Far Eastern University (FEU) has stepped up to help those who are most affected by the ongoing Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic – the frontliners, the poor and others in need.

FEU lends a helping hand to the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) in the latter’s relentless efforts to flatten the curve of COVID-19 infections in the Philippines. The assistance includes food provisions for the entire RITM workforce, and the use of the FEU Alabang gym as resting and sleeping quarters by RITM’s administrative and technical staff as well as outsourced services personnel starting April 3, 2020.

The naturally ventilated gym has been temporarily repurposed to provide a convenient, hygienic, and comfortable area for designated RITM personnel to relax and recharge in. It accommodates 50 beds, separated into male and female sections, and a 12-seater lounge area. Separate shower, toilet, and locker facilities for men and women are also provided.

In addition, the FEU Alumni Relations Office (ARO), Nicanor Reyes Memorial Foundation (NRMF), and the Volunteerism Services Office (VSO) provides food packs consisting of three square meals and snacks for other FEU partner hospitals with the help of donations from alumni and student groups.

The FEU VSO has also distributed food packs for over a hundred FEU students who were stranded in their dormitories.

FEU has also joined the Project Ugnayan. The initiative, organized by top business groups, the Philippine Disaster Resilience Foundation (PDRF) and Caritas Manila aims to deliver P1,000 worth of grocery vouchers to poor families who have lost their livelihood because of the enhanced community quarantine meant to contain #COVID19. To date, the project has reached its target of feeding 1million families or 5 million individuals.

Former student leader lauches Pantawid Covid Project

A number of former FEU student leaders have organized fund and relief drives in their respective areas.

Former Entrepreneurship Club President Patrick Manuel organized the Pantawid Covid Project shortly after the ECQ was implemented. Relying on crowdfunding and donations, Manuel’s program is providing food packs for street vendors, pedicab drivers and jeep drivers that operate near FEU.

FEU Accountancy alumnus and 2013 Ten Outstanding Students of the Philippines awardee John Michael Lava is among the leaders of PAKIG-AMBIT, which is an initiative of Cebu-based Certified Public Accountants to provide Personal Protective Equipment to frontliners.

John Paul Uminga, former President of the FEU Tamaraw Volunteers and Founding Executive Director of the Caloocan Young Leaders Initiative, initiated a fund-raising effort for the Dr Jose N. Rodriguez Memorial Hospital.

Meanwhile, several former FEU student-athletes donated jerseys to an auction drive named ‘May Twenty Ako’. Those who participated in the auction that kicked off last March 30 include volleyball players Kyle Negrito, Heather Guino-o, Celine Domingo, Gyzel Sy, Jude Garcia and Wendell Comboy from basketball. 

Innovation in Action

The FEU Institute of Technology (FEU Tech) Shell-Eco Marathon Team along with members of the online group “3D Printing for a Cause PH”, creates 3D-printed face shields in their own homes for the safety of COVID-19 frontliners. With their virtual designing knowledge in prototyping using 3D printers, they were able to produce an out-of-the-box solution and apply it to the PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) shortage crisis that our country is facing right now due to the continuing rise of COVID-19 cases.

Recipients of the face shields, which totaled to over 500 pieces, include Skyline Hospital and Medical Center team in Bulacan, The Philippine Army’s Regional Community Defense Group and the Philippine General Hospital.

Another group of students and alumni from FEU Tech are producing 6 drone units carrying an AI powered thermal scanning system to detect possible Coronavirus carriers. Through their start-up company DWARM Technologies, the team has partnered with the Department of Science and Technology – Philippine Council for Industry, Energy and Emerging Technology Research and Development (DOST-PCIEERD) and UPSCALE Innovation Hub to recalibrate their drone system to help in speeding up and improving the precision of thermal scanning at checkpoints.

DOST-PCIEERD will deploy the units of DWARM along the checkpoints in both the South Luzon Expressway (SLEX) and the North Luzon Expressway (NLEX). This will help drastically reduce queue times as the drones will be able to scan up to 10 persons at a time, immediately flagging anybody with a temperature of 37.5°C to the monitoring staff.

Embodying the university’s values of fortitude and uprightness, the FEU community stands as one in braving the challenges of the pandemic.