Thirty-four years ago, a group of Filipino engineers headed by Pat Mangonan, Jr., Edgar H. Buyco and Dennis T. Quinto, envisioned a socio-professional organization that would embody the Filipino "Bayanihan spirit”- which in its essence is a blend of sharing and cooperation.  Their desire to help one another in their new adopted country, raise their standard of professionalism, and provide a vehicle for self-expression and leadership, and assist members through job networking, paved the way for the creation of the Philippine Engineers and Scientists Organization (PESO).

The first organizational meeting was held at Dalton, Illinois on November 3, 1973.  The founding members of PESO who were present in that first meeting were, Edgar Buyco, Rolando Elvambuena, Pat Mangonan (elected first PESO President), Jose Mutuc, Frank Padilla, Dennis Quinto, and Antonio Ramos.  Filipino engineers and scientists in the Chicago-Northwest Indiana area welcomed the idea with great enthusiasm.  On March 9, 1974, a second meeting was held, at which time, the name and by-laws of the organization were adopted.  At the meeting on May 11, 1974, the first officers were elected.

In 1983, a $10,000 scholarship fund was established.  A major infusion to the fund's asset was made by the 1993 PESO administration in the amount of $11,550.  Subject to the rules established for the program, the scholarship is open to graduating high school students of Filipino parentage, who have been accepted to any collegiate scientific or engineering curriculum.  To date, PESO scholarship award recipients total 49 deserving Filipino students here in the United States and in the Philippines.  PESO has been contributing annually to the DeVry University scholarship program since 1996.

In 1990, the Internal Revenue Services (IRS) recognized PESO as a non-profit and tax-exempt organization.  During the same year, the TOKTEN program (Transfer of Knowledge Through Expatriate Nationals) under the sponsorship of the United Nations awarded participation to PESO.  Dr. Edgar Buyco, Dr. Arnaldo Derecho, and Dr. Agustin Jumawan represented PESO in 1990 and by Mrs. Edith Ardiente in 1993.  Each of them spent at least two weeks in the Philippines giving lectures at several universities and meeting with top government and business sector representatives.

In 1992, the PESO STAC (Science and Technology Advisory Council) under the sponsorship of the Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs was formed.  The main goal of STAC is promote sharing of expertise and technology transfer to assist the Philippines in attaining the status of "Newly Industrialized Nation" by the 21st century.  PESO had made donations in the past to the University of the Philippines, e.g. computer hardware and its agenda includes support of charitable and civic programs to help the needy in the Philippines.  PESO has also extended helping hands to the Habitat for Humanity program. 

In 1998 PESO started sponsoring an annual technical essay contest for Filipino- American grade school and high school students in the Chicago area.  Since then, $2,600 in U.S. savings bonds has been awarded to deserving winners.  In that same year, PESO also established the "Innovation Award" which carries a cash prize and is open to young Filipino-American inventors.  In 1999 PESO donated $5,000 for the construction and maintenance of the Rizal monument in Chicago. In 2001, the PESO constitution was amended to extend the Executive Board members’ term of service to two years.

The organization continues to pursue activities for the professional, cultural and social advancement of its members.  Review classes for the Professional Engineers and Engineer-in-training have been conducted annually since 1975.  These classes have benefited members and have helped a significant number become professional engineers in several states.  Interdisciplinary lectures and seminars have also been organized and conducted.

© 2011 Philippine Engineers and Scientists Organization

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