First Balfour signed yesterday, August 16, a memorandum of agreement (MOA) with the Mariano Marcos State University (MMSU) granting scholarships to underprivileged engineering students in Ilocos Norte. Piloted in MMSU, the company’s scholarship program for tertiary education forms part of its commitment to help uplift the lives of its host communities through education.
Under the agreement, four students from across the fields of civil engineering, electrical engineering, and mechanical engineering will be determined as scholars through the recommendation of Ilocos Norte Vice Governor Hon. Cecilia Araneta-Marcos. The academic scholarship grant covers living allowance, book and transportation allowances, and dormitory fees for the entire four years of engineering education of the chosen beneficiaries.
Highlighting the Philippine government’s massive investments in infrastructure in recent years, First Balfour President and Chief Operating Officer Anthony Fernandez shared in his speech that “First Balfour is heavily involved in a number of these [infrastructure] projects and the first thing that comes to our mind is ‘Do we have enough people to do it?’ It’s a big struggle [thus] we have been making investments in developing human capital. And this is actually our first time supporting engineering students.”
He also described how it was working with Ilocanos through First Balfour’s experience in the Burgos Wind and Solar Farm. “Having a team of people from this area, we have witnessed and experienced the work ethic and integrity of the people of Ilocos Norte,” he added.
Established in 1978, MMSU currently offers over 60 degree programs at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Its sprawling 300-hectare main campus is located in Batac City while it also has other campuses in Laoag City and in the towns of Currimao and Dingras. The MMSU College of Engineering was formally established in 1986 and is currently one of the top performing engineering schools in the country.