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GT Foundation, Inc. and Metrobank Foundation, Inc. virtually kicked off the 2021 Bags of Blessing. The kickoff ceremony was led by (L-R) Metrobank Group chairman Arthur Ty, GTFI honorary chair Mary Ty, Federal Land chairman and GTFI president Alfred Ty, MBFI president Aniceto Sobrepeña, GTFI vice president Anjanette Dy-Buncio, and NASSA/Caritas Philippines executive secretary Fr. Antonio Labiao. Their hand gesture in the photo signifies “Hope for Prosperity.”.

As part of its Chinese New Year celebrations, the GT Foundation, Inc. (GTFI), together with Metrobank Foundation, Inc. (MBFI), virtually kicked off their gift-giving tradition called ‘Bags of Blessing’ on February 11, 2021.

In partnership with the National Secretariat for Social Action (NASSA)/Caritas Philippines, through the assistance of select Metrobank branches, 18,000 families from 33 sites and 3 sectors will receive food packages by presenting their issued vouchers in identified supermarkets from February 12 to February 26. The priority beneficiaries chosen this year are families whose source of living and income was affected by the ongoing pandemic, survivors of recent natural calamities, members of indigenous peoples (IPs) tribes, and select teachers, soldiers, and police officers.

The kickoff ceremony was led by Metrobank Group chairman Arthur Ty, Federal Land chairman and GTFI president Alfred Ty, GTFI honorary chair Mary Ty, GTFI vice president Anjanette Dy-Buncio and MBFI president Aniceto Sobrepeña. Joining them were National Secretariat for Social Action (NASSA)/Caritas Philippines executive secretary Fr. Antonio Labiao, NASSA/Caritas Philippines communications and partnership development coordinator Jing Henderson, and NASSA/Caritas Philippines head of resource generation and mobilization officer Analyn Julian.

“Today marks yet another milestone for us at the GT Foundation as we embark to widen the reach of the Bags of Blessing targeting an increased number of beneficiaries, from the usual 10,000 families to 18,000 families in 33 sites this time,” shared GTFI president Alfred V. Ty. “The sharing of Bags of Blessing is not only about gift-giving and keeping Chinese traditions alive but also to contribute to the national goal to curb hunger. Through our little contribution, we aim to bring food to the tables for the nutritional needs of the average Filipino earner,” he added.

“Nang nabalitaan ko na isa ako sa makakatanggap ng Bags of Blessing, labis akong nagalak kasi sa panahon ngayon napakahirap nang maghanap ng trabaho, Ngayong nahinto ako sa pagtatrabaho, malaking tulong ito para sa pamilya ko (When I heard that I will be one of the recipients of the Bags of Blessing, I was filled with joy since it’s difficult to find a job during this period. Now that I’ve stopped working, this is a big help for my family),” said Reynaldo Baria, a beneficiary from Iloilo City.

To this, MBFI president Aniceto Sobrepeña cites the jubilee year for Christianity in the country, the theme of which reflects the Bags of Blessings’ aspiration. “This year, we’re commemorating the 500th year of Christianity in the Philippines with the theme, “Gifted to Give.” Bags of Blessing is the brainchild of the late Metrobank Group founder and chairman Dr. George Ty Siao Kian. It is inspired by the traditional ang pao, a red envelope containing cash used to deliver best wishes and luck. Instead of cash-giving, specially designed red bags containing P1,000 worth of grocery items are distributed to indigent families. Bags of Blessing carries the same message: that the language of giving transcends differences and prevails even over tough situations,” he said.

Meanwhile, Bishop Jose Colin Bagaforo mentions NASSA/Caritas Philippines’ Alay Kapwa program whose mission strongly identifies with the purpose of Bags of Blessing. “Nagpapasalamat kami sapagkat ang GT Foundation ay aming naging partner sa gawaing ito, at ating maisakatuparan at maisabuhay muli ang isa sa mga hangarin ng Alay Kapwa program: ang makatulong sa ating mga kababayan lalung-lalo na ngayon sa panahon ng pandemya. Isang inspirasyon ito para sa maraming may kakayanang makatulong sa ating kapwa. (We’re grateful that GT Foundation became our partner in this initiative, and we’ll be able to fulfill and live out the aspiration of the Alay Kapwa program: to help our fellowmen especially during this time of pandemic. This is an inspiration to those who have the capacity to help).”

