The Metrobank Foundation, Inc. (MBFI) received nine (9) awards at the recently concluded 16th Philippine Quill Awards organized by the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC)-Philippines. Held on July 9, 2018 at the Grand Ballroom of Marriott Hotel in Pasay City, MBFI took home six (6) Quill Awards of Excellence and three (3) Quill Awards of Merits under the divisions: Communication Management and Communication Skills.
MBFI emerged as among the most-awarded organizations that night from among over 870 entries by hundreds of institutions nationwide, qualifying the Foundation as one of the finalists for the coveted Company of the Year award—not to mention the only corporate foundation among the roster.
Under the Communication Management Division, the “2017 Metrobank Foundation Outstanding Filipinos” received a Quill Award of Excellence. Guided by the theme “Beyond Excellence”, the program recognizes exemplary teachers, soldiers, and police officers who render service above and beyond their call of duties. In 2017, ten (10) Outstanding Filipinos—composed of four (4) teachers, three (3) soldiers, and three (3) police officers—have been recognized for their accomplishments that have inspired and influenced their peers and the people in their communities. In keeping with the prestige of the award, MBFI introduced higher qualifying eligibility requirements; strategic information campaigns; rigorous field validation process; judging rounds chaired by distinguished individuals across various sectors; and carefully thought out events management during the week-long recognition activities.
Another Quill Award of Excellence went to MBFI grant-making initiatives, “Grants and Social Development Partnerships”, that help raise the quality of life of the poorest, most vulnerable, and underserved sectors of society. To realize the HEAL (health, education, arts, and livelihood) as priority thrusts and guiding framework in forging partnerships with social development partners, more strategic and responsive approaches were implemented on its grants administration. In 2017, there was a recorded increase in supporting high-impact Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)-related projects and specific interventions under the HEAL thrusts. The network of social development partners was expanded to those which implement long-term and high-impact programs and projects.
On the other hand, “2017 National Teachers’ Month (NTM)” also took home a Quill Award of Excellence. A movement led by MBFI, together with the Department of Education and various multi-sectoral groups, NTM is held annually from September 5 to October 5. Guided by the “My Teacher, My Hero” theme, the idea is to engage the entire nation in joining the celebrations by bringing out the Teachers’ Day festivities from schools to the public sphere. On its 9th year, greater steps were taken in order to better highlight the role of teachers in nation-building.
“2017 Metrobank-MTAP-DepEd Math Challenge (MMC)” was also awarded a Quill Award of Excellence. As the longest running and the most widely-participated annual mathematics competition for elementary and junior high school students in both public and private schools in the Philippines, former MMC winners represented the country and have won medals in international competitions.
Meanwhile, under the Communication Skills Division, the “2017 Graduates’ Forum “#Payit4ward: Service to 4Cs” and “2017 Metrobank Foundation Outstanding Filipinos video shorts” were both awarded Quill Awards of Excellence. The 19th edition of the annual Graduates’ Forum for Class 2017 scholar graduates highlighted what makes an MBFI scholar different. A total of 91 scholar graduates finished their undergraduate degrees, from 21 universities and colleges nationwide, 23 of whom were Latin honorees–1 summa cum laude, 6 magna cum laude, and 16 cum laude. The Outstanding Filipinos video shorts, on the other hand, were products of collaboration with Pilipinas HD. A collection of vignettes and in-depth-stories, the video shorts narrate the inspirational stories of the 2017 Metrobank Foundation Outstanding Filipinos.
Other winning entries include: “Exceletter”, the MBFI institutional newsletter; “Imagine: 2017 Metrobank Art & Design Excellence (MADE) Awarding Ceremony & Exhibit Opening”; “Beyond Excellence” Metrobank Foundation 2016 Annual Report, each took home Quill Awards of Merit.
To date, MBFI has won 57 Philippine Quill for its various programs and public relations tools since 1986.
For more information on MBFI’s scholarship programs, please visit www.mbfoundation.org.ph
The Metrobank Foundation, Inc. (MBFI) and the GT Foundation, Inc., together with partners Pacific Paint (Boysen) Philippines and Fluor Philippines, recognized this year’s batch of scholar graduates during the 20th Graduates’ Forum, held last June 22, 2018 at the Penthouse of Metrobank Plaza in Makati City.
With the theme “#PayIt4Ward: Service to 4Cs,” the event aims to highlight what makes a Metrobank scholar different—his or her commitment to serve Creator, Clan, Community and Country.
