17 January 2017

DONE DEAL. DOST led by Sec. Fortunato T. de la Peña (second to left) and SEI Director Dr. Josette T. Biyo (leftmost) signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Malaysia’s Universiti Teknologi PETRONAS (UTP) led by Vice Chancellor Datuk Ir (Dr) Abdul Rahim Bin Hj Hashim (second to right) and Associate Professor Dr. Fawnizu Azmadi B Hussin. The partnership will allow faculties of Palawan State University and Batangas State University to hone their expertise in the field of Petroleum Engineering and Energy Science.

The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) recently inked a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Universiti Teknologi PETRONAS (UTP)—a Malaysian private university— that will allow Filipino teachers to hone their expertise in the field of Petroleum Engineering as well as Mechanical Engineering through scholarships in masters and doctorate.

In a ceremony held recently at UTP in Perak, Malaysia, DOST Secretary Fortunato T. de la Peña and Science Education Institute (SEI) Director, Dr. Josette T. Biyo, led the Philippine contingent in signing the MOU with UTP’s Vice Chancellor Datuk Ir (Dr) Abdul Rahim Bin Hj Hashim. The MOU will allow faculty members from the Palawan State University (PSU) and Batangas State University (BSU), the only universities in the Philippines offering BS Petroleum Engineering, to pursue graduate studies in the aforementioned fields under the Foreign Scholarship Component of the Accelerated Science and Technology Human Resource Development Program (ASTHRDP) of DOST-SEI.

De la Peña said the agreement is a response to the immediate need to build capacities of BSU and PSU faculties for them to better train future petroleum engineers who will be exploring the oil and gas deposits, and other energy resources of the country, and working in other areas of the energy sector. 

“They will pursue MS Petroleum Engineering and Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering at UTP. Hopefully, after four (4) years we will be able to succeed in our desire to have enhanced the skills of these scholars so that they will be more empowered to teach what they have learned to their students in their respective universities in the Philippines,” said de la Peña.

Datuk Abdul Rahim said that while UTP rarely partners with any government agency, the collaboration with Asian countries is a very important step for Malaysia to improve its industries and become globally competitive.

“There is always something to learn from each other, especially through these student and staff exchange programs,” said Datuk Abdul Rahim. “The MOU is the beginning of a more and longer relationship.”

The six scholars who will take MS in Petroleum Engineering and the two to avail of the Ph.D in Mechanical Engineering will begin their classes this month. The target graduation is in 2021.

“We highly appreciate the fact that our scholars will be trained in one of Malaysia’s leading science and technology institutions of higher learning,” de la Peña disclosed. (30)

DOST Secretary Fortunato T. de la Peña and SEI Director Dr. Josette T. Biyo with officials of UTP