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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 signing agreement held last September 4, 2020 was led by Metrobank Foundation president Aniceto Sobrepena (top center), Pacific Paint (Boysen) Philippines vice president for operation Justin Ongsue (top left), Boysen vice president for Marketing Ruben Cueto (top right) together with UST rector Rev. Fr. Richard Ang, O.P, UST dean of College of Architecture Arch’t Rodolfo Ventura (lower left), and NU president and chief executive officer Renato Carlos Ermita, Jr.

The Pacific Paint (Boysen) Philippines signed another partnership agreement with the Metrobank Foundation, Inc. (MBFI) during a virtual signing of agreement held last September 4, 2020. Through a PhP 6.8 million scholarship fund, 15 architecture students will benefit from a 4-year scholarship assistance. The ceremony was attended by MBFI president Aniceto Sobrepena, Pacific Paint (Boysen) Philippines vice president for operation Justin Ongsue, vice president for marketing Ruben Cueto, and representatives from academic partners.

Started in 2005, the ‘MBFI-Pacific Paint (Boysen) Scholarship Program’ awards scholarship assistance to incoming 2nd year Architecture students from the University of the Philippines-Diliman and University of Santo Tomas (UST). For the 2nd phase of the program, the National University (NU) was added as a new academic partner. Each of the scholars from the three-partner universities will receive a fixed amount of subsidy to pay for their tuition and other fees. UST rector Rev. Fr. Richard Ang, O.P. and NU president and chief executive officer Renato Carlos Ermita, Jr. were present during the virtual ceremonies.

In the last 15 years, MBFI-Boysen Scholarship Program has already produced a total of 103 graduates and has awarded a total of 113 scholarship grants to 2nd year college students from the UP Diliman and UST.

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.

Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, healthcare professionals have continued to be at the service of all Filipinos and performed their duty nonstop with little to no respite. This is what the new normal looks like for Dr. Eva Maria Cutiongco-de la Paz, who remains committed to fulfill her obligations to the country and her institution during this time of public health crisis.

In 2019, Dr. Eva was named one of the 10 Metrobank Foundation Outstanding Filipinos. She dons many hats as an educator, physician, and researcher. With this, work has never halted and series of engagements have constantly required her attention, especially now that she is actively involved in efforts to aid the government in the COVID-19 response.

She revealed what she considers her anchor during this period. “I am still overwhelmed with grief upon losing friends and colleagues in the medical profession due to COVID-19. What keeps me going is knowing that despite our present circumstances, God is sovereign and in control,” said Dr. Eva.

As the Executive Director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), University of the Philippines (UP) Manila, the greatest obstacle Dr. Eva currently faces is accepting that she cannot always be physically where the action is. This is due to her lung condition which puts her in the high-risk category for COVID-19.

With the aid of technology, however, she can perform all her crucial work. She oversees the NIH COVID-19 Testing Laboratory operations, trains Genetics fellows using the telegenetics platform, and coordinates UP’s training assistance to the Department of Health (DOH) and the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM). She also meets with donors and constituents online, serves as a keynote speaker in webinars, and even presents in the Senate public hearing on education and health.

Dr. Eva Maria Cutiongco-de la Paz is a Professor 10 of the College of Medicine and Executive Director of the National Institutes of Health both in University of the Philippines Manila. She also serves as Director for the Health Program of the Philippine Genome Center. She was named one of the 2019 Metrobank Foundation Outstanding Filipinos.

It took a village to build a COVID-19 Testing Lab

The UP Manila National Institutes of Health’s (NIH) name has been doing rounds in the media recently, and rightly so. The institution is one of the first responders to the country’s call for an expanded COVID-19 testing capacity.

All hands were on deck as, within a span of two laborious weeks, Dr. Eva and her fellow doctors set up the stringent measures required for a testing laboratory. They immediately started testing for COVID-19 upon passing the necessary assessments.

Indeed, the NIH offered a silver lining just when the country needed it most. Dr. Eva has this to say about the work that her institution has achieved, “The NIH responded quickly and appropriately when the country needed testing labs at the start of the pandemic. It also had a mindset to be resourceful and always find a way to serve the testing needs of patients in the hospitals and quarantine centers.”

