By Michael Angelo S. Murillo
Senior Reporter

THEY may be archrivals in the University Athletic Association of the Philippines but in the country’s fight against the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic Ateneo and La Salle are on the same team.

Working for months now as the country tries to cope up with the effects of the highly contagious respiratory disease, the two learning institutions are partners under the campaign “Let’s Work Together To Fight, COVID-19!”

The Jesuits (Society of Jesus) and the De La Salle Brothers, founders of Ateneo and La Salle in the country, respectively, have seen it fit to join hands to help in efforts against the pandemic, which, as of this writing, has tallied 6,259 confirmed cases here, with 572 recoveries and 409 deaths.

While on their own they were already doing share in the battle against COVID-19, with De La Salle University, together with Arnold Janssen Kalinga Center, opening the doors of the Razon Sports Complex and College of Saint Benilde’s covered courts to the homeless of Manila City, providing them shelter and food, and Ateneo de Manila University also opening its dormitories to the medical frontliners, they still saw the need to do more — together.

“I appreciated the shelters, so the first thing that crossed my mind was to help. The Ateneo alumni, those in business, said they’d like to help. I told them, ‘Let’s raise money together with our friends — which means also La Salle friends,’” said Philippine Jesuit Provincial Fr. Jun Viray, SJ.

Thinking along the same lines, DLSU President Bro. Armin Luistro, FSC, said talks to collaborate were fluid, allowing for the partnership to become a reality.

“A little conversation between myself and Father Jun created a spark that is more explosive than UAAP that allowed us to say, maybe this is the time to work together rather than compete,” said the La Salle official.

“And that’s the story of our love life with the Jesuits in the time of COVID-19,” he added.

And to date the joining of forces has bore good results with the Let’s Work Together campaign raising P10 million that will feed almost 500 homeless individuals and 6,000 urban poor families.

Season 82 of the UAAP was officially cancelled by the league early this month as COVID-19 continued to be a growing concern and the signs it was looking for with regards to the resumption of activities were deemed no longer possible.

For those who want to donate to the Let’s Work Together To Fight, COVID-19! campaign may do so through Metrobank (Account name: Tanging Yaman Foundation, Inc./Metrobank Peso Checking Account Number: 448-7-44800988-9) and BPI (Account name: Simbahang Lingkod ng Bayan/BPI Peso Checking Account Number: 3081-1111-61) for Ateneo. For proper acknowledgment, kindly send photo of the deposit slip to slb@affiliate.ateneo.edu.

For De La Salle donors you can course your help through RCBC (Account name: De La Salle Brothers, Inc./Account number: 7590-569081), Security Bank (Account name: De La Salle Brothers, Inc./Account number: 0000014366500) and BPI (Account name: De La Salle Brothers, Inc./Account number: 3103-3749-86). GCash and PayMaya donations may also be transferred online to any of the above bank accounts.