HomeInfraLopez-led infra unit earns top UK plum

Lopez-led infra unit earns top UK plum


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First Balfour Inc., a unit of the Lopez Group, engaged in the engineering and construction business, has received the highest level of recognition as an employer from Investors in People (IIP), a London-based international body that sets global standards in people management.

First Balfour has earned the IIP’s Platinum Award accreditation after it hurdled the standardization body’s rigorous audit and assessment benchmarks for managing employees.

In earning the prestigious award, First Balfour has become the first and the only engineering and construction company in the Philippines to earn this highest level of accreditation from IIP.

“The IIP recognition, which is contained in a 46-page report, reaffirms our commitment to the development of our people — the driving force behind our success,” Carlos Pedro C. Salonga, First Balfour head of human resources, said.

“This further supports our company’s brand as a great employer and an outperforming place to work with.”

Rare distinction

IIP rarely bestows Platinum accreditation to organizations, and no more than 2 percent of all IIP-accredited organizations have met standards worthy of this level of accolade. IIP bestowed the award to First Balfour during a virtual ceremony on 14 June 2024.

“Achieving this award is the culmination of the collective efforts of our leaders and employees in building and preserving a high performance, high engagement culture. It is a testament to the shared aspirations of the entire organization in creating a work environment whose main differentiating capability is its people practices, setting it apart from its competitors,” Salonga added.

First Balfour has shown consistent improvement in satisfying IIP’s standards since it received its first IIP recognition back in 2010. It earned from IIP a Bronze Award in 2013; a Silver Award in 2017; and a Gold Award in 2020 before it snagged the Platinum this year.

55 years in business

“And as we celebrate our 55th anniversary this year, we continue to look forward to more exciting innovations from our employees and co-creators that enable our company to fulfill its mission and commitment to a sustainable future,” Salonga declared.

A subsidiary of Lopez-led First Philippine Holdings (FPH), First Balfour initially relied on business mainly from other Lopez Group companies when it was organized way back in 1969. It has since then expanded its business by helping more and more projects being undertaken by companies outside the FPH Group.

Today, the bulk of First Balfour’s revenues come from non-FPH clients. It has participated in constructing some of the country’s biggest infrastructure projects including Manila Water Co.’s water service improvement project, the Cebu-Cordova Link Expressway, the North Luzon Expressway, and the Light Rail Transit Line 1 Cavite Extension, among others.

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