Sites chosen this year are the City of Manila, City of San Juan, Caloocan City, Quezon City, Parañaque City, Navotas City, Valenzuela City, Makati City, Taguig City, Malabon City, Pasay City, Pasig City, Mandaluyong City, Muntinlupa City, Las Piñas City, Marikina City, and Pateros for the National Capital Region (NCR). Balanga City, Bataan; City of San Jose del Monte, Bulacan; Batangas City; Bacoor City; General Trias City; Imus City; Biñan City; City of San Pedro; City of Santa Rosa; Iloilo City; Baguio City; Antipolo City; Cebu City; Mandaue City; Lapu-Lapu City; and Davao City will comprise the countryside.

GT Foundation and the Catholic Church, through the National Secretariat for Social Action (NASSA)/Caritas Philippines sign agreement for 2021 Bags of Blessing (BOB). GT Foundation, Inc. (GTFI) and the NASSA/Caritas Philippines signed a partnership agreement for the conduct of the 2021 Bags of Blessing through a virtual signing of Memorandum of Agreement on October 27, 2020.

The ceremony was led by GTFI executive director Aniceto M. Sobrepeňa and NASSA/Caritas Philippines national director Most Reverend Jose Colin M. Bagaforo, D.D. Joining them were GTFI deputy executive director Nicanor L. Torres, Jr., GTFI assistant executive director Irene D. Labitad, NASSA/Caritas BOT vice chair Bishop Gerry Alminaza and NASSA/Caritas BOT member Bishop Honesto Ongtioco.

Bags of Blessing is a GTFI-led nationwide gift-giving activity initiated by the late Metrobank Group Chairman Dr. George Ty Siao Kian. It is held every Chinese New Year as a way of sustaining the tradition of sharing prosperity among thousands of indigent families nationwide. In 2021, the program will also seek to provide aid to the hardest hit sectors during the COVID-19 pandemic. It will reach out to 18,000 family beneficiaries through the distribution of food items in 33 sites nationwide.

The National Teachers’ Month (NTM) held from September 5 to October 5 carries on with the tradition of honoring the significant role of educators in society. With the theme “I teach for a better future,” the celebration puts the spotlight on teachers who are at the center of the reforms and innovations as the whole nation navigates a new normal—with their commitment to ensure continuity of learning among students stronger than ever.

Every year, the NTM celebrations are led by Metrobank Foundation, Inc., the Department of Education (DepEd), and a consortium of organizations from the government, business, academe, media, civil society, and other industries. This 2020, it once again engages the public to honor the teaching profession and say thank you to their teachers, mentors, and coaches in a month of appreciation.

This 12-year movement began in 2008 when former DepEd secretary and currently De La Salle Philippines president Br. Armin Luistro conferred with Metrobank Foundation president Aniceto Sobrepeña and proposed the idea of a month-long observation to heighten public consciousness and participation in the World Teacher’s Day celebration every October 5.

What began as a simple idea has evolved into a nationwide movement. Since its inception, NTM marked several milestones: in 2011, Presidential Proclamation No. 242 was signed, officially declaring “the period from September 5 to October 5 of every year as National Teachers Month.” In 2016, the Republic Act No. 1073 was also signed, formally designating “October 5 of every year as National Teachers’ Day” which likewise serves as the culminating event of NTM.

Different activities, same celebration

The NTM activities and treats for teachers might be different this time around but the purpose that drives the campaign has not changed.

Throughout the month, partners and other participating organizations organize their own events and offer exclusive treats for teachers. Among those providing opportunities for personal and professional development through webinars and virtual workshops are Microsoft Philippines, Knowledge Channel Foundation, World Vision Foundation, City Savings Bank, Synergeia Foundation, Bato Balani Foundation, Pru Life UK, Globe MyBusiness, and Smart Communications.

