The Metrobank Foundation, Inc. (MBFI) conducted the 35th annual Grants Roundtable on April 20 at the Metrobank Plaza in Makati City. With the theme “How to Catch a Fish: Exploring the Different Faces of Entrepreneurship,” six (6) organizations shared the impact, lessons learned, and best practices in their projects which were supported by MBFI. This year, the event focused on livelihood, one of the Foundation’s priority thrusts as captured in the acronym HEAL — health, education, arts, and livelihood. Together with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), HEAL serves as the framework for the Foundations’ collaborative partnerships that work towards nation building.
The participants this year are: Escuela Taller de Filipinas Foundation; Hineleban Foundation; Congressional Spouses Foundation, Inc. (CSFI); Philex Group Foundation; Angat Buhay—Office of the Vice President; and Kalsada Coffee Roasters. In alignment with SDG 1 (‘No Poverty’) and SDG 2 (‘Zero Hunger’), their MBFI-supported projects aimed at providing underprivileged families with opportunities to break away from the cycle of long-term poverty and become self-sustaining.
Recognizing the power of the arts to inspire creativity and empower communities, MBFI supported Escuela Taller’s Business Incubator Program (BIP) catering to out-of-school youth. They are taught in thedevelopment of unique product designs in the areas of woodworks, masonry, metal works, electrical, plumbing and painting. They are also trained to become future entrepreneurs and apply learned-skills to establish viable business models.
Three (3) of the organizations present during the event—Hineleban Foundation, Philex Group Foundation, and Kalsada Coffee Roasters—work with coffee farmers.
Hineleban Foundation employs a comprehensive end-to-end farm development program for Bukidnon’s Indigenous Peoples (IPs). MBFI supported the conduct of a series of training on growing quality coffee plants, values formation, environmental protection, and financial literacy. Hineleban also supports these coffee farmers in the processing and marketing of their produce.
For its part, Philex Group Foundation focuses on highland agriculture in the municipalities of Tuba and Itogon in Benguet. MBFI supported their Coffee Farm Rehabilitation Program, wherein farmers are trained to turn coffee trees in their properties into a viable source of income. The goal is to increase the harvest yield of coffee trees, connect farmers to sustainable markets, and empower them to provide for their families.
Kalsada Coffee Roasters, on the other hand, helps communities reach the global specialty coffee market through consolidating their harvest and processing their coffee collectively. In partnership with MBFI, they conducted training programs on the growing and processing methods, financial literacy, and ensuring quality control.
MBFI also works with the public sector, as seen in its collaborations with CSFI and Angat Buhay—Office of the Vice President.
To complement the legislative mandate of the House of Representatives, CSFI organizes the annual Kabuhayan Expo with support from MBFI. The trade and travel fair promotes the products and tourism potential of the country’s various provinces and congressional districts. In addition, proceeds from the event fund CSFI’s livelihood and literacy programs for female inmates.
Angat Buhay—Office of the Vice President, on the other hand, worked with MBFI in the procurement of additional materials and equipment for the women weavers of Marawi City. The goal is to help establish traditional weaving as an alternative source of income for marginalized sectors, while protecting the cultural heritage of the area.
“The Grants Roundtable is our way of getting to know our partners better and learning from each other’s best practices in development work,” said Sobrepeña. He added, “Together, we can contribute significant and sustainable solutions that will help improve quality of life for the underprivileged.”
Established in 1979, MBFI, through its Grants Program, continues to forge more partnerships with like-minded organizations who share in its mission of helping heal the Filipino one grant at a time.
The Metrobank Foundation, Inc. (MBFI), through the Yellow Boat of Hope Foundation (YBH), supported the construction of a half-way home or dormitory to cater to underprivileged students of Siayan National High School in Siayan, Zamboanga del Norte.
A formal turnover ceremony was held on February 15, 2018, with Vice President Maria Leonor “Leni” Robredo gracing the event. It was the Angat Buhay program of the Office of the Vice President which first informed YBH of the situation faced by the schoolchildren of Siayan. On average, children in the area walk 8 kilometers crossing mountains and rivers just to go to school.
Also present during the turnover were Siayan Mayor Flora Villarosa, YBH president Dr. Anton Mari Lim, and officials from the Department of Education (DepEd).
