In response to the call for support of healthcare workers in the front lines, the Junior Philippine Association of Management Accountants (JPAMA) of Ateneo de Davao University (AdDU) in partnership with the Singapore-based Filipino Christian group Covenant East Warriors (CEW) launched an “Operation COVID-19: Malasakit Help Force” operation drive last May, donating personal protective equipment (PPE) to the Southern Philippines Medical Center (SPMC) in Davao City.
The Singapore-based group funded 4,000 SGD to the organization to distribute N-95 masks and tailor PPE suits equivalent to 170 pieces delivered in total. Meanwhile, JPAMA conducted the actual logistics work and operations.
The student organization further explained that the project was disapproved by the AdDU Office of Student Affairs (OSA) back then, following the order of the University President Fr. Joel E. Tabora, S.J. on the suspension of activities during the government-imposed enhanced community quarantine (ECQ).
OSA suggested that they can still work with their proposal as long as it is attached to another name.
“Thus, OSA advised us to operate as an independent organization (under our chosen pseudo name MA.Tulungin) if we want to push through with our project,” JPAMA Publicity Head Jaime Mikaela Sandoval stated.
“… but even though technically we can make our project public, we opted to keep it a secret until we can get OSA’s approval to credit it as JPAMA’s activities. In that way, we are able to honor our club’s effort in partaking in this project,” she added.
JPAMA was linked to the CEW through their alumni network. Alumnus and former JPAMA president Celso John Arjona reached out to the organization and offered CEW’s proposal of donating PPEs and face masks.
Arjona, also an active member of the CEW, mentioned that they felt the need to help the Filipinos in battling the pandemic even when they are in overseas.
“As Filipino/Fil-Chi brethren, we felt that this can be our way to bless, give back, and serve the Philippines, even if we are presently stationed overseas,” says Arjona.
“Our message of gratitude for our Healthcare Frontliners – for their courage, dedication, and patriotism – and our deep thoughts of blessing them for the very valuable and noble service they render tirelessly and selflessly – day in and day out,” he added.
Pushing thru amid declined proposal
Although the operation was unexpected and entailed many restrictions, JPAMA-AdDU President Reynold Labayan shared that they were at first hesitant to accept the project.
“At first, we were hesitant to accept their offer because we don’t want also to risk our health considering the state outside,” shares Labayan.
However, the JPAMA eventually took the call for help from the CEW, believing that it was an opportunity to serve.
“Siguro nakasabi kami ng ‘yes’ dahil sa sinabi rin ni Ma’am Chew [club moderator] na we are called by God that time for us to help na rin. Sayang din kasi ang opportunity,” he added.
JPAMA-AdDU plans to push through the same operation drive in the future by accepting other donors that will allocate funds for their project.