This year, a total of 33 scholars finished their undergraduate degrees from 7 universities and colleges across the country. They are the recipients of the following scholarship programs: MBFI-Manila Tytana Colleges-Youth for Excellence and Service (YES); MBFI-Pacific Paint (Boysen); Fluor-MBFI; ACCESS II (Assistance for the Completion of College Education for Superior Students); including graduates under the scholarship programs of GTFI. Out of the 33 scholars, 12 finished with Latin honors-6 magna cum laude and 6 cum laude. They were conferred with Metrobank medals and certificates of academic excellence.
The annual event is designed to inspire scholar graduates on 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. “The Foundation has been designing scholarship programs fitting to harness the significant role of the Filipino youth in nation building. We are hopeful that by giving you access to education, you are capable to give back to God, your family and country as the Foundation seeks to instill holistic growth to you through intervention programs with the help of like-minded institutional and academic partners” said MBFI executive director Nicanor Torres, Jr. in his welcome remarks.
Speaking on behalf of the graduates, Ida Talia Hernandez, a magna cum laude Architecture graduate from University of the Philippines-Diliman expressed gratitude for the help they received and for the experiences that molded them.
Ida never stopped in putting extra effort to prove she is a worthy scholar. Although initially challenged to excel and maintain high grades, the scholarship pushed her to become more diligent and hard-working—taking steps to improve not just academically, but socially and psychologically. Owing her strength to supportive family and friends whom she sees as her life’s blessings, Ida believes that one should always look for opportunities to be of service to loved ones and fellowmen.
Series of activities followed the awarding ceremony. During the “Where Youthful Energy meet Lifelong Experience” session, executives from the Metrobank Group and GT Capital Holdings gave tips over lunch to the new graduates related to the professional world. Scholars also shared stories of their life’s journey and of the people who helped them along the way. They outlined their future plans on vision boards to guide their next steps in life.
Among these graduate scholars was Abigail Leron, a BS Accountacy graduate, magna cum laude, from the Manila Tytana Colleges. Abi lost his father before graduating high school. Since her mother did not have a steady income, she knew she needed a scholarship to be able to continue schooling. The scholarship allowed her to pursue Accountancy without putting much burden on her family. She is now a Certified Public Accountant. She hopes to be successful in whatever career she will choose in the future—so she may be able to provide for her family and be involved in programs that will benefit the elderly.
Jed Patrick O’ Connor, a magna cum laude, BS Hotel and Restaurant Management graduate from the Manila Tytana Colleges, is a son of a solo parent. Jed grew up instilled with the dedication to always prioritize his family. Applying for the GTFI scholarship helped his mother to support his’ and his sister’s studies, and be able to save some money. Now that he has graduated, he plans to pursue his dream of being a pilot. In the meantime, he is working in the airline industry and is working hard towards his goals, alongside getting involved in various volunteer activities.
Meanwhile, Anjelica Nicole Hernandez, a cum laude BS Architecture graduate from the University of Santo Tomas shared that the scholarship did more than just helping her family with her education. It served as her motivation to always give her best and a constant reminder that God makes miracles in her life. Despite encountering difficulties in her academics, Nicole involved herself in various advocacies to promote architecture, such as heritage preservation and mural-making in public schools. In the future, she hopes to work and gain expertise in an international firm—after which, she will go back to the country to impart her knowledge to local architects.
Every year, the Foundation stages the Graduates’ Forum to recognize the academic and non- academic undertakings of its promising graduates from different scholarship programs. Reflecting Metrobank Group Chairman Dr. George S.K. Ty’s commitment to nurture the country’s future leaders, the two day-long event allows graduates to thank 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 1000 graduates in collaboration with its partner institutions and schools. For more information on MBFI’s scholarship programs, please visit www.mbfoundation.org.ph.
The Metrobank Foundation, Inc. (MBFI), in cooperation with the Philippine National Police (PNP), held the inaugural lecture for the “Metrobank Foundation Fellowship in Public Service” on June 19, 2018 at the PNP Multi-Purpose Center in Camp Crame, Quezon City.
Speaking before members of the PNP was Cebu City Police Office city director Police Senior Superintendent Joel Bargamento Doria—a recipient of the Metrobank Foundation Outstanding Filipino Award in 2017.
The “Metrobank Foundation Fellow in Public Service” title was conferred to him “recognizing his more than two decades of outstanding contribution to serve and protect the Filipino people and for his commitment to tackle criminality without losing respect for morality and for ensuring that the quest for justice does not in any way infringe the pursuit of peace” the recognition plaque states.