Frontliners working hard at the UP National Institutes of Health (NIH) COVID-19 Testing Laboratory

Putting up the laboratory, however, was only half the battle. During its first weeks of operation, the laboratory was efficiently run by around 30 volunteer staff from the NIH Institute of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology (NIMBB) who, despite their willingness to focus on the undertaking, all had to return to their respective projects after a certain period. This need for manpower prompted NIH to hire new staff who now comprise the new COVID-19 Testing Team through the Human Resource for Health Program of DOH.

The Laboratory frontliner volunteers who helped make sure that the UP NIH COVID-19 Testing Laboratory is ready to serve the people’s testing needs

Further, the laboratory does not have any budget of its own to perform the COVID-19 testing. Despite this, the team has conducted over 20,000 tests to date and not charged a single centavo. This was possible through the outpouring of support from the DOH, RITM, Philippine General Hospital, and several private donors that came in the form of swabs, kits, and other supplies crucial to testing. They were able to serve the PGH patients as well as 29 other hospitals and community quarantine centers within their area.

Receiving donations which help support the operations of the testing laboratory

Equipping a league of front liners

The abilities to test, trace, and treat are vital in curbing the spread of the pandemic. Aside from expanding the capability of existing laboratories and building new ones across the regions, proper training is required to equip all personnel who will handle the COVID-19 testing.

This is where the NIH as well as other UP institutes and centers also came in. Dr. Eva, together with volunteer faculty and research assistants from the NIH National Training Center for Biosafety and Biosecurity (NTCBB), UP Diliman NIMBB and UP Philippine Genome Center (PGC), created online modules for the DOH and RITM training assistance program. The online modules cover two important areas: biosafety and molecular biology techniques.


The Biosafety Education and Awareness Training (BEAT COVID-19) is designed to provide core concepts of basic biosafety and biosecurity practices including risk assessment, bio-containment facilities, as well as basics of personal protective equipment (PPEs), disinfection, sterilization and decontamination, and waste management of biological material.

The DOH designated the NIH NTCBB to be the training provider. To date, the training has graduated more than 2,688 trainees nationwide, many of whom are already employed as laboratorians in different accredited laboratories.

The UP COLlab, on the other hand, is the online learning lab for RT-PCR testing. This online course is composed of lectures designed to provide the conceptual framework as well as overview of the testing workflow and protocols needed to perform the RT-PCR based diagnostic test for COVID-19. This is then followed by hands-on training.

It has been provided by the University for free, along with food and training materials. The DOH has recognized these efforts and is now funding the implementation.

Combating this pandemic has truly necessitated concerted action. Dr. Eva believes that fortitude will also help Filipinos confront this health crisis. “We all need to be resilient—able to cope with adversity and use challenges to forge strength and prosperity. Although we are still in the middle of abnormal times, we should still be moving forward to find best ways to provide better health care for the next generation,” she said.

Dr. Eva’s story, as well the stories of other individuals and institutions dedicating their energy to combat the pandemic, tells the power of solidarity and shared purpose. The fight may be far from over but hope persists—it lies in every Filipino driven to extend a helping hand.

Last July 14, 2020, GT Foundation, Inc. (GTFI) and Don Bosco Technical Institute (DBTI) successfully held a virtual MOA signing for a three-year scholarship program with worth more than PhP7.4 million that will sponsor the education of 135 students from three Don Bosco Centers located in San Jose City, Nueva Ecija; Naga City, Camarines Sur; and Canlubang, Laguna. Representing GTFI were executive director Aniceto Sobrepeña (bottom left), deputy executive director Nicanor L. Torres, Jr, and assistant executive director Irene D. Labitad, while TVET technical director Fr. Jose Dindo S. Vitug SDB, signed for DBTI. Also present were head of secretariat Philip Jay M. Pronstroller, senior program officer Lilac C. Lazaro, and program officer Bryan J. Sudaria for GTFI; deputy director Marc L. Celis and external relations officer Carlo Sigua for DBTI.

Under its Scholarships for Technical-vocational Education Program (STEP), GTFI aims to equip out-of-school youth and other marginalized students with skills that will help them gain immediate employment. Since 2016, the foundation has been supporting a total of 100 scholars of some of the best technical-vocational education and training schools in the country with industry tie-ups for guaranteed employment. These schools are the Toyota Motor Philippines School of Technology, DBTI, and DualTech Training Center Foundation.

