First Balfour president Anthony Fernandez (right) and human resources group head Carlos Pedro Salonga (2nd from left) with GBLNHS principal Catalina Pedong and VNHS principal Helen FuentesFirst Balfour has found new partner schools in Ormoc City for the implementation of Project K12, its education program aimed at supporting the K to 12 program of the Department of Education.
The company signed a memorandum of agreement with Valencia National High School (VNHS) and Genaro B. Lureñana National High School (GBLNHS) for a collaboration which will improve the schools’ course offerings under the technical-vocational track in senior high school (SHS).
In this partnership, First Balfour and its vendors will provide essential materials and resources necessary for the success of the shielded metal arc welding (SMAW) course in GBLNHS and the electrical installation and maintenance (EIM) course in VNHS. These include equipment, tools and educational resources that will be made accessible to the students, ensuring a comprehensive learning experience.
Since its launch in 2016, Project K12 has been able to support over 400 SHS students in Parañaque. Its success there, seen in the support provided to schools such as Parañaque National High School and Dr. Arcadio Santos National High School, laid the groundwork for its expansion into other regions. Having been part of the local community in Leyte for many years, First Balfour saw the opportunity to provide Ormocanon SHS students with immediate employment options postgraduation. Approximately 64 students enrolled in the SMAW and EIM courses are not just gaining skills but are also being prepared for a future that could include working with First Balfour.
In a separate event, the HRemployee engagement team and the Leyte Geothermal Business Unit project management team visited Tongonan Elementary School to hand over the donations from the company’s Balik Eskwela donation drive. Kindergarten and Grade 1 pupils received school supplies along with umbrellas to aid them in their daily commutes.
These recent activities not only affirm First Balfour’s commitment to education—one of the two centerpiece elements in its strategic sustainability programs—but also showcased the tangible impact of private sector involvement in public education.
(Story/Photos by: Dolly Pasia-Ramos)