TUBA, Benguet – Igorots can excel in their respective fields of profession once provided with the proper education, the first Igorot mine executive said here recently.
Philex president and chief executive officer Engr. Eulalio B. Austin, Jr. admitted having mixed emotions when he was offered the job to become the company’s top executive because he was not a graduate of the prestigious Manila-based universities.
However, he claimed that the firm’s Board of Directors committed to allow him to take advance studies in the Asian Institute of Management (AIM) and Harvard University in the United States that allowed him to acquire skills and knowledge on how to effectively and efficiently manage big corporations such as the Philex Mining Corporation.
Austin, who is a mining engineering graduate of the Saint Louis University (SLU) in Baguio City, climbed the leader of success in the company until his appointment as president and chief executive officer, making him the first Igorot to occupy the top post in a prestigious mining company.
The Philex official is now pushing that bulk of the funds of the mandatory Social Development and Management Program (SDMP) of mining companies should be used purposely for the education of the children of mine workers and the qualified individuals living in host and neighboring communities for them to acquire higher levels of education that will allow them to excel in their chosen fields of profession.
According to him, individuals must have continuous education in their chosen fields of expertise to be updated on the latest trends in their work and for them to ably deal with the rapid changes and use the developments in advancing and improving their own work to be at par with their fellow workers in their workplaces.
According to him, pursuing advanced studies locally and overseas will contribute in improving one’s overall perception on how to effectively and efficiently manage people in their workplaces and empower them to remain productive to help in their growth and development.
He is elated over the increase in the number of Igorots and siblings of mine workers who are now taking up mining-related courses in the various higher educational institutions which opens up the opportunities for the availability of mining professionals in the future considering the lack of the said professionals.
Austin explained that by ensuring the availability of scholarship programs under the SDMP for individuals to take up mining-related courses, individuals will be encouraged to enroll in these courses and beef up the availability of mining professionals for the future, especially with the opening of more mines in various parts of the country.
He claimed that Philex was instrumental in the opening of the mining engineering course in SLU because the company offered to shoulder the payment of the salaries of the instructors and the purchase of the needed equipment and other teaching guides just to ensure that the higher education institution will open the course which is now enticing the youth to take up mining-related course due to the high demand for mining professionals locally and overseas considering the bright future for this extractive industry. By Dexter A. See