UPLB health frontliners honored for heroic service

University frontline workers, or frontliners, were hailed as heroes for performing their duties during the COVID-19 pandemic despite the high risk of contracting the disease.

The 2020 Most Distinguished Alumni Award bestowed by the UP Alumni Association (UPAA) recognized all UP health frontliners, living and deceased, who heroically continued to serve during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Chancellor Jose V. Camacho Jr. received the award on behalf of UPLB health frontliners in the 2021 UPAA Alumni Awards ceremony on May 28, broadcasted on the TVUP Youtube channel.

The sculpture-trophy, specially made by UPAA Awardee Junyee, was turned over to Dr. Jessie Imelda F. Walde and Dr. Myla Lourdes R. Avena, director and deputy director of the University Health Service respectively, and other representatives of the UHS team on May 30 during the UPLB flag ceremony.

The award cites the UPAA’s “grateful recognition of [the UP alumni frontliners’] heroic service to the Filipino nation in its hour of direst need–the coronavirus pandemic that ravaged the world in 2020 and which continues to this day.”

It also recognizes the frontliners “for giving freely of their expertise, in whatever capacity and to their utmost ability, to alleviate the suffering of their fellow human beings, at great personal risk and cost, above and beyond the call of duty.”

In a short response upon receiving the award, Dr. Walde said, “Hindi pa tapos ang laban sa COVID at sa mga susunod na emerging infectious diseases. Patuloy na lumalaban at nangangalaga sa UPLB ang mga health frontliners ng UHS. Kaya salamat sa recognition na itoIto ang nagpapalakas loob sa aminPagpupugay sa lahat!”

(The fight against COVID-19 and emerging infectious diseases is not yet over. The health frontliners of UHS will continue to fight and care for UPLB. Thank you for this recognition which lifts our spirits.)

Present to witness this momentous event were Assistant to the Chancellor Eileen Lorena M. Mamino, Vice Chancellors Roberto P. Cereno (community affairs), VC Rolando T. Bello (administration), VC Fernando O. Paras, Jr. (planning and development), AVC Benevieve D. Villanueva (Community Affairs), Dr. Rowena dT. Baconguis, dean of the College of Public Affairs and Development (CPAf), and personnel from CPAf and the University Police Force.

Every year, the UPAA honors UP alumni who have outstanding achievements in their respective fields of specialization. (Stoix Nebin S. Pascua, Myla Lourdes R. Avena, & Maria Cristina W. Zafaralla)

This article was originally published on the UPLB website.