Currently, the dormitory is occupied free of charge by 25 boys who come from underprivileged families in the area. This the third Yellow Dorm of Hope constructed by YBH, after building the first two in Kabasalan and Buayan, Zamboanga Sibugay.
Providing physical access to education is one of MBFI’s priorities under its Health, Education, Arts and Livelihood (HEAL) framework. The grant for the Yellow Dorm of Project marks a milestone in the partnership between MBFI and YBH in support of this goal. The two organizations previously worked together for DepEd’s Pedals and Paddles project. A total of 339 boats were donated for the benefit of almost 2,000 school children in Palawan, Cebu, Pampanga, and Davao Oriental who face difficulties in going to school. MBFI and YBH also collaborated for the construction of fishing boats for communities affected by supertyphoon Yolanda.
Established in 1979, MBFI, through its Grants Program, continues to forge more partnerships with like-minded organizations who share in the mission of helping heal the Filipino one grant at a time.
Organized by the Public Relations Society of the Philippines (PRSP), the Anvil is the symbol of excellence in public relations awarded by distinguished multi-sectoral jury to outstanding public relations programs and tools. MBFI was nominated for Grand Anvil, received the Anvil Hall of Fame, four (4) Gold Anvils and five (5) Silver Anvils.
Awarded with the Anvil Hall of Fame is the “2017 Metrobank-MTAP-DepEd Math Challenge (MMC)”, the only math competition in Asia spearheaded by a bank that provides a venue for Filipino students both in public and private schools to hone their mathematical skills in an atmosphere of friendly competition. Over the years, it has produced national winners who get to compete and eventually win in international competitions. It is implemented in partnership with the Mathematics Teachers Association of the Philippines (MTAP) and the Department of Education (DepEd). MMC received its five (5) Anvil Awards in 2002, 2012, 2014, 2016, and in 2017.
Meanwhile, awarded with Gold Anvil is the “2017 Metrobank Foundation Outstanding Filipinos” (OF) Award program. It is the most prestigious career-service award for exemplary public servants in the academe, military, and police sectors. In 2017, ten (10) Outstanding Filipinos—composed of four (4) teachers, three (3) soldiers, and three (3) police officers—have been recognized for going above and beyond the call of duty in their respective pursuits of service to the nation and its citizenry. These 10 Outstanding Filipinos have formally joined the distinguished roster of 655 Outstanding Filipinos—360 teachers, 154 soldiers, and 142 police officers—honored by MBFI since 1984.
Another Gold Anvil was given to “Metrobank Foundation Grants and Social Development Partnerships” program. Through this program, MBFI commits to help raise the quality of the poorest, most vulnerable, and underserved sectors by providing social development assistance to socio-civic, charitable, and development-oriented organizations that implement long-term, high impact projects in line with its adopted SDGs and the H.E.A.L (Health, Education, Arts and Livelihood) framework.
The third Gold Anvil was conferred to the “2017 National Teachers’ Month (NTM)”, a month-long advocacy campaign led by MBFI and the DepEd which recognizes Filipino teachers and educators and their contribution to national development—making the Philippines the only country in the world that celebrates Teachers’ Day for an entire month. Now on its 9th year, NTM has become an annual nationwide tribute recognizing the essential role of teachers in shaping minds and characters across all generations.
Entitled “Beyond Excellence”, the MBFI 2016 Annual Report also won a Gold Anvil for highlighting success stories of select stakeholders instead of simply providing a report of the past year’s accomplishments. By focusing on human interest stories, the publication underscored the success of these CSR programs, not just in terms of numbers and statistics but also on how they created an impact on the lives of stakeholders.
On the other hand, a Silver Anvil went to the “2017 Bags of Blessing”, a program spearheaded by the family foundation of Dr. George S.K. Ty—GT Foundation, Inc. in partnership with MBFI. Held every Chinese New Year, PhP 10 million worth of food packages benefit 10,000 underprivileged families nationwide.
Moreover, under the PR Tools category, the Foundation also took home four (4) Silver Anvils for the following: Metrobank Foundation bi-annual newsletter “ExceLetter”; “2017 Metrobank Foundation Outstanding Filipinos Souvenir Program”; “2017 Metrobank Art & Design Excellence (MADE) Awarding Ceremony & Exhibit Opening”; and “2017 Art MADE Public”, respectively.
MBFI has been winning Anvil awards since 1985. To date, it has won 77 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.