Further, some organizations are running specialized events. Museo Pambata Foundation is hosting a teachers’ online party and Philippine Postal Corporation (PHLPost) is inviting the public to write to their teachers through a letter-writing contest.

Meanwhile, several companies are also offering special treats and discounts. These include the Philippine Business for Social Progress, Enchanted Kingdom, Manila Doctors Hospital, and Global Eyecare Center Davao.

Interested teachers may check their social media channels for more information on the said events and treats.

Towards a better future for Filipinos

The pandemic has certainly upended lives and brought many changes. NTM continues to stand in solidarity with educators nationwide whose role is crucial in helping realize a better normal and, most especially, a better future for Filipinos.

DepEd Region I will take the lead in the culminating celebration of NTM on October 10, 2020, making way for the opening of classes on October 5, 2020. They will adopt the theme “Gurong Pilipino para sa Batang Pilipino.” The event will be streamed live on Deped Philippines’ official Facebook page.

The virtual turnover ceremony was led by Metrobank and MBFI chairman Arthur Ty, Metrobank president and MBFI trustee Fabian Dee and MBFI president and GTFI executive director Aniceto Sobrepeña on September 4, 2020 which was attended by key officers and representatives from beneficiary organizations.

Empowerment through dynamic partnerships has been at the heart of Metrobank’s anniversary for the many decades. This 2020, this rings true as it celebrates 58 meaningful years of being the people’s ally in progress. A total of PhP 30 million worth of grants was turned over to social development partners during its annual giving-back tradition, “Anniversary Grants Turnover Ceremony,” on September 4. To adhere to protocols, the event was held virtually attended by key officers and representatives from beneficiary organizations. Serving as Guest of Honor was Department of Education (DepEd) secretary Leonor Magtolis-Briones.

Department of Education secretary Leonor Magtolis-Briones

During this unprecedented period, Metrobank shares in the aspiration of helping Filipinos, most especially the vulnerable and underserved, to get back on their feet. To sustain its commitment to help the national government in addressing the effects and impact of the health crisis to many lives, said donation is added to the previous PhP220 million donation of the company which funded and supported efforts to combat the pandemic.

“The theme of this year’s event is collaboration. In these unusual times, our actions may be physically limited but through strategic partnerships, we can still achieve our objectives by working together,” said Metrobank and MBFI chairman Arthur Ty. “We at Metrobank have always looked at our anniversaries as an opportunity to give back and help the vulnerable and marginalized. There is a lot of need in our country right now but we hope that these small steps lead us to look to the future with some optimism and hope. And we’re grateful to our development partners for helping make this vision a reality,” he added.

Coursed through its social arm, Metrobank Foundation, Inc. (MBFI) and Ty family’s GT Foundation, Inc. (GTFI), this year’s batch of beneficiary organizations received financial aid to implement their programs on health, education, arts, livelihood, and nutrition.


One with the League to Promote Hand Hygiene

As a member of the League of Corporate Foundations (LCF), MBFI will support #LCFWinS: Lingap Eskwela sa Pandemya Program. Collaborating with fellow corporate foundations, WASH (water, sanitation and hygiene) facilities will be constructed in select public schools nationwide in compliance to the ‘Guidelines on the Required Health Standards in Basic Education Offices and Schools’ (DepEd Order No. 014 s. 2020) which covers the protection of health, safety, and well-being of students, teachers, and personnel. To complement the facility, hygiene kits and supplies will also be provided.

MBFI’s donation will benefit almost 29 thousand students from 20 schools in Pasig, Mandaluyong, Quezon City, and Marikina, including La Union, Bulacan, Laguna, Rizal, Zamboanga City and Davao City.

Paddling Farther to Reach More Geographically-Isolated Schools

To reach out to more geographically-isolated schools, MBFI renewed its 7-year partnership with the Yellow Boat of Hope Foundation. This time, not only to provide physical access to education for schoolchildren in the form or boats and school dormitories, MBFI will also provide in-kind donation of printers, copiers and risograph machines to aid teachers in the reproduction of the modules and learning materials. The donation shall benefit more than 20 thousand students from 39 schools in the provinces of Cebu, Romblon, Zamboanga Sibugay, Camarines Sur, Sorsogon, Pampanga, Zambales, Bulacan, Basilan, Siargao, Tarlac, Capiz, Zamboanga del Sur, and Sulu.

