Forging stronger linkages, Pangasinan State University-Lingayen Campus signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Freemasonry (Moises J. De Guzman Masonic Lodge 161), JCI Pindang Mangaldan, JCI Lingayen Liberation II, and Mapita Indigenous Cultural Community (ICC) today, April 30, at PSU-Main Campus.

Spearheaded by Vice President for Research, Extension, and Innovation-Dr. Paulo V. Cenas, the MOU was signed by Freemasonry Masonic Lodge 161 represented by Worshipful Master, Dr. Arsenio Barrozo; JCI Pindang Mangaldan and JCI Lingayen Liberation II were represented by Pangasinan Vice Governor Mark Ronald DG. Lambino and Mr. Mark Gerry Oblanca, respectively. As the direct beneficiary of community extension programs, Mapita Indigenous Cultural Community was represented by the Chieftain, Mr. Pablo Bacyat.

A cornerstone of future community development projects                                                              

Grounded in its four-fold functions, PSU through extension and research programs, inked the MOU as a cornerstone for the “Adopt-an-Indigenous Community” project—a three-year collaborative extension project between the University and partner institutions focused in Sitio Mapita, Brgy. Laoag, Aguilar, Pangasinan.

Centered on: upscaling farming practices for better production through the establishment of government and non-government linkages to source out needed resources and equipment; advancing literacy, education, and skills development.

“This MOU signing is just the beginning of many projects the University, partner institutions, and stakeholders commit to launch for the betterment of life in Mapita, ” PSU-Lingayen CED Dr. Lorna Urbiztondo said.

A self-sustaining community

Though rich in natural resources, Mapita lacks the capacity to fully cultivate the lush produce of their agricultural land. The MOU only serves as a threshold for uplifting the community. Hence, throughout the three-year “Adopt-an-Indigenous Community” project, PSU arm in arm with partner institutions pledge in crafting a strategic road map to efficiently notch up the set goals, bolster resources, and outstretch connections; steer active involvement of other organizations and government agencies such as the Department of Agriculture and Nat’l Commission for Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) to enable sustainability.

“I have heard your struggles, and I have witnessed your eagerness to help yourselves and your community, what PSU together with our partner institutions can pledge is to craft a strategic plan to ensure sustainability,” said University President, Dr. Dexter R. Buted after recounting on their struggles hit close to home.

Prior to the MOU signing, various projects have been implemented in Mapita, this included distribution of sim cards, tablets, pocket wifi to IP students enrolled in PSU to aid in remote education, and awarding scholarship grants to finish their studies. /ksg