“After recognizing the Outstanding Filipinos in 2017, we thought of bringing to the fore their professional achievements and personal life stories. It is our belief that achievements, which resulted to positive change, or innovations which addressed major societal concerns, should be highlighted and widely shared. Hence, we decided to provide an avenue for these stories to be heard, hoping that others will replicate or even surpass these outstanding achievements,” said MBFI president Aniceto Sobrepeña. “We hope that our future police leaders gain the insights and inspire their individual journeys in the pursuit of exemplary public service” he added.
PSSupt. Doria shared their unit’s best practices in support of the Anti-Illegal Drug Campaign and Anti-Criminality Crusade of the institution. Dubbed as Oplan POKEMON (Pakigbatukan Og sumpoon ang Krimen ug ang Epekto sa illegal nga drugas nga Makadaut Og makaguba sa Nasud or Fight and Eradicate Crime and Illegal Drugs that are Detrimental to the Nation), it is a modified one-time-big-time type of police operation, conducted simultaneously by all Cebu City police stations in a randomly picked day of the week. Unique to this is its comprehensive breadth as it targets all types of street crimes while employing crime prevention activities such as police patrol and police-community relations activities.
“We needed a plan that would cause the public to buy-in to our efforts – something that does not require unnecessary loss of lives but still cause unrest to criminals and drug peddlers. During that time, the mobile game Pokémon Go was raving the news and social media. Everybody knew what Pokémon Go was. What we needed was to connect the drugs war with the mobile game that everybody loved,” shared PSSupt. Doria.
The result was a success that out of the 62 Oplan Pokemon operations that ran from August 2016 to March 2018, they were able to arrest 4,266 persons for various violation (but mostly illegal drugs), confiscated 6 kilos of shabu, recovered 101 loose firearms, pulled the plug of 666 illegal gambling machines and recovered 211 thousand pesos cash (proceeds of illegal activities).
In his 26 years of service to the PNP, he took on challenging assignments on various units such as the Special Action Force, Highway Patrol Group, Police Regional Office 3, and at the National Headquarters in Camp Crame. He is also responsible for the neutralization of various criminal groups and high value targets in many of his assignments.
He graduated as part of the “Taga-Pagpatupad” class of the PNP Academy in 1992, where he earned his Bachelor of Science in Public Safety. He further pursued both his Master’s Degree in Peace and Securities studies and Doctor of Philosophy in Peace and Security Administration from Bicol University.
The Metrobank Foundation Outstanding Filipinos are recognized for rendering service above and beyond the call of duty. Their accomplishments inspired and influenced others in transforming communities through a lasting positive impact on people and the country.
To honor newly appointed Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) chief of staff General Carlito Galvez, Jr. a testimonial dinner was hosted by the Metrobank Group on May 23, 2018 at the Grand Salon of Grand Hyatt Manila in Taguig City. General Galvez was a recipient of the 2007 search for The Outstanding Philippine Soldiers (TOPS), now widely known as the Metrobank Foundation Outstanding Filipinos. TOPS, as the highest and most prestigious civilian recognition given to a military personnel for his/her priceless acts of valor, selfless sacrifices and heroism, is being implemented by the Metrobank Foundation, Inc. (MBFI) in partnership with Rotary Club of Makati Metro (RCMM).
Present during the testimonial dinner were senior officers of the Metrobank Group and RCMM. General Galvez succeeded the position left by General Rey Leonardo Guerrero in the recent AFP Change of Command and Testimonial Honors activity held at Camp General Emilio Aguinaldo in Quezon City.
Federal Land chairman and MBFI vice chairman Alfred Ty, in his welcome remarks, congratulated General Galvez who have dedicated himself to a lifetime of exceptional service in the Philippine Army. Prior to his new appointment, General Galvez was the Chief of the Western Mindanao Command (WESMINCOM) who played a key role in ending the five-month siege carried out by ISIS-inspired terrorists in Marawi City in 2017.
“This gathering is more significant as we are not only honoring General Galvez as the 50th chief of staff of the AFP but the first soldier awardee of our awards program who in now at the helm of the institution they represent. This feat is a testimony of the quality of awardees we recognize. Truly, he have lived up to the call of going beyond excellence.”
Likewise, MBFI president Aniceto “Chito” Sobrepeña also congratulated General Galvez. “It is truly a great pleasure for all of us in MBFI to continue give recognition for the distinguished efforts and sacrifices of all our awardees. The Metrobank Foundation Outstanding Filipinos search has proven its worth by producing effective leaders in the sectors of military, police and education” he said.
