The Project Balik Buhay-University of San Carlos vaccination supercenter formally closed its operations last September 27, 2021 after inoculating 43,593 employees from various companies in Cebu City and Cebu Province.
Project Balik Buhay (PBB) is a partnership between the public and private sectors in response to the request of the Office of the Presidential Assistant for the Visayas, the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) Visayas on COVID-19, and the Department of Health (DOH) Region VII in support of the national government’s national vaccination program.
Doctors, nurses, and staff from LH Foundation Inc. and the UP Medical Alumni Society-Cebu Chapter were augmented by 110 volunteers from the University’s faculty members and administrative employees. These volunteers ranged from the rank-and-file to Directors and Deans.
Before reporting for work at his office, for example, School of Arts and Sciences Dean Dr. Glenn G. Glarino would regularly drop by the vaccination supercenter to carry out marshal duties and crowd control during the busy first hour of operations.
“I volunteered thinking that one day when this is all over, I will have a story to share,” Glarino said. “Even in my own little way, I was able to do something worthwhile during the pandemic,” he added. “In fact, many of us (volunteers) did different things that when taken together, I believe, made an impact,” he opined.
This sentiment was echoed by Harold Bulanon, who works as a laboratory in-charge at the Department of Physics. “I feel that I am part of something big, which is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” he said. “Someday, I could tell my children and grandchildren that when my help was needed, I was willing to be part of the solution, to do something positive, and make everyone’s life better.”
“As a Carolinian, this was my Witness to the Word moment,” commented Senior High School Registrar Maricel E. Judilla. “As a volunteer at the center, I am an active witness to the Good News that God has provided through science the means to be protected from the tragic effect of the pandemic,” she added. Judilla served as part of the registration staff at the center before and after the enrollment period at the University.
USC’s vaccination supercenter began its operations on June 14, 2021 (see related story) and lasted 66 days, serving an average of 661 clients per day.
by Patrick John Y. Lim, with contributions from Fr. Generoso R. B. Rebayla Jr. and Manette Lao-Bermudo