A History of Sharing

Breaking New Ground (1993-1995)

October 17, 1993 was a milestone for the Foundation. During the wedding reception of his son Arthur, Chairman George S. K. Ty announced that he was donating a million of his personal shares of stocks of the Metropolitan Bank and Trust Company to the Metrobank Foundation. This was his way of sharing with the community the fruits of the Metrobank Group of Companies' remarkable success. Then equivalent to about 600 million pesos, the Foundation's holdings steadily increased in value to more than a billion pesos, one of the largest endowments in the Philippines.

Mrs. Corazon Aquino would say of Chairman Ty's "gift of social development" that "the beautiful example of openness, international solidarity, and outstanding philanthropy...needs to be emulated by more people who have been blessed in life." Mrs. Aquino graciously accepted the invitation to chair the newly-created Board of Advisers which would guide the Foundation as it ventures into other areas in the light of its renewed mandate.

The tremendous increase in resources resulted in an expression in an expansion of the Foundation's activities. Among the new projects were the grants program for selected key sectors of society which were seen as critical players in national development: the media, the military, and the uniformed personnel of the Department of Interior and Local Government. Like wise, programs for the enhancement of English language instruction were instituted because of the importance of English in international business. Awards were given to the topnotchers of the Licensure Examination for Teachers. More funds were also allocated for projects addressed to the Chinese Filipino community by way of acknowledging the bank's gratitude for that sector's generous support. Finally the bid to show that Filipinos could be relied on the help their neighbors was launched with the sponsoring of several projects aimed at fostering international understanding such as the scholarship program for foreign nationals studying at the Asian Institute of Management.

Recognizing the critical role of the sciences in any push for industrialization, the Foundation initiated one of its largest assistance projects: the stipend program for the teachers of English, Science, and Math in the Regional Science High School system which had just been organized by DECS. This project which was originally proposed by Mrs. Aquino, was provided funding support of PhP 10 million over the next four years.

A national college scholarship program was established with an initial batch of 100 scholars. Foundation officers were fielded to personally interview applicants.