THE OFFICE for Community Development (OCD) launched the first Action Camp for Thomasian Students (Acts), which seeks to rally Thomasian volunteerism in helping build houses for Aytas in Sitio Mabilog, Tarlac this summer.

According to OCD director and Acts project coordinator Joey Cruz, the housing project, the first of its kind for UST, will benefit the University’s 16 partner communities.

“The problem of these community areas is land ownership. Now that the Aytas have been granted certificates of ancestral domain, which is the first step towards titling the land, we can build houses for them,” Cruz said.

The comprehensive development plan, which was conceptualized both by the OCD and the partner community, was finalized last June. But Cruz explained that the summer break was the ideal time to start the project.

OCD aims to build 40 houses in Sitio Mabilog by December 2004. Cruz said that the construction materials would come from external sponsors while the University would fund the operational expenses.

“We are keeping our fingers crossed. Hopefully we would be able to raise the P2.4 million budget needed to finish the project,” Cruz said.

Acts would be undertaken annually, Cruz said. Each year the OCD would arrange projects in line with the four parts of the comprehensive development program: environmental conservation, health and sanitation, livelihood, and housing.

Deadline for volunteer applications is March 29. Mary Abigail S. Austriaco

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