THE University of San Carlos (USC), Santa Clara University of the United States and the Ramon Aboitiz Foundation Inc. (Rafi) have agreed to implement projects to alleviate poverty in Cebu.

Fr. Dionisio Marcelo Miranda, USC president, said that poverty alleviation is the core of the program, which somebody called a “microscopic” approach to uplift the living condition of the people from the grassroot level.

“We want to address those not normally given enough attention by the government,” said Miranda.

Santa Clara University officials led by Fr. Michael Engh visited USC last Friday, and sat down with Miranda and other USC and Rafi officials led by chief operating officer Dominica B. Chua and Jon Ramon Aboitiz, Aboitiz Equity Ventures chairman.

Engh was accompanied by Jeff Miller, Santa Clara University trustee.

Also present during the meeting were Challoner A. Matero, dean of the USC School of Business and Economics; assistant dean Melanie De Ocampo; and Fr. Anthony Salas, USC vice president for administration.

Engh said that the two universities and Rafi will collaborate on what kind of programs they will undertake to achieve this goal.

Miranda said that there has to be a specific interface and it is for the collaboration of the Miller Center for Social Entrepreneurship of Santa Clara University, USC School of Business and Economics, and Rafi.

“This is the way–that universities should really operate in an ideal context. Universities are created in order to address that various needs–personal, economic, political and social needs of a community. And this program (between USC, Santa Clara University and Rafi) will address them,” said Miranda.

On the side of the USC, Miranda said that the situation is reversed already because we are here for a long time.

But we can realign so that we can create an entirely different product.

Miranda said that the focus beneficiaries of the partnership with Santa Clara and Rafi are the micro and small businessmen.

During their discussion, Miranda talked about “hogpreneurship,” which aimed to increase pig production by providing the right technology and good marketing.

They also discussed the “gozopreneurship” to increase seaweed production.

“I like it especially that carageenan, a byproduct of seaweed is in demand around the world,” said Aboitiz.

Miranda said the reason why the people of Bantayan Island, which has been known for its abundance of marine products like fish, are usually producing dried fish is because of the lack of cold storage.

“If they will be provided with cold storage equipment, they might be able to sell fresh fish and marine life in mainland Cebu,” said Miranda.