Outstanding Filipinos Conferred at Metrobank's 50th Anniversary

Metrobank, in celebration of its 50th anniversary, awarded this year’s winners of the Metrobank Foundation Search for Outstanding Teachers (SOT), The Outstanding Philippine Soldiers (TOPS), and the Country’s Outstanding Policemen in Service (COPS) in a joint conferment ceremony held last September 5, 2012 at the Makati Shangri-La. The Metrobank Foundation Outstanding Filipinos are recognized exemplars in education, the police force, and the military.

House Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. served as the Guest of Honor, while distinguished officials from the government, business, academe, and diplomatic communities graced the event.

The awardees in the 2012 Search for Outstanding Teachers (SOT) are: Dr. Roberto D. Santos, Jr. of Sta. Rita Elementary School (Capas, Tarlac); Nueva P. Mangaoang of Man-it Integrated School (Passi City); Rizal M. Vidallo of Anabu II Elementary School (Imus, Cavite); Mariam B. Rivamonte of Santa Cruz South Central School (Santa Cruz, Marinduque); Dr. Annie I. Rodriguez of the Philippine Science High School-Southern Mindanao Campus (Davao City); Bonifacio D. Caculitan, Jr. of Ernesto Rondon High School (Quezon City); Marivi L. Castro of General Santos City SPED Integrated School; Galcoso C. Alburo of Concepcion Integrated School-Secondary (Marikina City); Dr. Hilda C. Montaño of the West Visayas State University (Iloilo City) and Dr. Catherine P. Vistro-Yu of the Ateneo de Manila University (Quezon City)

The gallant soldiers of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) who made it in the 2012 Search for The Outstanding Philippine Soldiers (TOPS) are: Colonel Milfredo M. Melegrito (Camp O’ Donell, Capas, Tarlac), Master Sergeant Juana R. Hernal (Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City) and Technical Sergeant Rolando L. Diomangay (Camp Lapu-Lapu, Cebu City) from the Philippine Army; Captain Erick A. Kagaoan (Headquarters Naval Station, Jose V. Andrada, Manila), Engineman Second Class Arce D. Balasabas (Felix Apolinario Camp, Davao City) and Engineman Third Class Ricky R. Burgos (Naval Station Romulo Espaldon, Zamboanga City), from the Philippine Navy; Lieutenant Colonel Antonio Z. Francisco, Jr. (Villamor Airbase, Pasay City), Senior Master Sergeant Augusto D. Reyes (Villamor Airbase, Pasay City) and Master Sergeant Emerito R. Angcao (Sangley Point, Cavite) from the Philippine Air Force; and Colonel Raul J. Tangco, Prof, (Philippine Military Academy) from the Technical & Administrative Services – Corps of Professors.

Lastly, the exemplary police officers in this year’s Search for the Country’s Outstanding Policemen in Service (COPS) are: Police Superintendent Belli B. Tamayo (Quezon City); Police Chief Inspector Vicente S. Cabatingan (Laguna) Police Senior Inspector Charity S. Galvez (Butuan City); Police Superintendent Bernard M. Banac (Quezon City); Police Officer 3 Eduardo D. Santiago (Bayambang, Pangasinan); Senior Police Officer 3 Renjun O. Bagaman (South Cotabato); Senior Police Officer 3 Rhia B. Sotomil (Pavia, Iloilo), Police Officer 3 Mary Jane B. Perez (Cotobato City); Senior Police Officer 4 Ma. Rosario Y. Suarez (Davao City); and Senior Police Officer Robert U. Fabregas (Quezon City).

“Since Metrobank opened 50 years ago, it has been the wish of our Group Chairman Dr. George S. K. Ty to recognize our country’s unsung heroes, because he witnessed how our educators, soldiers, and police officers greatly contribute to our nation’s prosperity,” said Metrobank Foundation president Aniceto M. Sobrepeña. “Through the recognition of the best among the country’s educators, soldiers, and police officers, we realize that their success is also Metrobank’s success. We take pride in their noble efforts to fulfill the potential of our nation. As we celebrate Metrobank’s golden year, we are grateful for the opportunity to take part in uplifting the Filipino spirit through these very noble professions,” he continued.  

Since its establishment in 1979, the Metrobank Foundation has sought to promote and foster the values of excellence and achievement among the people. In its commitment to make a difference in the lives of its chosen stakeholders and contribute to nation-building, the programs of the Foundation have always endeavored to encourage and reward individuals and organizations to be the best they can be, and in the process, inspire the rest to similarly strive for the highest standards of performance of conduct in their respective professions.

Outstanding Teacher Dr. Catherine Vistro-Yu delivered the response on behalf of the awardees.

“The privilege of sharing the stage with men and women of extraordinary dedication, skill and courage makes this evening even more memorable. While we teachers spend each day helping children read, write and count within the safe confines of our classrooms, you in uniform risk your lives maintaining peace and order in our nation and in our neighborhoods or protecting people and property, day in and day out. Your choice of career and the keeping of your vow to be the guardians of our country and our people is an important part of why we can pursue our different vocations,” said Dr. Vistro-Yu, a professor at the Mathematics Department of Ateneo de Manila University. “Gratitude is the very least we can give for your sacrifice and commitment as vanguards of public welfare and safety,” she added.

Dr. Vistro-Yu has been instrumental in the development of mathematics education in the country when she developed two framework documents that set the standards for mathematics curriculum in schools in order to achieve excellence in mathematics. She was also the President and one of the founding members of the Philippine Council of Mathematics Teachers Educators (MathTEd), establishing herself as one of the leading figures in mathematics education in the Philippines. Her feats in the development of mathematics education earned her the prestigious The Outstanding Women in the Nation’s Service (TOWNS) in 2007.

Another exemplar in this year’s roster of winners is Colonel Raul J. Tangco, Prof, from the Technical & Administrative Services – Corps of Professors. The Outstanding Soldier faced the challenge of encouraging and motivating cadets to be more serious about their learning experience at the Philippine Military Academy. His most notable achievement is the establishment of the Academy Research Group which highlights academic excellence in the PMA community.

Outstanding Police Officer Mary Jane B. Perez has worked in dangerous, high-profile cases. In November 2009, she was part of the team that raided the house of a suspect in the Maguindanao Massacre. The cancer survivor finds time to promote her advocacy against illegal drugs. As a former educator, she also is involved in promoting the rights of children with disabilities.

The winners were conferred with plaques and gold medals for excellence in public service and were also awarded with a combined total cash prize for the three (3) Searches close to Php 10 million.

Since 1986, SOT, in partnership with the Department of Education (DepEd) and the Commission on Higher Education (CHEd), has been recognizing educators who have dedicated their lives to mentoring the youth through classroom instruction and beyond and by serving as models of excellence in their respective communities. The Search has become a sought-after award among educators as it earned the prestige of becoming a benchmark of excellence in the teaching profession. TOPS, on its 13th year, gives distinction to gallantry and service demonstrated by the men and women of Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) to preserve our sovereignty. It pays tribute to the members of Army, Navy, Air Force, and Technical & Administrative Services, highlighting examples of competence, integrity, professionalism, and civic involvements. The program is implemented together with the Rotary Club of Makati Metro. Together with the Philippine National Police (PNP), the Rotary Club of New Manila East and PSBank, COPS honors the gallant men and women of the police force and recognizes the shared responsibility between the policemen and the community to prevent and solve crimes since 2002. The Search highlights the awardees’ commitment to professionalism and dedication to their sworn duty.