In a groundbreaking move towards community empowerment and sustainable development, the University of Baguio (UB), under the stewardship of the Research Innovation Extension and Community Outreach (RIECO) office, a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) signing at Barangay Pinsao Proper, Baguio City, on April 15, 2024. The activity marked a significant milestone in fostering collaboration between academia and local governance to address pressing community needs.

At the heart of this partnership are the commitments made by key stakeholders. Honorable Raymund Laxamana, the Barangay Captain of Pinsao Proper, and Kagawad Karen Joy Calatan signed the MOA on behalf of the barangay, signifying their dedication to the partnership effort. Ms. Liza Balao, representing the City Social Welfare and Development Office (CSWDO), also played an important role as the third-party signatory, strengthening the tripartite partnership.

The MOA, set to span three years, emphasizes UB’s pledge to conduct a comprehensive Needs Assessment within Barangay Pinsao Proper. This assessment will serve as the foundation for designing and implementing programs that directly address the specific needs identified within the community. By aligning these programs with the identified needs, UB aims to ensure maximum impact and sustainability.

The partnership is built upon the five pillars of the UB CARES: Literacy, Livelihood, Health, Risk Management, Peace and Order, and Infrastructure. Through a holistic approach, UB intends to address challenges and catalyze positive change within the community.

Furthermore, the partnership extends beyond mere program implementation. Both CSWDO and Barangay Pinsao Proper have committed to ensuring that the activities and programs initiated through this partnership contribute to addressing issues highlighted by the United Nations. This alignment with global priorities underscores the partnership’s commitment to advancing sustainable development on a broader scale.

As part of the collaboration, UB has been invited to participate in the Barangay Planning process, providing insights and recommendations for programs aligned with the community’s objectives. This inclusive approach ensures that programs are not only responsive to community needs but also sustainable in the long term.
Specifically, the partnership and programs initiated by UB will contribute to the following Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs):
SDG 4: Quality Education: UB’s extension programs will focus on enhancing literacy rates for adult, students, women’s org., and out of school youths within Barangay Pinsao Proper.
SDG 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth: UB will empower community members with sustainable livelihood opportunities, collaborating with local stakeholders to identify economic activities and enhance income-generating capabilities through cooking and baking activities.
SDG 3: Good Health and Well-being: UB will spearhead programs and activities aimed at promoting health awareness, providing access to healthcare services, and addressing prevalent health issues within the community.
SDG 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities: UB will work towards enhancing resilience to natural disasters and other hazards, collaborating with local authorities and residents to develop and implement risk management strategies.
SDG 16: Peace, Justice, and Strong Institutions: UB’s commitment extends to promoting peace, justice, and strong institutions within Barangay Pinsao Proper, supporting conflict resolution, community cohesion, and the rule of law.

This partnership endeavor between UB, Barangay Pinsao Proper, and CSWDO represents a bold step towards fostering inclusive development and addressing the complex challenges faced by communities. Through sustained cooperation and collective action, the partnership aims to create tangible and lasting improvements in the lives of the residents, while contributing to the broader global agenda for sustainable development.

-Michelle Ann P. Chomayag, LPT
Staff, RIECO