The first Excellence Award was given to the “2016 Metrobank Foundation Outstanding Filipinos”, a recognition program which honors public servants in the academe, military, and police for their outstanding service to their sworn duties and noteworthy contributions to nation-building. The program has three components searches—Search for Outstanding Teachers (SOT), Search for The Outstanding Philippine Soldiers (TOPS), and Search for the Country’s Outstanding Police Officers in Service (COPS).
Another Excellence Award was conferred to the “2016 Metrobank Art & Design Excellence (MADE),” an annual recognition program which aims to discover young talents in painting, sculpture, interior design and architecture. Now on its 33rd year, MADE has served as a career launch pad for its awardees by recognizing the excellent works of budding artists as well as professional sculptors, interior designers, and architects.
Through its MADE-Network of Winners, the alumni organization of previous MADE awardees, MADE also conducts public art and art education activities to further promote art appreciation to target sectors and at the same time implements Project HeART, an art psychosocial intervention program for individuals with special needs.
Meanwhile, the “2015 & 2016 National Teachers’ Month (NTM)” also received an Excellence Award. Held from September 5 to October 5 every year, NTM is a movement spearheaded by MBFI and the Department of Education (DepEd), together with various multi-sectoral groups which recognize Filipino teachers and educators and their contribution in shaping the country’s future.
The 2015 celebrations demonstrated the continuing activities dedicated to teachers – composed of capstone events, on-the-ground initiatives, the yearly menu of benefits and discounts, and a supplemental digital celebration. This continued in 2016 wherein NTM reached a milestone with the enactment of Republic Act 10743, officially designating “October 5 of every year as ‘National Teachers’ Day’—affirming the State’s recognition of teachers and their valuable role in national development.”
The fourth Excellence Award was given to the 2015 Metrobank Foundation Annual Report entitled “Dreams, Journeys & Discoveries.” The annual report highlights inspirational and empowering stories of ordinary individuals who share the Foundation’s goal of nation-building. It serves as a tool to account milestones and accomplishments of the Foundation for the period in review by highlighting success stories of its stakeholders and underscoring the roles of its institutional partners in the attainment of corporate objectives.
As a testament to good corporate governance and transparency, the publication aims to deliver accurate information on the Foundation’s operations and financial standing, being the CSR arm of the Metrobank Group.
On the other hand, the two Merit Awards were given to the “2016 Metrobank Math Challenge (MMC)” and the “2016 Bags of Blessing (BOB).”
For 16 years now, MMC has become the longest running and most widely participated annual mathematics competition for elementary and secondary students in both public and private schools in the Philippines. It is implemented by MBFI, in partnership with the Mathematics Teachers Association of the Philippines and the DepEd. Through the years, MMS has produced young math geniuses who have represented the country and have won in various international math competitions, including the International Math Olympiad.
Meanwhile, underprivileged Filipinos shared in the revelry of the Chinese New Year celebration in the Philippines through the 2016 BOB, a gift-giving project that distributed PhP 10 million worth of food items to 10,000 poor families in 20 cities and municipalities across the country. Implemented by the family foundation of Metrobank Group Chairman Dr. George S.K. Ty—GT Foundation, Inc.—together with the Roman Catholic dioceses, the different companies of GT Capital Holdings, and subsidiaries of the Metrobank Group, the activity enabled the Church to aptly open its doors and give food to the hungry during the Extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy in 2016.
To date, MBFI has won 46 Philippine Quill for its various programs and public relations tools since 1986.