General Galvez joins the roster of Metrobank Foundation Outstanding Filipinos who held key positions in the AFP including Lieutenant General Juancho Sabban (Ret), 2003 former Commander of Western Command; Vice Admiral Jesus Millan (Ret), 2006 former Flag Officer in Command Philippine Navy and Undersecretary Department of National Defense; Lieutenant General Romeo Tanalgo (Ret), 2009 former Vice Chief of Staff AFP and Commander, Northern Luzon Command; Lieutenant General Raul del Rosario (Ret), 2012 former Commander Central and Western Command; and Lieutenant General Danilo Pamonag, 2015 Commander, Southern Luzon Command.
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 Metrobank Group and GT Capital Holdings, Inc., through the Metrobank Foundation, Inc. (MBFI) and GT Foundation, Inc. (GTFI), celebrated the Chinese New Year through the 2018 Bags of Blessing project which kicked off on February 16, 2018 at Lancaster New City Activity Center in Imus City, Cavite. Through a P 10 million worth of donations, 10,000 families from 21 cities and municipalities nationwide will receive P 1,000 worth of food bags. Photo shows Metrobank Group founder and chairman Dr. George S.K. Ty (6th from left) leading the ceremonial turnover of goods to beneficiaries. He was joined by Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) officer-in-charge Emmanuel Leyco (7th from left); Metrobank Foundation adviser Mary Ty (5th from left); Metrobank chairman Arthur Ty (5th from right); Federal Land chairman Alfred Ty (3rd from left); Metrobank Card Corporation vice chairman Anjanette Dy Buncio (2nd from left); GT Capital Holdings assistant treasurer Alesandra Ty (2nd from right); MBFI president Aniceto Sobrepeña (leftmost), and PRO-FRIENDS president Guillermo Choa (rightmost).On the day of Chinese New Year, the Metrobank Group and GT Capital Holdings, Inc. kicked off the Bags of Blessing project last February 16, 2018 at Lancaster New City in Imus, Cavite. Spearheaded by the Ty family foundation—GT Foundation, Inc. (GTFI), together with Metrobank Foundation, Inc. (MBFI), PhP 10 million worth of food packages will be distributed to 10,000 families in 21 cities and municipalities nationwide. For this site, a total of 500 underprivileged families from General Trias, Cavite were assisted, held in partnership with the Property Company of Friends, Inc. (PRO-FRIENDS). A brainchild of Metrobank Group founder and chairman Dr. George S.K Ty, Bags of Blessing is a series of gift-giving activities in select areas nationwide catering to underprivileged families. Instead of the traditional “ang-paos” (red envelopes containing cash), each family receives a bag containing PhP 1,000 worth of food items. Beneficiaries were carefully selected from the National Household Targeting System for Poverty Reduction (NHTS-PR), known as “Listahanan”, of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD)—an information management system designed to provide a comprehensive database of the country’s poorest families in need of assistance. A number of families identified in cooperation with the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) are also included in the beneficiary list. Other than belonging to the status of living below the poverty line, families affected by recent calamities, Indigenous Peoples (IPs), and non- 4Ps beneficiaries are given priority. The distribution was led by Dr. Ty, who was joined by DSWD OIC secretary Emmanuel Leyco; Metrobank chairman Arthur Ty; Federal Land chairman Alfred Ty; Metrobank Card Corporation vice chairman Anjanette Dy Buncio; GT Capital Holdings assistant treasurer Alesandra Ty; MBFI adviser Mary Ty; GT Capital Holdings president Carmelo Bautista; Philippine Savings Bank president Vicente Cuna; PRO-FRIENDS president Guillermo Choa; First Metro Asset Management president Augusto Cosio; Orix Metro Leasing and Finance Corporation director Fumihiko Sato; and MBFI president and GTFI executive director Aniceto Sobrepeña. “The Bags of Blessing is grounded in our tradition of sharing blessings with the needy,” said Sobrepeña. He added, “We at the Metrobank Group and GT Capital Holdings are privileged to work with our partners in support of the government’s anti-poverty programs. It is our hope that through the Bags of Blessing, we can augment the daily needs of our countrymen—the vulnerable and the marginalized—as we usher in the Year of the Earth Dog.” The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Philippine National Police (PNP), in coordination with concerned local government units and Catholic archdioceses also serve as key partners in this undertaking. Simultaneous distributions will also be held in the following countryside areas, with 400 to 500 beneficiary families each—Sta. Rosa City, Laguna; Baras, Rizal; Infanta, Quezon; Botolan, Zambales; Iloilo City; Cebu City; Naval, Biliran; Ormoc City; Davao City; Surigao City; General Santos City; and Talacogon, Agusan del Sur. Selected sites from the National Capital Region (NCR) include the City of Manila, Taguig City, Pasay City, Marikina City, Quezon City, Makati City, Navotas City, and Caloocan City.