As the whole world struggles with the threats of the pandemic, the Pangasinan State University as a higher education institution is cognizant of its significant role to fight the battle with the unknown enemy. To do this, it has organized the following activities under the leadership of its president Dr. Dexter R. Buted together with its academic community members:
1. Giving of at least 3,000 food packs to those in the frontlines—the medical workers, PNP and DILG personnel, LGU skeletal staff, and Barangay officials.
All of PSU’s nine campuses through their executive directors provided food packs (lunch and snacks) to those personnel in the checkpoints, essential service workers and medical workers who are at the forefront of combating the disease.
2. Massive information campaign on CoViD 19 through the use of official social media and website, LED display, brochures, tarpaulins, video production, audio recording, and daily posting on updates of the pandemic.
Through its Public Relations, Publication and Information Office, the online publication of materials both in the official website and social media accounts were initiated as early as March 06, 2020, to keep the public well informed and to prevent the spread of fake news or misinformation. There was an increase of less than 2,000-page followers, reached more than 800,000 readers, and shared of posts skyrocketed to more or less 2,000 which is a manifestation of active use and patronage of the site/s. Signages and brochures were also mounted in the bulletin boards and conspicuous areas in the University for wider dissemination of information.
In addition, a “Let’s fight CoViD-19 together” profile picture frame in Facebook was created which almost a thousand students and employees adopted. This is also one way to show solidarity in sending the message that PSU as one community is in unison to fight the battle against COVID-19.
3. Discussion of COVID related information to the classroom
The Vice President for Academic Affairs sent an advisory to ask science teachers to discuss the information on COVID-19 in order to explain thoroughly the disease and understand ways and means on how they can prevent it.
4. Giving of Rice assistance to employees
Dr. Buted and the administration thought that the pandemic will negatively impact the employees economically, thus through the approval of the Board of Regents, allocated an amount to provide 25 kilograms of rice to employees whose salaries range from salary grade 1-15. Additionally, the salaries of the employees have been given weeks in advance to help them cope up with the crisis brought by the pandemic.
5. Providing food sustenance package to at least 500 selected poorest households.
Since PSU is situated in the capital town of the province which is Lingayen, Dr. Buted asked the
LGU to identify the poorest barangay by which donations will be given by PSU. Due to this, a group of PSUnians led by Dr. Buted went from one house to another to not just give dole outs in the form of food sustenance package (live broiler chicken, baked products, rice, grocery items) but also an avenue of “kamustahan” where people get to share their situation to the PSU employees. The recipients were very grateful for the love and “malasakit” extended to them.
6. Providing food sustenance package to at least 100 senior citizens.
Since the sector of the senior citizens are one of the most vulnerable with reference to contracting the disease, Dr. Buted thought of providing nutritious food to them in one select barangay in Basista, Pangasinan where the recipients truly felt happy and grateful to PSU.
7. Providing food sustenance package to at least 50 stranded dormers.
Students who were not able to reach home prior to lockdown or enhanced community quarantine imposed last March 16, 2020 were given goods (in three waves) in the form of grocery items and rice. This activity was initiated by Dr., Buted and the student regent who actually made it through their boarding houses and delivered the food packs at their doorsteps. Dr. Buted also offered them to occupy one facility in the university that could accommodate them if they cannot pay their monthly rentals due to the crisis.
8. Giving Do-It-Yourself face masks and face shields to the frontliners.
Some faculty members from Asingan, Sta. Maria and Lingayen campuses offering technology and livelihood courses personally sew at least 1,000 pieces of face masks given to the frontliners in their areas. Similarly, a faculty member from College of Architecture, Urandeta City Campus and the executive director of San Carlos City Campus made at least face shields 800 face shields provided to the frontliners as well.
9. Survey on the conduct on online learning to both students and faculty. Videoconferencing scheme is adopted in all meetings in observance to “No Mass Gathering allowed”.
In order to prepare for the new normal in the field of instructional delivery amid the crisis, the university through the VPAA and Web Administrator conducted an online survey to both teachers and students. This will serve as a basis in planning for what is coming ahead which is blended or flexible learning, factoring in the needs and available resources of students and teachers in terms of online learning.
Video or teleconferencing has also been adopted in the conduct of various meetings as well as the conduct of title and proposal defense in the PSU Open University Systems.
10. Free service ride to medical workers of Region 1 Medical Center (R1MC).
The University provided free service ride to the medical workers of R1MC during the ECQ. It is a known fact that essential workers had difficulty getting to their workplaces because public transportations have been shut. This is also one of the many ways to show appreciation and concern to the circumstances that these workers are into.
11. Creation of PSU Mental Health Support Service Official Facebook Page for mental health support service
Through the Office of the Director for Admission and Guidance Counselling, a page was created in order to provide free mental health support service to members of the community who might be confused, depressed or feeling worried about the difficult situation the pandemic has brought us. They also post relevant news and information about how to maintain mental wellness as well as encouraging messages and reflections.
12. Sanitation and disinfection of campus premises.
A day after the ECQ has been implemented, the administration held a system-wide massive sanitation and disinfection drive in the communal areas such as comfort room, offices, halls, infirmary, etc. Alcohols and soap were provided in order to encourage cleanliness and handwashing which is proven to be the most effective way to rid the virus.