The Metrobank Foundation, Inc. (MBFI) and the GT Foundation, Inc. (GTFI), together with Pacific Paint (Boysen) Philippines, commended this year’s batch of scholars during a series of virtual Graduates’ Conversations on June 30, July 2 and 7, 2020.

A total of 14 scholars finished their undergraduate degrees from Manila Tytana Colleges (MTC), University of the Philippines Diliman (UP), and University of Santo Tomas (UST). They are the recipients of the GTFI-Manila Tytana Colleges Youth for Excellence and Service (YES) and MBFI-Pacific Paint (Boysen) scholarship programs. Out of the 14 scholars, eight (8) graduated cum laude.

The virtual encounter, which honored the accomplishments of the scholars, was led by MBFI president Aniceto Sobrepena. “There are so many challenging events happening around us now and I’m glad that our scholars did not give up and continued to become strong individuals. We are all proud of your accomplishments and we appreciate everyone for attending this online activity,” said Sobrepena in his welcome remarks.

The management congratulated the scholars and provided hope and encouragement as their in-person graduations have been canceled or postponed as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The scholars also shared their stories and life journeys and recalled the people who helped them along the way. They outlined their plans on vision boards to guide their next steps in life.

Catherine Ryanne Naraga, a Bachelor of Science in Accountancy graduate, from Manila Tytana Colleges, considers her GT YES scholarship as one of the greatest blessings that enabled her to pursue Accountancy. Her family had a rough time supporting her college education because of her father’s illness that prevented him from coming back to work as a seaman. Her mother, who works in their barangay has not enough income to support their daily expenses. In this time of pandemic, they only relied on her father’s monthly pension and cash allowance from the local government unit. Now that she has finished college, her main plan is to focus on reviewing for the CPA licensure exam and look for a stable job.

Marian Joyce Dacquel, a Bachelor of Science in Architecture graduate, cum laude, from the University of the Philippines Diliman, shared that ever since 3rd-year high school she already envisioned herself becoming a successful architect. These all came true when she was granted the MBFI-Boysen scholarship program. Marian made sure to keep track of her academic performance and continued to be a consistent ‘college and university scholar’ throughout her five years taking Architecture. Marian recently passed the 2020 LAE and got qualified to UP Law. Aside from being an architect, she believes that practicing law is one of the best ways to give service to the country.

Karen Elyssa Eloriaga, a Bachelor of Science in Architecture graduate, cum laude, from the University of Santo Tomas, said that the scholarship served more than just financial support for her college education; it motivated her to excel in academics and reminded her that God works miracles in her life. Despite the day to day adversities, she has experienced in the university and during this current pandemic, she remains optimistic and strong in pursuing her dreams of becoming an architect. In the future, she hopes to join an architecture firm where she can gain substantial experience and earn a stable income. After this, Karen wishes to give back to the community by building social housing and providing scholarships for the poor.

Also present in the three-day graduate’s conversations were MTC president and former University of the Philippines Diliman chancellor, Dr. Sergio Cao, MBFI executive director, Nicanor Torres, Jr., MBFI assistant executive director Irene Labitad, Boysen vice president Engr. Ruben Cueto, Boysen marketing manager Vergel Dyoco, Boysen office manager Natalie Lee.

Reinforcing the vision of the Metrobank Group’s late Chairman Dr. George Ty Siao Kian to nurture the country’s future leaders, the online activity allowed the scholars to meet their benefactors and interact with their fellow scholars. Since 1995, the Metrobank Scholarship Program has been awarding financial grants to support deserving students through college. To date, the program has produced over 1,000 graduates in collaboration with its partner institutions and schools.

For more information on MBFI’s scholarship programs, please visit www.mbfoundation.org.ph.

Metrobank Foundation President Aniceto Sobrepeña (rightmost) and Department of Education (DepEd) Curriculum and Instruction Undersecretary Diosdado San Antonio (leftmost) confer the Metrobank Foundation Fellows in Public Service title to 2019 Metrobank Foundation Outstanding Filipino Teachers Dr. Cristina Cristobal (second to the left) and Dr. Dorothy Tarol last Feb. 12 at the Bulwagan ng Karunungan, DepEd Complex, Pasig City.

Newly conferred Metrobank Foundation Fellows in Public Service proposed to restore Philippine History in the high school curriculum and mainstream inclusive instruction to Department of Education (DepEd) officials and members of the academe last February 12 at the Bulwagan ng Karunungan, DepEd Complex, Pasig City.

