2019 ANNIVERSARY GRANTS TURNOVER
MR. ANICETO M. SOBREPEÑA
4 SEPTEMBER 2019, 11:00AM
Metrobank Plaza Auditorium
Sharing is the clearest manifestation of gratitude. It is a message of thanks spoken in the deepest language of the human heart.
It is with this generosity that Dr. Ty founded Metrobank Foundation (MBFI) in 1979, sixteen (16) years after he built Metrobank in 1962. It is the foundation responsible for acknowledging the efforts of our heroes in the academe, the military, and the police force through its search for Outstanding Filipinos. It is the same foundation together with partners like yourselves, that is responsible for giving teachers proper recognition through its nationwide celebration of the National Teachers’ Month. Of course, MBFI is the same foundation that has been recognizing the talent and hard work of young Filipino artists since 1984 through its visual arts and design program, the Metrobank Art & Design Excellence. Aside from these programs, MBFI also contributes to development through grants in the areas of health, education, arts, and livelihood (heal).
Contributions to these areas, along with the aforementioned notable programs, are testaments to Dr. Ty’s generosity of spirit. Mr. Arthur Ty, his eldest son, said it best in his message during the MBFI 40th Anniversary, “the work we do at the Metrobank Foundation is a reflection of Dr. Ty’s enduring legacy to make a difference in the lives of the citizenry and contribute to nation building.” Anyone who has achieved this much can spend the rest of his days enjoying his blessings, finding comfort in the idea that he has contributed back to society just as much. But just like this year’s Metrobank Foundation anniversary theme “Puso at Sigasig”, Dr. Ty has heart and zeal that refuse to rest knowing there is always room for growth and knowing he can help more.
Not known to many, Dr. Ty also put up his family foundation, GT Foundation, Inc. (GTFI). Since its inception back in October of 2009, the foundation has silently pursued the philanthropic initiatives of the family in the areas of health, environment, and education. Taken together, these grant priority areas result in the acronym “heed,” which is very fitting as GTFI aims to respond to the needs of the underprivileged and hope to pave ways for a better and brighter future.
In addition to grants, GTFI also supports projects that perpetuate the legacy of the Ty family primarily through infrastructure development. These projects cut across the foundation’s priority areas, helping fund the construction and equipping of school buildings, classrooms, laboratories and the like, for education; barangay health stations and maternity waiting homes, for health.
A few years back, when asked to talk about his accomplishments with respect to putting up a bank at the very young age of 29 with hardly any experience in the industry, Dr. Ty compared himself to “an ant that moves a mountain.” He said ‘we have stories in Chinese about an ant that moves a mountain. Actually, it is not just one ant; it’s a group, thousand of ants that moved the mountain. In my particular case, i was just one small ant.”
The analogy he made himself, however, was to the spirit of a singular ant. “i have the spirit of an ant. Ants work together: they never give up. I have a very good people and we are working together to move more mountains.”
Throughout his journey to success, Dr. Ty found partners who also shared a vision for nation building. Among them was the late President Corazon Cojuangco-Aquino who served as Metrobank foundation’s chairman of the board of advisers from the time she stepped down from the presidency in 1992, up to the time of her death. We specifically remember today our beloved Tita Cory whose 10th death anniversary we just commemorated last August.
This is the very essence of today’s event – partnerships. As our two foundations mature, MBFI and GTFI try to explore ways to make our projects more strategic in generating the desired impacts. We want to be able to determine if our efforts in fact contribute to nation building, and in what way. In order to do this, we rely on you, our partners and stakeholders. If we are to succeed, we need your commitment, not just to carry out project deliverables, but to provide relevant solutions to stakeholder needs; to assess the undertaking; and make sure the next one is even more meaningful and impactful. As we propagate a culture of excellence, we need partners like you who share the same mindset. Today’s ceremonies therefore, allow us to express our trust in your capabilities in turning our shared vision into reality.