Photo from the Department of Education

Meanwhile, another donation of printers, copiers and risograph machines will go directly to select Department of Education public schools to benefit more than 23 thousand students from Manila, Navotas, Makati, Laguna, Sarangani, Leyte, Antique, Dipolog, Nueva Ecija, Iligan, Cavite, Iloilo, and Tarlac.

Art Community Gets Boost of Support

To further solidify support for the local art community, MBFI extended cash assistance to 200 visual artists whose main source of living was impacted by the crisis. Dubbed as MADE CARES (Metrobank Art & Design Excellence–Community Aid and Relief for Emergency Situations), past awardees of MADE Painting and Sculpture Recognition Programs, including eligible Filipino painters and sculptors have applied for the amelioration program.

Ministry to Curb Poverty

Another partnership renewed is that of the International Care Ministries (ICM). As a non-profit organization, ICM provides help, hope and change to impoverished families in Visayas and Mindanao. Through their integrated poverty solutions, 100 thousand ultra-poor Filipinos are assisted each year.

The donation will support their Transform and Prevail programs aimed at training and mentoring families living in ultra-poor communities on livelihood building skills. Transform is ICM’s core strategic program, designed to address the wide range of needs faced by families living in ultrapoverty. Transform starts by creating supportive environments for hope to grow, then invests in building capacity for sustainable progress out of poverty. Prevail, on the other hand, is a support network for savings groups that promotes sustainability towards greater financial inclusion. The assistance will cater to 222 households (1,110 individuals) from six (6) communities in the province Cebu.

‘Kindness Kitchen’ Goes South

From its previous donation to support the ‘Kindness Kitchen’ program of Ronald McDonald’s House Charities of the Philippines (RMHC) that served hot meals to 40 thousand individuals from NCR last April 2020, MBFI will fund additional feeding activities. This time, families and frontliners from the cities of Cebu, Mandaue, and Lapu Lapu, and Davao province will be reached out, other than NCR.

GT Foundation Steps Up Tech-Voc Program

GTFI, the family foundation of the late Dr. George Ty Siao Kian, believes that quality education and equitable healthcare are basic needs that should be made accessible to the underprivileged. Since 2009, philanthropic initiatives of the family are realized through GTFI’s strategic development programs in the areas of health, education, and technology and innovation.

Through its Scholarships for Technical-Vocational Education Program (STEP), out-of-school youth and underprivileged students can gain access to quality education that enable them to gain immediate employment. Scholars of some of the best technical-vocational education and training schools in the country with industry tie-ups for guaranteed employment are supported. The virtual event served as an opportunity to renew the partnership with Dualtech Training Center, Don Bosco Technical Institute, and Punlaan School. Over a period of three (3) years, 150 Dualtech scholars will be supported to meet the manpower demands of specific industries. On the other hand, the 3-year partnership with the Don Bosco Technical Institute will support the technical skills education of 135 scholars from their 3 centers. Lastly, 24 scholars of Punlaan School will have the opportunity to gain proper skills training on hospitality and culinary arts through a 4-year agreement.

Extending Healthcare Privileges to Indigents

Manila Doctors Hospital (MDH) serves as the healthcare affiliate of MBFI which offers social services to indigent patients such as hospitalization and consultation subsidies, medical missions, and other health-related interventions in select communities. Through the annual financial support of GTFI, the corporate social responsibility programs of MDH such as quality non-discriminatory inpatient and outpatient services and surgical operations will reach out to more indigent Filipinos in need of medical assistance.

Laptops and Tablets for Blended Learning

To complement the national government’s groundwork for a blended learning approach for the school year, GTFI launched Project PERFORM (Provision of Equipment to Reinforce Facility of Online and Remote Modality of Learning). The program is targeting to give laptops and tablets to more than 600 qualified students from public and techvoc schools, as well as GTFI and MBFI scholars.

