Metrobank Foundation, Inc. (MBFI) president and GT Foundation, Inc. (GTFI) executive director Aniceto Sobrepeña (seated, 4th from left) and Department of Social Welfare and Development OIC Emmanuel Leyco (3rd from left) lead the ceremonial turnover of assorted food items to beneficiary families during the MOA signing for the 2018 Bags of Blessing at the DSWD Central Office in Quezon City last February 8, 2018. Joining them are MBFI executive director Nicanor Torres, Jr. and DSWD Undersecretary Florita Villar.In support of the government’s anti-poverty programs, the GT Foundation, Inc. (GTFI)—the family foundation of Metrobank Group founder and chairman Dr. George S.K. Ty—together with the Metrobank Foundation, Inc. (MBFI), renewed its partnership with the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) for the conduct of the 2018 Bags of Blessing (BOB). DSWD officer-in-charge Emmanuel Leyco and MBFI president and GTFI executive director Aniceto Sobrepeña led the MOA signing held on February 8, 2018 at the DSWD Central Office in Quezon City.
Now on its sixth year, BOB is a series of nationwide gift-giving activities catering to underprivileged families in select areas nationwide in celebration of Chinese New Year. Instead of the traditional “ang-paos” (red envelopes containing monetarial gifts), bags containing PhP 1,000 worth of food items will be distributed to 10,000 underprivileged families. A total of PHP 10 million worth of these bags are slated for distribution in 21 cities and municipalities nationwide.
“Amidst the festivities of the Chinese New Year, we must remember those who live in the margins—that they too must be able to celebrate. Guided by the values of our chairman Dr. George S.K. Ty, Bags of Blessing is our small contribution towards providing families with dignity and self-respect that befits the Filipino,” said Sobrepeña. “Towards this end, we are privileged to work with DSWD and all our partners in giving back to those in need,” he continued.
For his part, Leyco expressed appreciation for the efforts by GTFI and MBFI, saying that the BOB “is a welcome development in our mutual desire and commitment towards social protection and social development.” He also noted that DSWD looks forward to more fruitful partnerships with the Foundations in the future, with the goal of reaching “our fellowmen who are most vulnerable and marginalized.”
The 2018 BOB kicks off on February 16 at Lancaster City in Gen. Trias, Cavite, reaching out to 500 families. Distributions will also be held in the following countryside areas, with 400 to 500 beneficiary families each: Sta. Rosa City, Laguna; Baras, Rizal; Infanta, Quezon; Botolan, Zambales; Iloilo City; Cebu City; Naval, Biliran; Ormoc City; Davao City; Surigao City; General Santos City; and Talacogon, Agusan del Sur. For the National Capital Region, selected sites include the City of Manila, Taguig City, Pasay City, Marikina City, Quezon City, Makati City, Navotas City, and Caloocan City.
Majority of the beneficiaries were selected from DSWD’s Listahanan, a database of poor families in the Philippines. Priority is given to families who live below the poverty line, those affected recently by calamities, members of Indigenous Peoples (IP) communities, and those who are not yet part of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps).
In addition to DSWD, implementation partners for the 2018 BOB include the different subsidiaries and affiliates of GT Capital Holdings and the Metrobank Group, the Armed Forces of the Philippines, the Philippine National Police, and local government units.