With these directions, Dr. Ty will surely find peace knowing that the values he championed endure, and his legacy lives on, thanks to our concerted efforts.Thank you once again, and welcome to the 2019 Anniversary Grants Turnover Ceremony in celebration of Metrobank’s 57th Anniversary.
Have a pleasant morning.
In celebration of its 57th anniversary, the Metropolitan Bank & Trust Company (Metrobank), through its corporate social responsibility arm—Metrobank Foundation, Inc. (MBFI) and the Ty family foundation—GT Foundation, Inc. (GTFI), awarded PhP35 million worth of development grants to 40 socio-civic organizations during the annual Anniversary Grants Turnover Ceremony on September 4, 2019 at the Metrobank Plaza Auditorium in Makati City.
The turnover ceremonies were led by Metrobank and MBFI chairman Arthur Ty, MBFI trustee and GTFI president Alfred Ty joined by MBFI president and GTFI executive director Aniceto Sobrepeña. Serving as guest of honor is City of Manila Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso.
The Grants and Social Development Partnerships program of MBFI aims to contribute significant and sustainable solutions to the country’s social development challenges and help in raising the quality of life of the poorest, most vulnerable, and underserved sectors of society. A framework to achieve a more strategic and responsive approach in addressing development concerns in the areas of heal, education, arts, and livelihood (HEAL) has been institutionalized as a response to the global call in the attainment of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Since its inception in 2009, GTFI, on the other hand, implements strategic development programs that empower communities, primarily in the sectors of Health, Environment, and Education (HEED).
“This is the very essence of today’s event–partnerships. As our two foundations mature, MBFI and GTFI try to explore ways to make our projects more strategic in generating the desired impacts. We want to be able to determine if our efforts in fact contribute to nation-building, and in what way.” expressed Sobrepeña in his message. “In order to do this, we rely on you, our partners and stakeholders. If we are to succeed, we need your commitment, not just to carry out project deliverables, but to provide relevant solutions to stakeholder needs; to assess the undertaking; and make sure the next one is even more meaningful and impactful,” he continued.
Heeding the Call for Healthier Communities
Among the beneficiaries under the health thrust is the PGH Medical Foundation, Inc. established to assist the Philippine General Hospital (PGH) in achieving its mission to provide excellent healthcare to indigents. As the premier government hospital, more than half a million patients are served annually, 98% of whom are indigent.
GTFI sustains partnership with Plan International, on the other hand, for the construction of three (3) barangay health stations with birthing facilities in Western Samar and Maguindanao aimed at improving the access to health services of at least 10,000 individuals. Plan International, as a humanitarian and child development organization, advances children’s rights to education, protection, health care and a high quality of life.
Providing Access to Quality Education for the Marginalized
Beneficiaries for the thrust on education include Children of Asia—a child caring institution that provides educational opportunities to the underprivileged children in the slums of Cebu City. MBFI, through an educational sponsorship program, is supporting 11 ninth grade students in Alegria, Cebu as they complete junior high school and prepare for senior high school.
GTFI, for its part, aims to equip out-of-school youth and other marginalized students with skills that will help them gain immediate employment under its Scholarships for Technical-Vocation Education (STEP) program. Over the years, GTFI has been supporting scholars from some of the best technical-vocational education and training schools in the country with industry tie-ups for guaranteed employment.
To elevate interventions in catering to this sector, 3 institutional partners were added. These include: Don Bosco Academy of Pampanga for the improvement of their technical-vocational facilities; FPTI-Habihan School to support the 24-month technical-vocational education of 15 women; and MFI Polytechnic Institute to support 25 students enrolled under its Automation and Mechatronics Technology course—a 2 year technical training under the Dual Training System. The partnership with Toyota Motor Philippines School of Technology (TMP Tech) continues, through which full scholarship grants for select students under the 2-year General Job Automotive Servicing Course.
Supporting Art CausesFor the art thrust, MBFI supports ArtPsyche Circle for its project “Pahingalayan ng mga Bayani,” a creative retreat series composed of 6 half-day art therapy sessions to benefit soldiers-wounded-in-action undergoing medication and healing process at V.Luna Hospital in Quezon City.
