The University of Santo Tomas, through the Department of Sociology of the Faculty of Arts and Letters and the Simbahayan Community Development Office (SCDO), formalized its engagement with the leaders of the Samahan ng Nagkakaisang Kababaihan ng Baseco Compound of Barangay 649, Manila City through the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the President of the community organization, Marianita T. Esmolo, and the administrators of UST Faculty of Arts and Letters, Dean Marilu R. Madrunio, PhD and Regent fr. Rodel E. Aligan, O.P, SThD. Simbahayan Director Froilan A. Alipao and community collaborator Dr. Maria Carinnes Alejandria turned over the signed MOU to the leaders of the organization on October 4, 2020 at Block Aplaya, Baseco Compound.
The MoU stipulates the continued support, such as but not limited to materials, financial resources, and expertise, of UST for the projects of the Baseco community, which shall be subjected to regular assessments and evaluation for improvement purposes. Meanwhile, the Samahan commits to actively pursue the agreed-upon community development projects and liaise with UST on a regular basis.
The agreement will last until 2022. The MoU formalizes what has for years been sustained engagement between Alejandria and fellow Thomasians with the Baseco community, where community development projects such as education campaigns on tuberculosis, provision of clean water, and the maintenance of a community pharmacy, known as Klinika Tomas, have been sustained.