Bayanihan in Bataan Amid COVID-19 Crisis

“Bataan: Bayani at Banal”, a song written by Bishop Socrates Villegas and music by Mr. Ryan Cayabyab, is a great portrayal of the rich history of the Province of Bataan. As the lyrics of the song cried that the war has long ended, and peace and sanctity emerged, nevertheless the Spirit of Bayanihan continuously lives on in the heart of every Bataeños in this time of catastrophe brought by the seemingly invisible foe, the Coronavirus Disease 2019 or COVID-19.

Bataeños recognized that it is not solely the government’s responsibility to drive away or stop the global pandemic, and it is essential to carry out efforts and be of help in this time where people became vulnerable due to virus that further infecting anyone will brought greater predicament to us.

True to its slogan, TESDA Abot Lahat, the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority in Bataan, headed by Provincial Director Julie Ann Banganan, has been participating, reaching out to people through its donation drive in the province and calling out to Bataeños to also support by way of volunteerism.

The TESDA Bataan Provincial Office in Balanga City, together with its two training centers, Provincial Training Center-Orion and Regional Training Center-Mariveles, donated washable face masks, improvised face shields, sanitizers and alcohol to different front liners in hospitals, rural health units and other medical fields, barangay and police check points in the province.

These units of TESDA Bataan also prepared and handed cooked food packs such as spaghetti pasta, rice noodles, rice cakes, cupcakes, honey calamansi juice and bottled water to front liners in different municipalities of Bataan.

Likewise, Ms. Rea Rose Reyes, President of Bataan Federation of Technical Institutions, Inc. (BAFTII), and School Director of the Electrotechnical Institute, Inc. in Balanga City, has launched a group called “Bayanihan ng mga Bataeños” to help protect healthcare workers and other front liners from the virus since there are reported scarcity of personal protective equipment (PPEs) in hospitals.

Reyes said that through money and material donations, their group has been actively providing PPEs such as disposable laboratory gowns, N95 masks, washable face masks, face shields and other medical supplies like alcohol and disinfectant to front liners in different hospitals, rural health units, bureau of fire, police headquarters, and local government units in the province since first week of April.

She informed that they accumulated a total amount of more or less P355,865.00 from cash and material donations. Among the donors are BAFTII, Bounce Back PH, registered technical vocational institutions in Bataan such as Bataan Heroes Memorial College, D’Planners Training Center, Inc., Electrotechnical Institute, Inc., Microcity Institute of Instrumentation Technology, Inc., and Philippine Women’s University-Bataan, and other concerned individuals in the province.

Director Banganan stated that TESDA Bataan, together with BAFTII and “Bayanihan ng mga Bataeños”, has provided 5,695 pieces of washable face masks and N95, 343 pieces of face shields, 418 pieces of different PPEs, 556 liters of alcohol, sanitizers and disinfectants.

She said they also prepared and distributed 1,053 food packs to front liners or the so-called modern heroes in Bataan.

BAFTII is an association of technical vocational institutions registered in TESDA Bataan. (SierraEFlores/TESDA Bataan)

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