Another organization supported is the International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS Philippines) for the implementation of a 5-day course on photogrammetry¾a low-cost method of 3D documentation where the input is a photograph and the output is a 3D image. This will address the shortage of trained documentation professionals in this field.
Livelihood Opportunities for those at the Margins
MBFI endeavors to provide individuals and communities with sustainable livelihood opportunities.One of the beneficiary organizations under its livelihood thrust is the MicroVentures Foundation (HAPINOY), a social enterprise organization. MBFI supports its Samahang Pinoy “Business Friends Forever” program. Sari-sari store owners are organized into a local peer support network serving as venues to learn from each other’s business experiences and help each other in addressing challenges faced by thriving micro-entrepreneurs.
Development grants were also extended to the World Surgical Foundation, International Bazaar Foundation, DFA Ladies Foundation, Du30 Cabinet Spouses Association, Congressional Spouses Foundation, Senate Spouses Foundation, and the Philippine Red Cross.
The Metrobank Foundation has released a total amount of PhP 2 million to reach out to survivors of the recent 6.4 magnitude earthquake that struck the province of Batanes, at the same time assist in the immediate needs of patients in select cities in the Visayan region suffering from the dengue outbreak.
One (1) million pesos will be coursed through TV5 Alagang Kapatid Foundation needed to put together relief packs containing mats, blankets, mosquito nets, and water, sanitation, and hygiene kits to benefit displaced Ivatans living in temporary shelters.
On the other hand, following the Department of Health (DOH)’s declaration of National Dengue Alert, another PhP 1 million was allocated to support the logistical needs of public hospitals in administering dengue stricken patients such as IV fluids, lancets, folding beds, IV perfusion pumps, tents, and NSI RDT kits. These hospitals include Roxas Memorial Provincial Hospital in Roxas City, Western Visayas Medical Center in Iloilo City, and Samar Provincial Hospital in Catbalogan City.
The 21st edition of the annual Graduates’ Forum was held on June 28, 2019 at the Penthouse of Manila Doctors Hospital in the City of Manila. A total of 38 scholars finished their respective undergraduate degrees. Of the 38 scholars, 17 finished with Latin Honors–6 magna cum laude and 11 cum laude. They were joined by Metrobank Foundation, Inc. (MBFI) and Pacific Paint (Boysen) Philippines officials seated in front row from 4th to 8th: MBFI asst. executive director Irene Labitad; MBFI executive director Nicanor Torres, Jr.; MBFI president Aniceto Sobrepeña; Boysen vice president Engr. Ruben Cueto; and Boysen office manager Natalie Lee.
The Metrobank Foundation, Inc. (MBFI) and the GT Foundation, Inc. (GTFI), together with partner Pacific Paint (Boysen) Philippines, recognized this year’s batch of scholar graduates during the 21st Graduates’ Forum, held last June 28, 2019 at the Penthouse of Manila Doctors Hospital in Ermita, Manila.
With the theme “#PayIt4Ward: Service to 4Cs,” the event aims to highlight what makes a Metrobank scholar different—his or her commitment to serve the Creator, Clan, Community and Country.
This year, a total of 38 scholars finished their undergraduate degrees from four (4) universities and colleges across the country. They are the recipients of the following scholarship programs: GTFI- Manila Tytana Colleges Youth for Excellence and Service (YES); MBFI- Manila Tytana Colleges Youth for Excellence and Service (YES); and MBFI-Pacific Paint (Boysen). Out of the 38 scholars, 17 finished with Latin honors—six (6) magna cum laude and 11 cum laude. They were conferred with Metrobank medals and certificates of academic excellence.
The annual event is intended to highlight among the scholars the value of giving back as they jumpstart their professional careers. The 4Cs—Creator, Clan, Community and Country—outlines how scholars can pay forward the blessings they have received.