Veteran history teacher and 2019 Metrobank Foundation Outstanding Filipino Dr. Cristina Cristobal presented the need to revive Philippine History in high school, a subject previously removed by DepEd in the K-12 program. She also proposed the inclusion of teaching Philippine Government and Constitution for a school year, a bid she successfully pushed for in the Philippine Science High School (PSHS) System’s social science curriculum.

“Many of our students lack affection for history because of the traditional method that is used, but perhaps there is a way to love history. We’re not only teaching them facts, we want them to become critical thinkers,” said Dr. Cristobal.

The legacy of Dr. Cristobal, Quezon City’s Veteran Innovator in History Instruction, in PSHS can be best captured by her initiative to inspire changes to the students’ perspective towards learning history. She believes exposing students to primary sources provides evidence-based approach to learning.

Another 2019 Metrobank Foundation Outstanding Filipino and special education teacher Dr. Dorothy Tarol, meanwhile, proposed the mainstreaming of her action research on inclusive instruction nationwide. Entitled “Buddy-Mediated Instruction (BMI): Pivotal Strategy for Spelling and Social Skills for Students with Hearing Impairment,” the study aims to develop a student’s basic literacy skills through pairing of two “buddies” who engage in learner initiated-activities.

According to Dr. Tarol, she hopes to “help teachers by sharing information about evidence-based instructional strategy for struggling readers by creating reading literacy experiences relevant to students’ interests, everyday life and to current environmental events.” BMI, as an instructional strategy, also became a benchmark model in DepEd Divisions of Iloilo and Iloilo City and was already replicated by around 178 schools.

Dubbed as Western Visayas’ Paragon of Inclusive Education, Dr. Tarol has shifted her teaching career to cater to students with disabilities at the Special Education-Integrated School for Exceptional Children in Iloilo City. She has since devoted her life’s work onto shaping an environment conducive for learners of all kinds.

Both proposals were deliberated in a roundtable discussion with Curriculum and Instruction Undersecretary Diosdado San Antonio, Assistant Secretary Alma Ruby Torio and officers from the DepEd Bureau of Education Assessment, Alternative Learning System Program Task Force, National Educator’s Academy of the Philippines, National Historical Commission of the Philippines, Catholic Educational Association of the Philippines and PSHS.

Through the Metrobank Foundation Fellowship in Public Service, professional milestones and personal life stories of the awardees are brought to the fore. Achievements that result to positive change and innovations that address major societal concerns are highlighted and widely shared.

The Metrobank Foundation, Inc. (MBFI) was recognized as “Philanthropic Foundation of the Year” (Profiles in Excellence Award) during the 72nd anniversary celebration of the American Association of the Philippines (AAP) on February 29, 2020 at the Manila Ballroom of the Marriott Hotel Manila in Pasay City.

Photo shows MBFI president Aniceto Sobrepeña (center) accepting the recognition from AAP chairman Rick Sobreviñas (6th from right) joined by wife Anna Sobrepeña (6th from left); Metrobank executive vice president Vivian Lee-Tiu (3rd from left); Metrobank senior vice president Digs Dimagiba (3rd from right); Metrobank vice president and MBFI executive committee member Joey Mapa III (5th from right); Metrobank assistant vice president Zarah Hernandez (4th from left), and MBFI assistant executive director Irene Labitad (4th from right).

AAP has always been in the forefront of American-Filipino relations for over half a century. It has established strong ties with the expat American community, returning Filipino-Americans who resettled back in the country, and the Philippine government. It continues to recognize the achievements and accomplishments of its members and key business and community leaders who are making a difference globally.

Metrobank Foundation, Inc. (MBFI) president Aniceto Sobrepeña (3rd from right), together with MBFI assistant executive director Irene Labitad (2nd from left), and MBFI Unit heads present the Anvil trophies earned during the awarding ceremony.

The Metrobank Foundation, Inc. (MBFI) took home the Hall of Fame Award including one (1) Gold Anvil and three (3) Silver Anvil at the recent 55th Anvil Awards held on February 28, 2020 at The Manila Hotel, One Rizal Park, City of Manila.

Considered as the Oscars of public relations industry in the Philippines, the Anvil is the symbol of excellence in public relations awarded by distinguished multi-sectoral jury to outstanding public relations programs and tools, organized by the Public Relations Society of the Philippines (PRSP).

