(Eagle News) — New Era University (NEU) and its alumni members on Saturday, Jan. 25, distributed relief goods and other assistance to affected residents of Batangas province whose lives were disrupted by the recent Taal Volcano eruption.
“The New Era University is one with the Filipino nation in helping out our fellow men affected by the volcanic eruption,” NEU said in a release after its alumni association made the trek to Batangas to hand out relief goods to the victims of Taal Volcano
According to Atty. Randy B. Escolango, President of the NEU Alumni Association Inc. (NEUAAI), the relief efforts were borne from their desire to help out fellow Filipinos who are in need.
“When we heard that many of our fellow Filipinos were left homeless by the eruption, we felt that we had to give them the assurance they won’t face this crisis alone,” he said in an interview on Saturday.
Atty. Escolango hails from Olongapo, one of the provinces hardest-hit by the Mount Pinatubo eruption, and is no stranger to calamities.
Within days of the Taal Volcano seismic activity, he called other alumni members to action. In a matter of days, they were able to amass enough relief goods. The NEU School of Management became the base of operations for the repacking of necessary items.
The first relief effort was held at the Batangas City South Elementary School where 168 families were given relief goods, which included hygiene kits. After the distribution of goods, the group fed the more than 700 evacuees stationed there.
Later, the contingent went to the NEU-Lipa Branch to distribute relief goods and food to more than 320 evacuees. Parlor games were also held giving joy to the evacuees staying there.
Bro. Eliezer Ortiz, Branch Director of NEU-Lipa, also said that the activity also brought joy to the INC brethren in the area.
“Maligaya ang mga kapatid, dahil sa sandaling oras ay nawalan sila ng pagod at dismaya (The brethren are happy, because for a brief moment they let go of their stress and dismay),” he said.
The Iglesia Ni Cristo (INC) resident Minister of the Local Congregation of Batangas City, Bro. Jay Cosme, said the NEU activity made the people there who continue to be affected by the ongoing volcanic activity “very happy.”
“Masayang-masaya ang mga tao dahil sa pag-lingap ng Unibersidad.(The people here are very happy for the help extended by the University),” he said.
Another INC minister, Bro. Mario Torres, noted the orderliness of the relief distribution led by the NEU which made the people there curious about the Iglesia Ni Cristo (Church Of Christ)
“Maraming nakakita ng kaayusan ng pamamahagi, at dahil sa ang Unibersidad ay itinayo ng Iglesia Ni Cristo, marami ang kababayan natin ang nagtatanong na ng ukol sa Iglesia. (Many people have seen the orderliness of the relief efforts, and since the University was founded by the Church of Christ, many people have begun to inquire about the Church),” he said.
The relief efforts were successfully done even as Taal Volcano continued to pose a threat in the area as it is still under Alert Level 4, meaning there is still a possible hazardous eruption within hours or days.
Atty. Escolango vowed to hold more relief efforts to be arranged by the NEUAAI for the benefit of the victims of this calamity.
(with an NEU release)