan said he is pushing for a budget increase to allow UP to build at least 5 more dormitories that can accommodate 500 students each.
The USC has invited the UP Diliman administration to meet with students to discuss the issue and how to effectively address student housing. The forum is called "Dormers usap tayo (Dormers, let's talk)" to be held on August 20, 4 to 7pm at Palma Hall. - Rappler.com