“We believe that one’s generosity is instrumental in other’s success. After all, success is best savored when other people benefit from it. We hope that you will treasure the ideals you have learned in your respective institutions as well as the experiences gained from your journey,” said MBFI executive director Nicanor Torres, Jr. in his welcome remarks.
Julian Andrei Imperial, Bachelor of Science in Architecture graduate, magna cum laude, from the University of the Philippines Diliman, delivered a message of gratitude on behalf of his fellow scholars. Drawing inspiration from this year’s theme, he emphasized how all them gathered in that room may have different stories and circumstances, but they are bound by several similarities: how their benefactors have helped them pursue their dreams through their respective scholarship programs, as well as their common duty now as graduates to pay-it-forward through their craft and being the best version of themselves.
Imperial was able to finish his degree with the financial aid from the MBFI-Pacific Paint (Boysen) Scholarship Program. He is set to undergo apprenticeship in line with his aspired track of becoming an architect and future urban planner.
A series of activities followed the awarding ceremony. Scholars shared their stories and life journeys, and recalled the people who helped them along the way. They outlined their future plans on vision boards to guide their next steps in life.
During the “Where Youthful Energy meets Lifelong Experience” session, executives from the Metrobank Group and GT Capital Holdings shared tips over lunch to the new graduates related to the professional world.
Ma. Jabba Baquirquir, a Bachelor of Secondary Education major in English, magna cum laude, from the University of San Carlos in Cebu, also addressed the forum’s participants during her speech after the session. She shared how she always dreamed of becoming a teacher at such a young age, inspired by the thought of following in her mother’s footsteps. She recalled the days when this dream seemed too difficult to achieve, given the financial constraint experienced by her family. Prior to being accepted as a GT scholar, her studies were financed by her grandmother using the meager income from running a bakery.
Baquiquir’s passion for teaching never waned despite challenges. What reaffirmed this was her participation in various community extension programs such free tutorial sessions for youth in conflict with the law. In the future, Baquirquir sees herself as a teacher who will share the gift of education, the same gift that was extended to her by her benefactors.
A consistent achiever, Bonita Gracia S. Gutierrez took up BS Nursing at the Manila Tytana Colleges to bring to life her dream of being part of the healthcare industries. Her aspiration is to help those in need by providing them free medical services. She recently passed the Nursing Licensure Examination, and is preparing to land a job that will enable her to practice her profession. She also plans to continue on this path by taking up Master’s Degree in Nursing as well as Medicine.
Every year, the Foundation holds the Graduates’ Forum to recognize the academic and non- academic accomplishments of its promising graduates from different scholarship programs. Reinforcing the vision of the Metrobank Group’s late Chairman Dr. George S.K. Ty to nurture the country’s future leaders, the event allows graduates 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.
GT Foundation, Inc (GTFI), together with De La Salle University (DLSU), inaugurated the George S.K. Ty Advanced Instrumentation Building through a marker-unveiling ceremony on April 11, 2019 at the university’s Laguna campus in the city of Biñan.
Through the generous support of GTFI, the four-storey facility houses the University’s research laboratories in different areas of science, engineering, and technology. The building also houses a Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) Spectrometer that thoroughly analyzes and interprets molecular and compound structures. This NMR spectrometer is also the most sophisticated of its kind in the country.
The ceremonies were led by GTFI president Alfred Ty and DLSU president Br. Raymundo Suplido FSC. They were joined by GTFI assistant vice president Alesandra Ty; Metrobank first vice president Zandra Ty; GTFI executive director Aniceto Sobrepeña and deputy director executive Nicanor Torres, Jr.; Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) manager Emmanuel Cortero, and other key officers of the Metrobank Group subsidiaries and affiliates as well as DLSU administrators.
“The Lasallian identity of a spirit of faith, zeal for service and communion in mission, and its motto Religio, Mores, Cultura, resonates the vision and mission of GTFI of addressing the needs of the less privileged to improve the quality of their lives,” said GTFI president Alfred Ty in his message. “It is for these reasons that GTFI partnered with DLSU in the construction of the Dr. George S.K. Ty Advanced Instrumentation Building⎯an affirmation of Dr. Ty’s commitment to support and sustain the advancement of science, technology and engineering education in the Philippines,” he continued.
