Cebu Normal University (CNU) launched a program to assist its students, faculty, office personnel, and other stakeholders in the time of health crisis brought by Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). 

The program is called Innovative CNU Assistance and Relief Effort (iCARE). The creation of iCARE was conceptualized by CNU President Dr. Filomena Dayagbil and was established through the help of the CNU Administrative Council and some faculty members.

iCARE was launched last Monday, March 23 online through the University’s official Facebook page.

The iCARE program initially has three services: iCARE Student Communication Center (SCC); iCARE Telecounseling Services; and iCARE Donation Center. Later on, the iCARE Ride, iCARE Pedagogical Connect, and and iCARE Adopt-a-Student were conceptualized to add to the growing list of services under the iCARE initiative.  

“Innovation breeds because of a need,” Dayagbil said on how iCARE sprouted because of the COVID-19 health crisis.

“I am thinking of how CNU can best respond and be significant for both our internal and external clients as gestures of love and care,” she said.  

“With the suspension of classes and declaration of community quarantine, CNU has to attend to the needs and concerns of the students and keep the line of communication open to avoid confusion,” she added, explaining how iCARE SCC came about. 

iCARE SCC is facilitated by the CNU Supreme Student Council (SSC) where students who wish to express their concerns, challenges, and difficulties related to the ongoing community quarantine may contact the numbers provided in the SSC and CNU Facebook pages.

The concerns received by the SSC will then be directed to the Office of the Student Affairs (OSA) or Vice President for Academic Affairs (VPAA) Office and will be forwarded to the concerned offices for appropriate action.

The iCARE SCC has started operating since the launching of iCARE and is available daily from 7 AM. to 9 PM.

iCARE Telecounseling Services is also provided for CNU students, faculty, and non-teaching staff wherein guidance counselors and Psychology professors are made available to those who need a listening ear, Dayagbill said. 

“This is one way of protecting our mental health in this new normal we are experiencing,” she said.  Telecounseling hotline numbers are found in the CNU Facebook page which are directly connected to counselors/coaches and are available from 6 AM. to 9 PM.

The iCARE Donation Center is an effort aimed at providing Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs) for health workers who are part of the University’s external partners like Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center (VSMMC), Philippine Nurses Association (PNA), and Barangay Police Officer (BPO) or police officers within the vicinity of CNU if supply warrants, Dayagbil said.

According to VPAA Dr. Daisy Palompon, the iCARE Donation Center is a way of institutionalizing the fund donations of the Administrative Council officials in response to the donation campaign of CNU-CN Batch 1994. Interested donors may check the CNU Facebook page for the details. 

iCARE Ride is CNU’s way of answering Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center (VSMMC)’s request for transportation assistance for its health workers.

Drivers from the University’s General Services Office (GSO) are deployed to operate the University vehicles with the assistance of maintenance personnel to ensure safety measures for the drivers and passengers.

VSMMC is the only COVID-19 testing center in Cebu and is one of the two testing centers in the Visayas.

iCARE Pedagogical Connect is an effort of the College of Teacher Education (CTE) which offers free online services to students, teachers, administrators, and parents from different levels where facilitators engage themselves to different stakeholders by answering queries on different areas of concern in line with education. Stakeholders who are interested may register through this link:

iCARE Adopt-a-Student is facilitated by the CNU-OSA in coordination with the CNU Student Supreme Council. This initiative calls for donors to assist students who are stranded in Cebu during the implementation of Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) by providing them basic needs or financial assistance while they still cannot go home.

“iCARE is CNU’s strategic means of delivering care and demonstrating compassion beyond the norm of public service,” Palompon said. (JDF) 

Updated as of May 5, 2020