SM Prime Holdings Inc. (SM Prime) has partnered with the University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB) to further promote the country’s pursuit of sustainable development.
Through a scholarship grant, SM Prime aims to assist select students pursue undergraduate degrees in Bachelor of Science in Human Ecology (BSHE) and Bachelor of Science in Forestry (BSF) – courses geared towards sustainability.
The scholarship will be awarded to students from low-income households in Pasay City intended to provide better employment prospects and help reduce poverty and inequality, which are major obstacles to sustainable development.
Members of the University of the Philippines Los Banos (UPLB) and SM Prime Holdings Inc ink partnership to create scholarships geared towards sustainable development. Present during the signing are (From left) UPLB College of Forestry and Natural Resources Dean Marlo Mendoza, UPLB College of Human Ecology Dean Dr. Ricardo Sandalo, SM Prime AVP and Head of Marketing, PR, and Communications Rida Reyes Castillo, UPLB Chancellor Dr. Jose Camacho Jr., and Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Dr. Janette Malata-Silva.
Collaboration for innovation and sustainability
In an interview, UPLB Chancellor Dr. Jose Camacho, Jr. shared his optimism about the partnership, citing the impact of education, especially sustainability-related fields of studies, in social and economic mobility.
“The scholarship will enable more students to pursue their studies in areas related to sustainability such as environmental science, renewable energy, and sustainable agriculture. By investing in education in these areas, we are preparing a new generation of leaders who will have the knowledge and skills to address the complex environmental and social challenges facing our world today,” Dr. Camacho said.
“It will encourage research and development in areas related to sustainability. By providing support for students to pursue advanced studies, we are creating a pipeline of future researchers and innovators who can develop solutions to pressing environmental and social problems,” he added.
Aside from enabling students to pursue their education without financial burden, the UPLB chancellor believes that the scholarship can produce competent leaders capable of solving complex environmental and social challenges, and create a pipeline of innovative researchers.
He further stressed how fostering collaborations and innovation in sustainability between the academic community and the private sector can lead to new environmentally and socially responsible products, technologies, and services that contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals.
SM Prime AVP and Head of Marketing, PR, and Communications Rida Reyes Castillo signed the memorandum of agreement alongside UPLB Chancellor Dr. Jose Camacho Jr. The scholarship formed under the partnership continues SM Prime’s pursuit of sustainable development.
Ripples of social good
SM Prime AVP and Head of Marketing, PR, and Communications Rida Reyes Castillo shared that the partnership between SM Prime and UPLB is a testament to the shared commitment of both institutions towards promoting sustainability and creating a better future for the next generation.
By supporting the education of would-be scholars, SM Prime hopes to create ripples of social good within families and communities, ultimately contributing to the development of a more sustainable and equitable society.
“Improving the well-being of its partner communities and investing in people’s growth have long been among SM Prime’s sustainability pillars woven at the core of its business strategies and operations. As such, SM Prime deems it important to create programs that would provide access to quality education for all, and in the long term, create a pool of proactive human resources who can responsibly carry out and balance the economic, social and environmental aspects of a society’s sustainable development aspirations,” Castillo said.
“SM Prime believes UPLB would be the best partner to support its sustainability initiatives in promoting a conducive learning environment while honing new Iskolars ng Bayan leaders committed to knowledge creation and public service,” she also said.