DLSU President Br. Raymundo Suplido FSC, on the other hand, expressed his appreciation for the late philanthropist and his foundation.
“On behalf of the De La Salle University community, I would like to extend our humble and sincere gratitude for being chosen as a partner and beneficiary of Dr. Ty and his Foundations’ trust and generosity. Rest assured, his faith in our brand of education will bear much fruit, not only with the achievements of current and future Lasallians, but with the values and virtues that Lasallians will carry with them into the workplace and for the benefit of our country,” expressed Br. Suplido.
Forty years ago, the late Metrobank Group founder Dr. George S.K. Ty envisioned an institution that would serve as a venue to share the benefits of Metrobank’s success with the community.
On January 8, 1979, Dr. Ty realized this by founding the Metrobank Foundation, Inc. (MBFI), armed with the vision for the institution to become the country’s premier corporate philanthropic foundation contributing a significant impact on social development. While the Bank has grown into an industry leader, MBFI has likewise built its own reputation through its various corporate social responsibility programs aimed at improving the lives of the disadvantaged and promoting excellence among key sectors of society.
“Excel. Engage. Empower.” became the roadmap in all its giving-back initiatives to communities and stakeholders. Four decades since its establishment, MBFI sustained its mission to create and propagate a culture of excellence among its beneficiary sectors, provide solutions to stakeholder needs, and serve at the forefront to reach out to communities.
A HEART THAT PERSEVERES IN EARNEST ZEAL FOR THE NATION
Guided by the theme, “Puso at Sigasig”, the heart for community that started it all continues to be MBFI’s rallying front, 40 years later. It is sustained by a greater zeal in order for the advocacies to move forward. The unique union of the heart and zeal forms the groundwork in the implementation of MBFI programs in public service excellence, education, healthcare, visual arts and heritage, and good governance.
“Forty years and hundreds of meaningful collaborations later, hope has not waned; rather it persists with tenacity that the goals we have set will be realized. We look forward to stronger collaboration and broader spaces for multi-sectoral involvement of generations to come,” said MBFI president Aniceto Sobrepeña.
In the years to come, the heart and zeal to build the nation and make a positive difference in the lives of many Filipinos remain strong and unchanging.
ACES & PEACE
To celebrate the occasion, a special gathering to honor distinguished individuals and institutional partners, and to commemorate, at the same time, the memories of its late founder Dr. Ty, took place on February 21 at the Le Pavillon, Metropolitan Park, Pasay City.
A new batch of awardees were conferred the Award for Continuing Excellence and Service (ACES). Chosen from the Foundation’s roster of awardees, they were recognized for their continuing excellence in the performance of their respective professions, substantive contributions to their chosen disciplines, and sustained outstanding service to their respective institutions and communities.
For their consistent adherence to the highest standards of performance and conduct of duty, these exceptional men and women have set a worthy example for everyone to emulate. Equally competent, compassionate, and patriotic, they stand as symbols of a true public servant. They are distinguished based on the recognitions they received at the national and international levels, the kind of mentorship they have instilled among their peers, and the concrete impact they have left upon their respective spheres of influence and communities.
They received the ‘Spiral’ medallion created by 1984 Metrobank Art & Design Excellence (MADE) awardee Roberto Feleo.
Another highlight was the presentation of the Partner in Empowerment, Advocacy, and Commitment to Excellence (PEACE) to institutional partners from the government, non-government and socio-civic organizations, media, academe, and business. They received the ‘Kapit-Bisig’ trophy created by 2011 MADE awardee Architect Jonathan Dangue.
A TRIBUTE TO THE FOUNDER
The work that MBFI does is a reflection of the late Dr. Ty’s enduring legacy to make a difference in the lives of the citizenry and contribute to nation-building. MBFI’s programs and advocacies illuminate Metrobank’s core values: passion for results, integrity, teamwork, commitment to customer service and heart for community.
