Excellence-driven MFI Foundations Vice Chairman for External Affairs Col. Alejandro Teves Escaño strongly advocates developing our agricultural system as a way for our nation to progress. Alex, as he is fondly called by peers and friends, is either president or founder or officer of the many organizations he has helped put up. Among them are the Meralco Foundations Inc. where he was president for 15 years, the Phil. Chamber of Agriculture and Food where he is the founding chairman, and the Technical Vocational School Associations of the Philippines.

His primary goal is to help people help themselves, and he truly excels in his mission of providing services to other people. As a member of the MFI Foundations Inc. board of directors, he proposed the establishment of a school specializing in vocational and skills development.

Yearly, the MFI gives grants to 200 students after screening them from about 3,000 applicants. Thru “ladderized” training, students are trained in vocational courses where they get a certificate of completion after finishing a short course. They may work after that, and then continue to a higher level while working.

Col. Escaño stresses that our focus should be on agriculture. Farmers and local farming methods can be upgraded so that we can be progressive and at par with our neighboring countries like Taiwan and the U.S. While advocating the establishment of farm schools, and now we have 12 farm schools all over the country, he believes that our Agrarian Reform law has so much room for improvement. He cites the example of Taiwan, which is very successful in its agrarian reform program.

He hopes that our government would give more support to its beneficiaries and revise the agrarian reform program, perhaps using Taiwan as its model.(Liza T. Rico)