John B. Lacson Colleges Foundation (Bacolod), Inc., represented by Engr. Roberto Neal Sobrejuanita and ARES Merchants Maritime Scholarship Foundation, represented by Michael Joseph Anthony Marquez with Pinky Ocampo, led the signing of the memorandum of understanding purposely for the maritime scholarship and job placement program for the deserving students of the said institution.

Other signatories to the MOU were Michael Marquez, President of INDONEG Sales & Marketing, Napoleon Pefianco, Global CEO of ARES Merchants and 2ndmate Eleno Sing.

The signing was held at Hotel and Management building, JBLCFI compound, on December 1, 2022.

The said partnership was anchored on the ARES aim to grant scholarships to deserving students, improve maritime educational standards by integrating international shipping procedures and assist scholars/other seafarers to land jobs at international shipping companies.

ARES will grant at least 20 scholars a year who will be chosen from the top students as recommended by JBLCFI.

The scholarship will begin in the school year 2023-2024.

The scholarship is open to male and female student applicants.

Marquez said they look forward to this partnership not only to provide educational scholarships for the students and ensure their competency but also are excited to work with them and the JBLCFI and create a synergy with the ship owners to tailor fit their capability and competence vis-a-vis the current demand.

For his part Pefianco, Global CEO, of ARES Merchants, said they are here to support the students fulfill their ambition to become maritime workers (seafarers) overseas.

Moreover, Captain Jolyn Tay, Deputy Port Master in Singapore, is the first female captain of the VLCC was invited to grace the occasion and be among the signatories of the MOU. But she was not able to come due to an equally significant occasion.



To aid in nation-building by improving the quality of our OFW Seafarers who not only contribute to the total OFW remittances but also strive hard to uplift their own families by educating their succeeding generations, ensuring a better future for their hometowns, country, and ultimately the Filipino people.


To make Negros Island the home of the best seafarers in the world by giving scholarships and working closely with local maritime schools to produce the most competent, hardworking, and morally upright sailors who will be globally sought after by international shipping companies while promoting gender equality within the industry.


ARES Merchants is a global player in the palm oil and other fats market-based in Singapore. Established in the Philippines in 2019, ARES now holds a 25% national market share of palm oil consumption in the Philippines. The company constantly charters ships and tankers for its oil importations and appreciates what the quality shipping crew does for the business. Being very connected to the shipping industry, ARES has focused its CSR efforts on developing local seafarers to aid nation-building.


To provide scholarships and international shipping company iob placements, ensuring our beneficiaries' education and good livelihood opportunities upon graduation.

To improve our maritime educational standards by integrating international shippingSOP's into partner school curriculums via our sponsors' school integration program.

To slowly change a gender-biased, male-dominated industry by supporting an equal amount of females to excel via scholarship & job placement programs.