To commemorate Dr. Ty’s unparalleled leadership, generous spirit, compassionate heart, and outstanding contributions to nation-building, a special exhibit focusing on his being a pillar of the banking industry, corporate philanthropy, and as patron of the arts was put up.
“The humanitarian legacy he left behind would continuously live on and ripple a lasting impact across the many lives touched, individuals assisted, organizations empowered, and communities positively changed through MBFI’s corporate social responsibility programs. We honor our late founder and express utmost esteem for his invaluable contributions to nation-building and boundless heart for the Filipino community,” expressed Sobrepeña.
A sculpture entitled “Generosity” was presented which symbolizes Dr. Ty’s legacy in the industry and philanthropy.
Created by 2007 Metrobank Foundation Prize for Achievement in Sculpture (MPAS) awardee Juan Sajid Imao, the artwork shows several human figures with their hands interlocking in stylized form. Sajid chose copper for the sculpture’s medium as it is naturally reddish in hue as a reminder of Dr. Ty’s lifelong passion to cultivate excellence in the fields close to his heart such as the arts, military, police and the academe. The dynamic movement of the figures, on the other hand, shows how Dr. Ty’s legacy of excellence will continue to inspire Filipinos to work together to make this country a more progressive nation.
The exhibit also featured the milestones of MBFI in the last 40 years, together with dedicated photos and profiles of the ACES.
The Metrobank Foundation, Inc. (MBFI) received six (6) trophies at the 54th Anvil Awards on January 30, 2019 at the Grand Ballroom of the Manila Marriott Hotel, Pasay City.
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 received three (3) Gold Anvils and three (3) Silver Anvils.
Awarded with Gold Anvil is “Gratitude In10sified: 2018 National Teachers’ Month (NTM),” a movement led by MBFI and the Department of Education which recognizes Filipino teachers and educators for their contribution to national development. The movement marked its 10th milestone year in 2018 with the “Gratitude In10sified” campaign which aims to intensify all efforts in recognizing the indispensible role of Filipino teachers in shaping minds across generations. NTM is celebrated for an entire month from September 5 to October 5.
Another Gold Anvil was given to “Beyond Excellence: 2018 Metrobank Foundation Outstanding Filipinos Souvenir Program.” The publication narrates moving stories and inspiring accomplishments of the 2018 Metrobank Foundation Outstanding Filipinos. Given that an Outstanding Filipino is a model of excellence in his or her chosen profession, it is imperative that their professional achievements, best practices and personal life accounts are narrated and disseminated in hopes of reaching like-minded individuals so they, too, can be positive agents of change in nation-building. While the annual publication highlights the Outstanding Filipinos, it also serves as an acknowledgment of the Foundation’s partners whose support is invaluable to the success of the search.
The third Gold Anvil was conferred to “Discover MADE,” a culmination of the Search for 2018 Metrobank Art & Design Excellence (MADE) in Painting and Sculpture which featured three components— MADE Awarding Ceremony, Exhibit Opening, and Lecture Series on Philippine Arts and Cultural Heritage. The event engages a diverse group of audiences, comprising of the competition participants, art and design community, special interest groups and passionate supporters of art.
Meanwhile, awarded with Silver Anvil is the “2018 Bags of Blessing,” an annual gift-giving project of the late Metrobank founder and group chairman Dr. George S.K. Ty every Chinese New Year, spearheaded by the GT Foundation, Inc., the Ty family foundation. The project seeks to bring together employees of GT Capital Holdings and Metrobank Group of Companies, as well as institutional partners to participate in the tradition of sharing and giving back in gratitude for a prosperous year through the distribution of 10,000 bags of food items worth Php 1,000 to 10,000 indigent families.
