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 country’s young math geniuses competed during the national finals of the 2018 Metrobank-MTAP-DepEd Math Challenge (MMC) National Finals, held last March 24, 2018 at the Metrobank Plaza Auditorium in Makati City.
Out of the 574,823 students who competed in the nationwide elimination rounds, a total of 48 students representing 30 public and private schools have successfully advanced to the final leg of the competition this year.
The national finals showcased the mathematical proficiency of Grade 6 and Grade 10 students who competed in both individual and team categories. The challenge consisted of solving complex mathematical problems mentally within 15 seconds and additional rounds of 30-second and one-minute questions using pen and paper. In addition, national finalists were provided with tablet computers through which they send answers directly to the judges, who then immediately mark them as “correct” or “wrong”. The MMC is the first math competition in the Philippines to use this technology that leads to faster generation of contest results.
Out of the 30 competing schools, 19 produced their first ever national finalists. They are Ilocos Sur National High School (Vigan City), College of the Holy Spirit of Tarlac (Tarlac City), Maliwalo High School (Tarlac City); De La Salle University Integrated School (Biñan City); Palawan State University Laboratory Elementary School (Puerto Princesa City); Binalbagan Catholic College High School Department (Binalbagan, Negros Occidental); Mary Infant Jesus School (Iligan City); Mindanao State University – Iligan Institute of Technology Integrated Development School (Iligan City); Notre Dame of Dadiangas University (General Santos City); and Palanan Elementary School (Makati City).
Winners were awarded by the guest of honor, Education Secretary Leonor Briones, who also delivered an inspirational message to inspire the young audience; Metrobank Foundation, Inc. (MBFI) executive director Nicanor Torres, Jr.; Mathematics Teachers Association of the Philippines (MTAP) president Sr. Iluminada Coronel, fmm; DepEd Bureau of Curriculum Development Director Jocelyn Andaya; and MBFI trustee Elvira Ong-Chan.
Sean Neyers Gungon of Renato Lopez Elementary School (Mandaluyong City) was the first placer in the Grade 6 Individual Competition, while Jence Enrico Dela Fuente of Ateneo de Naga University Grade School (Naga City) and Jonathan Anacan of Alimodian Central Elementary School (Alimodian, Iloilo) were second and third placers, respectively.
For the Grade 6 Team Competition, Christopher James Yap and Christian Jacob Yap of St. John’s Institute (Bacolod City) were the 1st placers. Hans Ethan Ting and Ambrose James Torreon of Rainbow of Angels Learning Center (Butuan City) placed 2nd while Timothy Lawrence Andal and Benjamin Jacob of St. Philomena Academy of Lipa (Lipa City) were 3rd.
For the Grade 10 Individual Competition, Dion Stephan Ong of Ateneo de Manila Junior High School (Quezon City) was the 1st placer, while Andres Rico Gonzales III of Colegio de San Juan de Letran (City of Manila) settled at 2nd and James Matthew Young of Iloilo National High School-Special Science Class (Iloilo City) placed 3rd.
In the Grade 10 Team Competition, Andres Rico Gonzales III and Alec Nowell Ranara of Colegio de San Juan de Letran (City of Manila) were the 1st placers. Dion Stephan Ong and Matthew Ernest Quinto of Ateneo de Manila Junior High School (Quezon City) placed 2nd while James Matthew Young and Leann Patricia Ganzon of Iloilo National High School-Special Science Class (Iloilo City) were 3rd.
“The Metrobank-MTAP-DepEd Math Challenge may have evolved over the years, but what has remained constant is our goal of uniting student participants who come from diverse family backgrounds and geographical locations,” said Torres. He also congratulated both winners and national finalists for “daring to do better and succeeding in defying expectations.”
National winners received trophies, medals and cash prizes of PhP 10,000 each. Educational subsidies were also given through the winners’ Metrobank Fun Savers Club savings account, which encourages kids 17 years and below to save for their future.
Meanwhile, all national finalists received giveaways sponsored by Casio Philippines, Manila Tytana Colleges, Philippine Science Centrum, Active Fun Children’s Play and Party Centers, Tom’s World and Money Tree. Other cooperating institutions include PSBank, Itemhound, and City Garden Hotel Makati.
Now on its 17th year, MMC is the most widely participated math competition in the country among elementary and high school students. Over the years, MMC has produced national winners who get to compete and eventually win in international competitions, such as the 57th International Mathematical Olympiad (IMO) held in Hong Kong where the Philippines garnered its first gold medals.
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.
Metrobank Foundation, Inc. (MBFI) president and GT Foundation, Inc. (GTFI) executive director Aniceto Sobrepeña (seated, 4th from left) and Department of Social Welfare and Development OIC Emmanuel Leyco (3rd from left) lead the ceremonial turnover of assorted food items to beneficiary families during the MOA signing for the 2018 Bags of Blessing at the DSWD Central Office in Quezon City last February 8, 2018. Joining them are MBFI executive director Nicanor Torres, Jr. and DSWD Undersecretary Florita Villar.In support of the government’s anti-poverty programs, the GT Foundation, Inc. (GTFI)—the family foundation of Metrobank Group founder and chairman Dr. George S.K. Ty—together with the Metrobank Foundation, Inc. (MBFI), renewed its partnership with the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) for the conduct of the 2018 Bags of Blessing (BOB). DSWD officer-in-charge Emmanuel Leyco and MBFI president and GTFI executive director Aniceto Sobrepeña led the MOA signing held on February 8, 2018 at the DSWD Central Office in Quezon City.
Now on its sixth year, BOB is a series of nationwide gift-giving activities catering to underprivileged families in select areas nationwide in celebration of Chinese New Year. Instead of the traditional “ang-paos” (red envelopes containing monetarial gifts), bags containing PhP 1,000 worth of food items will be distributed to 10,000 underprivileged families. A total of PHP 10 million worth of these bags are slated for distribution in 21 cities and municipalities nationwide.
“Amidst the festivities of the Chinese New Year, we must remember those who live in the margins—that they too must be able to celebrate. Guided by the values of our chairman Dr. George S.K. Ty, Bags of Blessing is our small contribution towards providing families with dignity and self-respect that befits the Filipino,” said Sobrepeña. “Towards this end, we are privileged to work with DSWD and all our partners in giving back to those in need,” he continued.
For his part, Leyco expressed appreciation for the efforts by GTFI and MBFI, saying that the BOB “is a welcome development in our mutual desire and commitment towards social protection and social development.” He also noted that DSWD looks forward to more fruitful partnerships with the Foundations in the future, with the goal of reaching “our fellowmen who are most vulnerable and marginalized.”
The 2018 BOB kicks off on February 16 at Lancaster City in Gen. Trias, Cavite, reaching out to 500 families. 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. For the National Capital Region, selected sites include the City of Manila, Taguig City, Pasay City, Marikina City, Quezon City, Makati City, Navotas City, and Caloocan City.
Majority of the beneficiaries were selected from DSWD’s Listahanan, a database of poor families in the Philippines. Priority is given to families who live below the poverty line, those affected recently by calamities, members of Indigenous Peoples (IP) communities, and those who are not yet part of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps).
In addition to DSWD, implementation partners for the 2018 BOB include the different subsidiaries and affiliates of GT Capital Holdings and the Metrobank Group, the Armed Forces of the Philippines, the Philippine National Police, and local government units.