“Sharing has been at the core of Metrobank’s anniversary for the last 58 years. Grants turned over to our partners are intended to benefit those whom they are helping. Our donations are expressions of gratefulness ingrained in our institutional culture,” expressed MBFI president and GTFI executive director Aniceto Sobrepeña. “As we pursue these ideals, we do so honoring the memory of our founder Dr. George Ty Siao Kian. He envisioned a bequest that would go well beyond his lifetime, enabling and ennobling men to build a world where sound health, quality education, and productive lives are everyone’s portion,” he concluded.

Metrobank and GT Capital Holdings, Inc., through the Metrobank Foundation, Inc. (MBFI) and GT Foundation, Inc. (GTFI), donated P18 million to the Philippine Red Cross (PRC) for the setting-up of an additional molecular laboratory capable of detecting COVID-19 and other contagious diseases. .

The facility situated at the former PRC Headquarters in Port Area Manila is capable of testing 2,000 samples a day, equipped with automated extraction machines and will be accredited by the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine-Department of Health to operate during this crisis.

PRC recently established this pioneer facility at the PRC Tower in Mandaluyong City. It has two complete testing systems consisting of Automated RNA Extraction and Polymerase Chain Reaction machines and over 10,000 testing kits. An additional 10 testing systems will be set-up to augment PRC’s capacity at their National Headquarters, their former Headquarters at the Port Area Manila, and other testing laboratories nationwide.

“All hands are on deck against COVID-19. During this critical time, fully-equipped facilities spell a big difference in the early diagnosis and treatment of cases,” said MBFI President and GTFI Executive Director Aniceto Sobrepeña.

The laboratory will also go a long way in ensuring early detection and efficient treatment of other contagious and deadly diseases such as Cancer, Human Immunodeficiency Virus, Hepatitis, Dengue, Malaria, Tuberculosis and Zika virus among others.

The donation is part of the P200 million pledge by Metrobank and GT Capital Holdings Group to fund and support efforts to combat the pandemic and help those in need. The amount was allocated for the purchase of personal protective equipment (PPEs) to benefit healthcare and security frontliners; support for the production of testing kits through the UP National Institutes of Health; ‘Project Ugnayan’ led by the Philippine Disaster Resilience Foundation; distribution of meals and food packs to underprivileged families; and project ARK (Antibody Rapid test Kits) of GoNegosyo (Philippine Center for Entrepreneurship Foundation).

Metrobank and GT Capital Holdings, Inc., through the Metrobank Foundation, Inc. (MBFI) and GT Foundation, Inc. (GTFI), donated PhP 2 million to Jollibee Group Foundation for its FoodAID program to benefit underprivileged families affected by the ongoing health crisis. From April 28 to May 1, 2020, a total of 10,000 families from the cities of Manila, Taguig, Quezon, Caloocan, Pasig and Valenzuela were given food packs consisting of ready-to-cook marinated chicken. As the social responsibility arm of Jollibee Foods Corporation (JFC), Jollibee Group Foundation implements the FoodAID program which systematizes and consolidates the relief and rehabilitation efforts of the group, with the goal to enable communities to respond and recover when a disaster strikes.

The donation is part of the PhP 200 million pledge by Metrobank and GT Capital Holdings Group to fund and support efforts to combat the pandemic and help those in need. The amount was allocated for the purchase of personal protective equipment (PPEs) to benefit healthcare and security frontliners; support for the production of testing kits through the UP National Institutes of Health; ‘Project Ugnayan’ led by the Philippine Disaster Resilience Foundation; distribution of meals and food packs to underprivileged families; set-up of a molecular laboratory for the testing of cases through the Philippine Red Cross; and project ARK (Anti-body Rapid test Kits) of GoNegosyo (Philippine Center for Entrepreneurship Foundation).

Metrobank, through its corporate social responsibility arm Metrobank Foundation, Inc. (MBFI), donated almost PhP 2.2 million pesos’ worth of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP). Comprised of gloves and N95 masks, it will benefit more than 12,000 deployed AFP and PNP personnel tasked to ensure peace and order during the period of enhanced community quarantine.