The heads of the Public Relations Society of the Philippines present the awards to MBFI heads and staff during the 55th Anvil Awards Gabi ng Parangal.

MBFI during that night took home its third “Hall of Fame” award for spearheading the “National Teachers’ Month (NTM).” A movement led by MBFI and the Department of Education, NTM recognizes Filipino teachers and educators for their contribution to national development. It also aims to intensify all efforts in recognizing the indispensable role of Filipino teachers in shaping minds across generations. NTM is annually celebrated for an entire month from September 5 to October 5.

The Hall of Fame Award is given to a company or organization that won the Gold Anvil Award five (5) times for a program or tool in the same category, not necessarily in consecutive years. In 2016 and 2018, MBFI received the Hall of Fame award for Metrobank Art & Design Excellence (MADE) and Metrobank-MTAP-DepEd Math Challenge (MMC), respectively.

The Excellence Awards Unit of MBFI, the implementing body of the Metrobank Foundation Outstanding Filipinos and Metrobank Foundation Fellowship in Public Service with their Silver and Gold Anvil trophies.

MBFI also bagged a Gold Anvil trophy for the “2019 Metrobank Foundation Fellowship in Public Service,” a venue where professional milestones and personal life stories of Metrobank Foundation Outstanding Filipinos are brought to the fore. Achievements that result to positive change and innovations that address major societal concerns are highlighted and widely-shared.

Meanwhile, another public relations program and two institutional events of MBFI earned Silver Anvil trophies. The first Silver Anvil went to its flagship program – Metrobank Foundation Outstanding Filipinos– that recognizes exemplary teachers, soldiers, and police officers for rendering service above and beyond their call of duties, guided by the theme “Beyond Excellence.” An Outstanding Filipino is recognized for his/her exemplary qualities that have inspired and influenced their peers in their respective professions. Their works have lasting positive impact on people and to the country.

The Art & Design Unit– implementer of the annual Metrobank Art & Design Excellence (MADE)—and Corporate Communications Unit of MBFI showcase their accolades received during the awarding ceremony.

Another Silver Anvil was bestowed upon “Puso at Sigasig (Heart & Zeal): Metrobank Foundation’s 40th Anniversary Celebration.” With the theme Puso at Sigasig (Heart & Zeal), MBFI celebrated its 40th founding anniversary last February 21, 2019. The celebration did not only highlight the Metrobank Foundation’s heart for community, but also showcased its zeal through advocacies sustained, partnerships built, communities empowered, and lives changed.

The last recipient of Silver Anvil is “UNLEASH: 2020 Metrobank Art & Design Excellence (MADE)’s 35th Anniversary Celebration.” Unleash is the result of a three-year build-up to the 35th anniversary of MADE: “Imagine” in 2017 and “Discover” in 2018. The theme follows the narrative of the artistic process: of art being “unleashed” into the world to articulate the milieu of the times. A three-day celebration of the local art scene, Unleash was split into four parts: Vernissage, MADE Awarding, Exhibit Opening, and the Lecture Series on Philippine Arts and Cultural Heritage. Each event engages with up-and-coming artists, special interest groups, and connoisseurs.

MBFI has been winning Anvil awards since 1985. To date, it has won 88 Anvil awards for its various programs and public relations tools, including the much coveted Grand Anvil gaining the record as the first corporate foundation to win a back-to-back Grand Anvil (2009 and 2010) and 2 Platinum Anvils in the history of the award-giving body.

More than 450,000 students trooped to 2,000 testing centers nationwide to participate in the elimination rounds of the 2020 Metrobank-MTAP-DepEd Math Challenge or MMC on January 17 and 18. The first leg of the competition accommodated a total of 30,094 public and private schools nationwide.

Photo shows participating students from different schools taking their written exams at Jose Rizal Elementary School in Pasay City. MMC is an annual mathematics competition aimed at raising the competitiveness of elementary and high school students. It is the longest-running math competition in the country.

For 2020 MMC, all top scorers in the elimination rounds and division finals for both Grade 6 and Grade 10 shall automatically qualify for the region finals and that no hurdle rate is required.

For inquiries, visit the official Facebook page of MMC or contact the DepEd Division Math Supervisor in your locality. Contact the MMC secretariat at mmcmathchallenge@gmail.com or (02) 8 857-0618; (02) 8898-8898.

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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