|LandBank President and CEO Gilda Pico (4th from left)
receives a certificate of appreciation from
IRRI Deputy Director General for Communication and
Partnerships V. Bruce J. Tolentino (4th from right).
The deed of donation for the scholarship was signed by officials of the Landbank of the Philippines (Landbank), a financial institution of the Philippine government, and the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) on 23 April 2013 at the Landbank Plaza in Malate, Manila.
The scholarship program, called Gawad Pag-aaral Tungo sa Maunlad na Bayan or Gawad-PATNUBAY, offers grants to 50 scholars—28 for college degrees scholarship in agriculture and 22 for TESDA-certified technical-vocational education program.
Each scholar is entitled to a 100% tuition fee subsidy, a monthly stipend, a book allowance, and a uniform allowance. He/she will also receive employment assistance upon graduation.
Landbank provided the funds for the scholarship program, which IRRI will administer.
Five universities are initially covered in the program, which will be implemented starting June 2014. These are the University of the Philippines Los Baños, Central Luzon State University, Visayas State University, Central Mindanao University, and University of Southern Mindanao. More partner schools will be added to the program.
Recognizing IRRI's training track record and extensive network with educational institutions nationwide, Landbank chose the Institute to implement the program that aims to stabilize the declining number of agriculture graduates.
“We are grateful to have IRRI as our implementing partner for the college scholarship program. We are confident that through this program, we can help provide a solid base of education for the next generation of rice scientists and agri-preneurs and infuse much-needed fresh blood into the country’s agriculture and cooperative,” said Gilda Pico, Landbank president and CEO.
V. Bruce J. Tolentino, IRRI’s deputy director general for communication and partnerships, cited the 'shared history' between IRRI and Landbank. Both were founded in the 1960s and share the same vision of combating poverty and food insecurity.
“We are moved by the same innovation for public good—innovation that is exemplified and actualized through education,” Dr. Tolentino said.
The Landbank donation comes during the Philippines' National Year of Rice, set aside by the government to celebrate Filipino rice farmers and ensure the ongoing development of the Philippines’ rice sector through the education of the next generation of rice scientists and agricultural experts.
Landbank, IRRI launch scholarship program for agriculture (PIA)
GLandbank offers college scholarship grants to agriculture students nationwide (GMA News)
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