MBFI is also set to donate PPEs to PNP General Hospital and Victoriano Luna General Hospital. The AFP and PNP institutions are valued institutional partners of MBFI in the implementation of its CSR programs and activities. Annually, MBFI recognizes exemplary teachers, soldiers and police officers for rendering service beyond their call of duties through the Metrobank Foundation Outstanding Filipinos.

“Metrobank recognizes the heroic efforts of the PNP and the AFP in these trying times,” said Metrobank President Fabian Dee.

The donation is part of the P200 million pledge by Metrobank and GT Capital Holdings Group in support of the efforts to combat COVID-19.

McDonald’s Kindness Kitchen, a program supported by Metrobank and GT Capital Holdings, distributes meals to 750 individuals in Barangay 790 in San Andres, City of Manila on April 18, 2020.

Metrobank and GT Capital Holdings Inc., through the Metrobank Foundation, Inc. (MBFI) and GT Foundation, Inc. (GTFI), donated P2 million to Ronald McDonald House Charities Philippines in support of its ‘McDo Kindness Kitchen’ program aimed at providing free meals to 40,000 individuals in Metro Manila.

The first wave of distribution that ran from April 15-20 catered 9,000 individuals from the cities of Manila, Quezon, Caloocan, Muntinlupa, Navotas and the municipality of Pateros. Each location was allocated with 3,000 meals to be strategically distributed to marginalized barangays recommended by the Department of Social Welfare and Development. The program will continue to provide meals from April 21 to May 16.

The donation is part of the P200 million pledge by Metrobank and GT Capital Holdings Group in support of the efforts to combat COVID-19.

To support initiatives that will directly aid the fight against COVID-19, the Ty Family-led companies Metrobank and GT Capital Holdings Inc., through the Metrobank Foundation, Inc. (MBFI) and GT Foundation, Inc. (GTFI) released P8 million to fund purchase of Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs) to benefit healthcare frontliners.

P5 million worth of PPEs, which include hazardous material suits, face shields, N95 masks, gloves, and shoe covers, were donated to two (2) COVID-19 Referral Centers namely University of the Philippines-Philippine General Hospital (UP-PGH) and Lung Center of the Philippines, each receiving 1000 sets. Another 2000 sets were donated to the City Government of Manila, through the Office of Manila Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso, to cater to six (6) District Hospitals in the city namely Justice Abad Santos Medical Center, Ospital ng Sampaloc, Ospital ng Tondo, Sta. Ana Hospital, Gat Andres Bonifacio Medical Center and Ospital ng Maynila.

Through the efforts of the Xavier School Alumni Association, another P3 million were given to support the operations of the San Juan Covid Kalinga Center which is the extension facility of the San Juan Medical Center.

Above photo shows the donation being received by City of Manila vice mayor Sheilah “Honey” Lacuna-Pangan and Manila Police District Special Mayor’s Reaction Team Head and 2017 Metrobank Foundation Outstanding Filipino Police Officer Major Rosalino Ibay.

Above photo shows, Lung Center of the Philippines receiving the donation.

The donation is part of the P200 million pledge by Metrobank and GT Capital Holdings Group in support of the efforts to combat COVID-19.

The Metrobank and GT Capital Holdings group stand with all Filipinos in facing the challenges brought on by COVID-19. The Ty family-led companies are pledging support to manage the disruption and provide meaningful assistance to customers, employees, and partners who most need help in these difficult times.

Aside from the assistance already being extended to impacted customers and displaces employees, a pledge of a P200M fund will go towards initiatives that directly support the fight against the virus. These initiatives will be managed by the respective Foundations of the Group and will start with efforts to produce the test kits developed by the University of the Philippines-National Institutes of Health (UP-NIH) and the purchase of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for frontline health workers.

The Group will continuously monitor the evolving situation and will implement further measures as needed.

Metrobank Foundation, Inc.

10th floor, Annex Building
Metrobank Plaza, Sen Gil Puyat Ave., Makati City 1200

(02) 8857-9746 / (02) 8898-8855
(02) 8818-5656 / (02) 8750-0837

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