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MCC forms consortium with universities, colleges to save rivers

The Mabalacat City College (MCC) and six state universities and colleges in the Philippines have formed a consortium with the objective of conserving rivers in their respective communities.

This initiative was formalized through the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on September 30, 2023, at MCC.

Recognizing the importance of protecting and preserving these crucial waterways, these higher education institutions are motivated to extend their services towards this cause. The consortium aims to collaborate with international partners, whom they established connections with at the NAFSA 2023 conference in the USA, intending to share facilities for conducting scientific research and develop programs that can empower universities and colleges to play a more active role in conserving water resources, given the Philippines’ status as an archipelago.

During the MoU signing event, Atty. Lily Frieda Macabangun Milla, CHED-IAS Director, expressed the significance of higher education in sustaining aquatic life.

Meanwhile, US Embassy Deputy Director for Public Engagement, Pauline Anderson, accompanied by Education USA specialist Christine Catindig, offered their support in fostering partnerships and collaborations.

Dr. Michelle Aguilar-Ong, the President of MCC College, expressed that the consortium’s establishment aims to contribute to the conservation of the Sapang Balen river, which is currently filled with lahar sand.

Additionally, she emphasized that this initiative is in line with the priorities and direction set by Mayor Crisostomo Garbo during his State of the City Address (SoCA), which primarily focused on achieving Sustainable Development Goals.

“By actively participating in this consortium, we not only represent the vision of MCC and LGU, but also the hopes of the community to witness the Sapang Balen river flourish once again as a thriving waterway,” Aguilar-Ong said.

The consortium comprises of Aklan State University, Bataan Peninsula State University, Benguet State University, Cavite State University, Cebu Normal University, Mabalacat City College, and Rizal Technological College.

All the presidents of these institutions, with the exception of Benguet State University, were in attendance, with its Vice President as representive. Each officer expressed their unwavering dedication to this undertaking.