Vice President Maria Leonora “Leni” Robredo (center), was awarded the 2017 Metrobank Foundation Professorial Chair for Public Service and Governance, after her lecture at the Ateneo Professorial Schools in Makati last March 14, 2017. With her in the photo are (from left to right) Metrobank Foundation president Aniceto Sobrepeña and Dr. Antonette Palma Angeles, Vice President for the Ateneo Professional Schools.As chairholder of the 2017 Metrobank Foundation Professorial Chair for Public Service and Governance, Vice President Maria Leonora “Leni” Robredo delivered a lecture on “Tsinelas Leadership as Vehicle for Empathy and Hope” on March 14, 2017 at the Ateneo Professional Schools Auditorium in Makati City. “Has democracy failed the world’s poor?” This was the question Robredo posed to her audience, which was mostly composed of students, faculty, and members of civil society groups. She cited how poverty remains a big challenge despite the steady growth of the Philippine economy in recent years. The Vice President noted that she believes in continuing “the unfinished task of democracy —that of deepening the empowerment of every human being.” She noted that this is where tsinelas leadership, a term coined in reference to her late husband Jesse’s brand of leadership, comes in. “For Jesse, it was critical that power was shared back with the people,” Robredo said. She added that the tsinelas “was a powerful symbol of his desire to keep everything simple and to serve as close to the ground as possible.” She highlighted the current efforts of her office to apply the same principles to their Angat Buhay anti-poverty program. Linking development organizations and the business sector to 50 of the poorest towns in the country, Robredo said that they involve the people in developing sustainable projects for their communities. “As a result, they feel empowered, and they own their projects. They are no longer mere beneficiaries, but now become partners and stakeholders. The success rate is higher when the people themselves are involved,” she observed. Robredo noted that “tsinelas leadership is truly the vehicle for empathy and the hope that we so desperately need today.” She added, “Given time, it can heal our nation from frustration—because it gives people their voice and brings government close to the people.” A joint undertaking between Metrobank Foundation and Ateneo de Manila University, the professorial chair seeks to give due recognition to public servants who are exemplary models of leadership and professionalism. It aims to strengthen the pillars of our government by furthering research and educating the citizenry on public-interest issues. Since its establishment in 2000, the title has been awarded to advocates of good governance including Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales, former Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario, and former Social Work and Development Secretary Corazon “Dinky” Soliman.
Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales (center), awarded the 2016 Metrobank Foundation Professorial Chair for Public Service and Governance, after her lecture at the Ateneo Professorial Schools in Makati With her in the photo are (from left to right) Rodolfo P. Ang, Dean of the Ateneo Graduate School of Business; Atty. Jaime Hofileña, Vice President for Social Development of Ateneo de Manila University; Antonio La Viña, Dean of the Ateneo School of Government; Atty Arlene Lapuz-Ureta, Senior Vice President and General Counsel at Metrobank; Aniceto Sobrepeña, President of Metrobank Foundation; Dr. Antonette Palma Angeles, Vice President for the Ateneo Professional Schools; Atty. Ma. Tanya Karina Lat, Ateneo Law School Coordinator for Student Formation; Atty. Sedfrey Candelaria, Dean of the Ateneo Law School; and Dr. Manuel Dayrit, Dean of the Ateneo School of Medicine and Public Health.
As chairholder of the 2016 Metrobank Foundation Professorial Chair for Public Service and Governance, Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales delivered a lecture on “Building a Corruption Intolerant Society and Sustaining an Intergenerational National Anti-Corruption Agenda” on February 16, 2016 at the Ateneo Professional Schools Auditorium in Makati City.
Morales discussed the various initiatives being undertaken by the Office of the Ombudsman to strengthen its institutional capacity. A National Integrity Center has been set up as its education arm, helping develop the skills of its more than 1,200-strong workforce. Efforts have also been made to increase efficiency in its work such as rationalizing functions among its various bureaus, filtering the intake of complaints filed with the Office, and assessing processes of key government for vulnerability to corruption.
She noted that these efforts resulted in a total of 6,707 administrative and criminal cases resolved for 2015. The number of cases awaiting action by the court decreased by 16% despite a 2% increase in new cases filed. The Ombudsman is targeting to reduce its case backlog to zero before Morales’ term ends in 2018.
Recognizing that the most important stakeholder in the battle against corruption is the Filipino public, the Ombudsman made steps to mobilize broader support for its work. The National Anti-Corruption Framework was completed and adopted on December 15 last year during the 3rd State Conference on the United Nations Convention Against Corruption. Accreditation guidelines were also strengthened for civil society and student organization partners, and customized training modules developed.
“One does not need to be a member of the civil service or to hold an appointive or elective post in government to be a public servant,” Morales said. She added that one must “bear in mind the best interest of the public, and to put it above one’s own if conflict arises.”
Aniceto Sobrepeña, president of Metrobank Foundation, agreed with Morales and highlighted the role of the private sector as a partner in good governance. “You may ask, what is in it for the private sector if it champions governance that is effective, accountable, and upholds the rule of law? For many, the most obvious answer is that good governance creates a stable environment conducive to the pursuit of business goals. But let me add our take at the Metrobank Group – that it is simply our responsibility as citizens. We, who benefit from the freedoms afforded by a democratic society, must ensure that our countrymen enjoy similar prosperity and happiness,” he said.
