In retrospect: A look at DLSU-PUSO’s assistance efforts last AY

The De La Salle University-Parents of University Students Organization (DLSU-PUSO) has always been an active member of the Lasallian community. Throughout the years, they have been committed to serving their roles as “parents” of the University in cooperation with the DLSU administration and the University Student Government (USG).

Currently headed by DLSU-PUSO President Dr. Felicitas Ducusin, the organization recounts its achievements for the past Academic Year (AY) and plans for the upcoming terms.

Financial and online support

DLSU-PUSO has been very active in providing assistance to different sectors of DLSU, extending support to college offices, students, and even parents.

Ducusin highlights that in the past AY, DLSU-PUSO gave full disbursement to students through their College Intervention Fund (CIF) program, while also providing additional tuition fee assistance during the pandemic. Under the CIF, 18 students per college were each given P25,000, while another P25,000 was doled out to 18 more students through their tuition fee assistance program.

Aside from financial assistance during the pandemic, DLSU-PUSO also provided students online support. By conducting surveys within the colleges, Ducusin says that they were able to determine the kind and amount of aid students needed.

Pocket WiFi units, along with P1,000 worth of load, were distributed to students in the College of Computer Studies, the Br. Andrew Gonzalez FSC College of Education, and the College of Science. Meanwhile, students in the School of Economics, where she serves as a college trustee, were each given prepaid load worth P3,000.

Earlier this AY, the organization, which is a part of the Multi-Sectoral Consultative Committee in Tuition Fee Increase, also lobbied for a four percent tuition fee increase. However, as the pandemic extended for months, the DLSU administration decided not to implement the planned increase and instead applied a 10 percent tuition discount for Term 1 and a five percent tuition discount for Term 2.

Support for parents

Beyond assisting students, DLSU-PUSO also made strides in helping parents adapt to the new online shift, Ducusin notes. Her organization coordinated with the Office of Career and Counselling Services to conduct a parents’ forum with psychiatrists from The Medical City.

Parents were also given live tutorials to better navigate the different tools their children use for online classes. “We call ourselves ‘boomers’, but we usually say that ‘boomers’ can be ‘zoomers’ also,” Ducusin remarks, highlighting how parents, either by working with each other or seeking help from their children, are also slowly adapting to the new technologies.

There were planned events, however, that could not push through. Ducusin shares that she had planned to “convert” the annual Family Day to a family business forum that would feature simultaneous lectures and exhibits on business affairs. One of the major highlights of the event was an arbitration workshop, sponsored by the Doshisha Merton Advocacy Network Initiative from the Doshisha University in Japan, that was scheduled on the last day of the two-day forum.

But the program, which was originally slated to be held last March, was indefinitely postponed after an enhanced community quarantine over Metro Manila restricted mobility and barred speakers from flying in from abroad.

Looking ahead

As a new AY begins, DLSU-PUSO plans to continue providing support to different sectors. Ducusin reveals that they plan to double their budget allocation for CIF and tuition fee assistance programs.

“For technology support, we will add more. We intend to add laptops. Buo na ‘yung budget, and I will spend almost half of the budget [on] technology support,” she furthers, adding that further webinars will also be provided to parents.

(The budget is complete.)

The organization is set to have its Annual General Assembly on November 14.

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