Another public relations program which earned a Silver Anvil is “Grants and Social Development Partnerships,” MBFI’s instrument in nation-building through meaningful collaborations with development organizations in order to produce positive and lasting ripples. Under this program are MBFI’s priority thrusts—HEAL (Health, Education, Arts & Livelihood)—which are anchored on selected United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Philippine Development Plan.
Moreover, under the public relations tool, MBFI also took home a Silver Anvil for “Building the Future: Metrobank Foundation 2017 Annual Report.” The annual report chronicles MBFI’s continuous growth as a corporate foundation, and features the inspirational stories of chosen stakeholders who work in the spirit of cooperative effort to build the future of the nation. By highlighting stakeholder stories, the publication underscored the successful implementation of its corporate social responsibility programs, not only presenting significant figures and statistics but also allowing readers to appreciate the impact on these programs on lives of the stakeholders.
MBFI has been winning Anvil awards since 1985. To date, it has won 83 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.
GT Foundation, Inc. (GTFI) and Metrobank Foundation, Inc. (MBFI) kicked off this year’s “Bags of Blessing”, a week-long distribution of P10 million worth of food packages to 10,000 families, on February 5 at San Agustin Church in Intramuros, Manila. Simultaneous distributions also happened in Apalit, Pampanga; Tapuac, Dagupan City; Batangas City; Tagbiliran City, Bohol; Puerto Princesa City, Palawan; Municipality of Guiuan, Eastern Samar; General Santos City, South Cotabato; and Tandag City, Surigao del Sur.
Since its inception in 2011, the Bags of Blessing has always been envisioned by the late Metrobank Group chairman and founder Dr. George S.K. Ty as a way to reach out to underprivileged families and provide them a privilege to take part in the celebration of Chinese New Year.
Spearheaded by the Ty family foundation—GTFI, together with the MBFI, the annual Bags of Blessing carry on a tradition to share blessings with the needy and create venues to have a meaningful way of welcoming and celebrating the Chinese New Year. Companies, subsidiaries, and affiliates under the Metrobank Group and GT Capital Holdings, as well as the network of select Metrobank branches nationwide, took part in this annual undertaking.
The traditional ang-pao (a red envelope containing cash used to deliver best wishes, luck, good energy and happiness) is the inspiration. However, instead of cash-giving, specially designed red bags containing 1,000 peso worth of grocery items (snack packs, rice, canned goods, and other daily needs of the Filipino consumer) were distributed to poor families carefully selected by the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP), through its national network of Diocesan Action Centers. Other than belonging to the status of living below the poverty line, families affected by recent calamities, Indigenous Peoples (IPs), and non-beneficiaries of the Pantawid Pamliyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) were given priority.
“This Bags of Blessing gift-giving activity has served as an opportunity for our employees and partners to give back to our communities which have always been at the core of our corporate values. We are passionate in continuing the legacy that our beloved chairman Dr. George S.K. Ty has instilled in each of us” said MBFI president and GTFI executive director Aniceto Sobrepeña.
“He envisioned this project to be able to reach out to those who are marginalized who do not have much. It is heart-warming to see the effort and presence of the Ty family and the rest of the Metrobank Group in keeping this tradition alive,” Sobrepeña added.
Consistent with Metrobank’s heart for the community core value, almost 2,000 volunteers generously donated their time to repack and distribute goods in the different distribution sites. The Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine National Police, in coordination with select Catholic archdioceses, served as key partners in the site implementation.
The Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine National Police, in coordination with select Catholic archdioceses, serve as key partners in the site implementation.
Distributions for 500 families each were conducted in the succeeding days in churches located at Cubao, Quezon City; Marikina City; Imus City, Cavite; and 400 families each for, Malolos, Bulacan; Angeles, Pampanga, Vigan, Ilocos Sur; Tuguegarao, Cagayan; Calamba City, Laguna; Naga City, Camarines Sur; Tabunok, Cebu; Bacolod, Negros Occidental; General Luna, Iloilo; Cagayan de Oro, Misamis Oriental; Zamboanga City, Zamboanga del Sur; and Davao City, Davao del Sur.