A joint undertaking between Metrobank Foundation and Ateneo de Manila University, the professorial chair seeks to give due recognition to public servants who are exemplary models of leadership and professionalism. It aims to strengthen the pillars of our government by furthering research and educating the citizenry on public-interest issues.
Since its establishment in 2000, the title has been awarded to advocates of good governance including former Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario, Social Work and Development Secretary Corazon “Dinky” Soliman, and Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Teresita “Ging” Deles.
(L-R) MBFI president Aniceto M. Sobrepeña; MBFI adviser Mary V. Ty; Metrobank Group Founder and Chairman Dr. George S.K. Ty; Metrobank chairman and MBFI vice chairman Arthur V. Ty; and Metrobank President and MBFI trustee Fabian S. Dee.The Metrobank Foundation, Inc. (MBFI) took home three (3) major awards at the 51st Anvil Awards on February 26, 2016 at the Makati Shangri-La Hotel in Makati City. Organized by the Public Relations Society of the Philippines (PRSP), the most coveted “Company of the Year” award went to MBFI as one of the institutions with the most number of awards that night, taking home seven (7) Gold Anvils, two (2) Silver Anvils, and two (2) other major awards—Hall of Fame and Platinum Anvil.
Citing its three (3) decades of fostering Filipino artistry and creativity, the Metrobank Art & Design Excellence (MADE) was conferred the “Hall of Fame” Award” under the Public Relations Program on a Sustained Basis category. The award is given to programs which won Gold Anvil five (5) times in the same category. MADE was cited for the following: career launch pad of the country’s most admired contemporary artists and designers; setting the benchmark among the country’s art competitions; known for its deep regard for the Filipino spirit as the pioneer for CSR in the arts and serving as a venue to develop holistic and well-rounded artists and designers who represent skills, craftsmanship, and sustainable design solutions; and for fueling the art community to serve a greater purpose through pay-it-forward projects initiated by its alumni association—MADE Network of Winners (NOW) and more importantly in contributing to general public’s appreciation for the arts through art exhibits and lectures.
Meanwhile, MBFI also earned another title as the corporate foundation which won a back-to-back Platinum Anvil (after winning it for its 30th Anniversary Celebration in the 50th Anvil Awards) for its 2014 Metrobank Foundation Annual Report entitled “Empowering Filipinos, Building the Nation.” The award is given to an outstanding public relations tool which stood out from the rest of other tools which also earned the Gold Anvil.
Leading the delegation in accepting the different awards were MBFI president Aniceto Sobrepeña, corporate secretary Alesandra Ty, executive director Nicanor Torres, Jr., and Assistant Executive Director Irene Labitad. They are joined by GT Capital Holdings, Inc. president Carmelo Maria Luza Bautista and Global Business Power Corporation senior vice president for Commercial and Business Development Alvin U. Ty.
“We are grateful for this another historic feat bestowed upon to the Metrobank Foundation and to its programs and communication tools. Our sustained winning streak in the Anvil Awards , indeed speak about our ‘commitment to excellence’ in everything we do as one of the core values we live by as the CSR arm of the Metrobank Group,” said MBFI president Aniceto Sobrepeña. “It is one of the public relations measures we value as it indicates effective communication to our target publics and impactful strategies to reach out to target communities and sectors. To be awarded with an Anvil means you are doing an outstanding work in the field of public relations which kept us inspired all these years to continue to do good and even doing it better, if not best year after year,” he continued.
Other programs which won Gold Anvil include: 2015 Search for Journalists of the Year (JOY); 2015 The Outstanding Philippine Soldiers (TOPS); 2015 Metrobank-MTAP-DepEd Math Challenge, and 2015 National Teachers’ Month (NTM); while the 2015 Country’s Outstanding Police Officers in Service (COPS) and 2015 Search for Outstanding Teachers (SOT) won Silver Anvils. Another communication tool “2015 Metrobank Foundation Outstanding Filipinos unified souvenir programs” also won a Gold Anvil.
MBFI has been winning Anvil awards since 1985. To date, it has won 64 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) in the history of the Anvil Awards. The Anvil is the symbol of excellence in public relations in the Philippines, awarded by distinguished multi-sectoral jury to outstanding public relations programs and tools.