Beyond the call of duty: UP Manila teacher assembles PPEs, distributes food for homeless

Jervis Manahan, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Apr 14 2020 05:19 AM | Updated as of Apr 14 2020 09:53 PM

A young instructor from the University of the Philippines-Manila's College of Allied Medical Professions (CAMP) has earned the admiration of netizens for going beyond the call of duty amid the new coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.

With classes suspended, Physical Therapy instructor Marvin Louie Ignacio devotes most of his time assembling and packing hundreds of face shields for medical frontliners.

This is part of the #CAMPana initiative of his home college, or the UP CAMP's efforts to help medical frontliners in various hospitals.

"I know the significance it can have to those who can use it. As a healthcare worker myself, I know how important they are to me and to the people around me," Ignacio told ABS-CBN News.

Aside from teaching, Ignacio is also currently doing higher studies on public health, also in UP Manila. He someday hopes to be one of the leading public health experts in the country.

So far, the UP-CAMP Foundation initiative has helped distribute hundreds of face shields to Calamba Doctors Hospital, PGH, Lung Center, UHS, and the National Center for Mental Health in Mandaluyong.

But Ignacio didn't stop from volunteering in assembling PPEs. He also spearheaded initiatives like fund-raising drives and charity food distribution.

Recently, he braved the dangers of going out and walked around his neighborhood in San Juan City to distribute food packs to homeless people.

This advocacy of feeding the hungry, he says, is deeply-rooted from personal experience.

"I have invested efforts specific to this because growing up from a poor family, I know how it feels to be hungry for days, and so I told myself now that I have the capacity to even just for a bit relieve others of that feeling, I would definitely do it," he said.

Ignacio said the spirit of volunteerism in this time of crisis also boosts one's sense of purpose.

"I hope similar volunteers do share the same experience when they help out, because I believe it grounds us to our humanity, and that if we have the capacity to act, then we must."

Asked what inspires him to continue volunteer work, Ignacio says he hopes his efforts will trigger a ripple effect to those who would also want to help.

"I volunteer in these activities because it gives other people the chance to also do the same - to be inspired and see what collective action can do - as a college, as a university, as a nation," he said.