Thirteen long-term pilot community development projects of the nine colleges and the Office of the University Extension Services were officially launched by Tarlac State University last Thursday morning (April 20) at the Alumni Center, Lucinda Campus.
A ceremonial memorandum of agreement signing was held to formalize the partnership between the university and the target beneficiaries from the towns of Pura, Ramos, Anao, Capas, Gerona, Camiling, Tarlac City, and other institutions, along with the project proponents.
This first batch of sustainable and gender-responsive projects foresees long-term extension programs that directly impact the community. Such programs were carefully studied and crafted by the colleges' project proponents, taking into consideration the municipalities and remote areas that the university has not yet reached.
In his message, TSU President Dr. Arnold E. Velasco stressed the need to have extension services with an impact.
“We really want to have an impact on the projects that we will be implementing for the next three years. Seryoso po kaming magkakaroon ng impact because this is three years, which is not just ‘pabalat-bunga’ lang. Kaya kailangan namin ng impact [because] this is not just an easy job for the proponents,” Pres. Velasco said.
He also assured the partner beneficiaries that the university would be hands-on in implementing the projects and addressing concerns.
“In every project, there will always be challenges and problems. Expect po natin 'yan. Sa tatlong taon na 'yan, we will be expecting problems, minor and major, as part of any project. But we have this monitoring and evaluation, mangungulit po kami palagi sa inyong mga lugar. Meron po tayong mga officials who will be going to your places to monitor the progress po. At sabihin niyo po anong problema so that, as soon as possible, we can address these problems,” he further said.
In addition, Vice President for Academic Affairs Dr. Agnes M. Macaraeg affirmed that the initial steps in building the partnership and creating the MOA already made an impact on the community.
“Watching the AVP earlier, we had heard the testimony of our partners. So, with that alone, it already shows that we, at Tarlac State University, already created an impact [on] the community within the province of Tarlac,” VP Macaraeg said in her closing remarks.
She also said the university does not only work in the province and the country but also globally since the projects are anchored on the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
“At Tarlac State University, we are working very hard to attain by 2030 the mantra of the UN SDGs that no one will be left behind,” VP Macaraeg added.
Moreover, the College Extension Chairpersons (CECs), who are primarily in charge of these projects, underwent training with the University of the Philippines National College of Public Administration and Governance (UP NCPAG) to do baseline analyses in creating research-based extension programs.
“Others are sustained partnerships, from the small projects before to the holistic projects to be adapted in the next three years. Nag-undergo po sila (CECs) ng trainings. Kinuha po natin ang UP NCPAG to help the university in developing the projects, doing social preparations, and conducting baseline analysis para matukoy ano ba 'yung kailangan ninyo (beneficiaries),” Dr. Lea B. Milan, Office of the University Extension Services OIC Director, said in her speech.
In the first quarter of 2023, the colleges had served 103 projects compared to the 200 projects conducted in 2022.
The university allotted 23.8 million pesos for these projects for the next three years, where 11 million pesos will be appropriated for the first year of implementation.
Some of the projects are the College of Arts and Social Sciences' "Aytalakad Ing Lahi: Building the Capacity of the Magan-tzi Community to Achieve Cultural Preservation" for Siito Manibayukan of Capas town and the DepEd Capas and Bamban and the College of Teacher Education's "Kasudlong: Extending Quality Service for Maruglo Elementary School and Residents."
Meanwhile, Dr. Agnes P. Ladia, as the representative of the project proponents, committed the university's "talents, time, and treasure" to the partner beneficiaries.
“We believe in extending our letter T for TSU – our talents. We commit our talents to all the communities and all the organizations who are in partnership with us. We also commit another T which is our time; and despite our busy schedule, we will include in our schedule the time to be with you to help you out in all of the commitments we have had with you; especially since we conducted the baseline conversation with you, so we know your needs. We have prepared some activities to help you out. And hopefully, that’s going to help you. And of course, we’ll also commit another T which is our treasure. When we say treasures, the treasures of TSU which is 11M (million) – for this one alone is 11M,” Dr. Ladia said.
Dr. Ladia is the project proponent of CTEd's "Lugud 2.0: Lead, Uplift, Generate, Uncover, Deepen their Professional Development" for the Tarlac City Schools Division-Tarlac South A District.
Last April 19, during the separate MOA signing with the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology-Tarlac, the partner beneficiary of the College of Public Administration and Governance, Pres. Velasco volunteered to teach the basics of troubleshooting electrical problems as a licensed electrical engineer. (jlmm-OPA)