From its kick-off last February 11, 2021 to celebrate Chinese New Year, GT Foundation, Inc. (GTFI), together with Metrobank Foundation, Inc. (MBFI), successfully completed this year’s Bags of Blessing (BOB) through a series of distribution across 33 sites nationwide. Following health and safety protocols and physical distancing measures, a total of 18,000 families exchanged their issued vouchers into goods at select supermarkets in their localities and organized distribution activities in select parishes.
GT Foundation, Inc. and Metrobank Foundation, Inc. kept the tradition of gift-giving alive with Bags of Blessing even amid the pandemic. In the photos are beneficiaries receiving their food packages at supermarket in the City of Manila which served as one of the distribution sites in NCR.
These beneficiaries were carefully chosen in partnership with the National Secretariat for Social Action (NASSA)/Caritas Philippines to contribute to the national goal to curb hunger and alleviate the impact of the pandemic on people’s lives. Through these specially packaged goods, the 9th year of the program saw an increase in the number of underprivileged Filipino families assisted. To date, BOB has assisted almost 100,000 families or approximately 500,000 individuals in 182 sites nationwide.
“Masayang masaya ako sa natanggap ko bilang isa sa mga benepisyaryo. Sa mga sponsor po nagpapasalamat kami. Ang masasabi ko sa kanila, sana hindi sila magsawang tumulong at magbigay ng kasiyahan sa tao (I’m very happy with what I received as one of the beneficiaries. We are grateful to the sponsors. What I want to say is that I hope they will not tire of helping and bringing joy to people),” said Cecilia Suguitan, a beneficiary from City of Manila.
Some teachers, police officers, and soldiers, in partnership with the Department of Education, Philippine National Police, and Armed Forces of the Philippines, also received goods as a fitting tribute to recognize their efforts during the crisis.
One of the teacher beneficiaries expressed her gratitude for receiving a food package. “Maraming salamat po sa biyayang ipinagkaloob ninyo sa aming mga kaguruan. Making tulong ito sa aking pamilya lalo na’t mag-isa lang akong naghahanapbuhay sa aming pamilya. Sana marami pa kayong matulungan at mabigyan ng Bags of Blessing (Thank you very much for the blessing that you’ve given to us teachers. This is a huge help to my family especially since I’m the only one working in our household. I hope that you’ll be able to help and give Bags of Blessing to more people,” shared Mary Joy De Vera.
The network of Metrobank branches from the identified sites made the distribution possible with branch managers acting as action officers, ensuring on-time claiming of goods, implementation of safety measures, and accounting of beneficiaries together with NASSA/Caritas Philippines local coordinators.
Marlon Lazaro Antolin NASSA/Caritas Philippines Coordinator, emphasized the significance of sustaining a culture of reaching out and paying-it-forward. “I feel humbled to be part of this endeavor. I believe that its success goes beyond the last day of distribution. We should take this opportunity to engage our beneficiaries and impart with them, in our brief encounters, the values of gratefulness and giving forward. We are all gifted to give. It will not stop from receiving the Bags of Blessing but we should be part of a fruitful cycle of giving,” he said.
Meanwhile, Ellen Reyes, Head of Metrobank Biñan Branch, revealed what this initiative means to her as one of this year’s Bags of Blessing Metrobank action officers. “Me and my colleagues are always excited to serve and participate in this activity. This is one of the many ways for us to give to our community, a simple way of sharing our service for these worthy activities. This year, I’m grateful to be chosen as one of the Metrobank action officers who will assist in the coordination, turnover of vouchers, monitoring of BOB activities,” she said.
The sites this year were: Manila; San Juan; Caloocan; Quezon City; Parañaque; Navotas; Valenzuela; Makati; Taguig; Malabon; Pasay; Pasig; Mandaluyong; Muntinlupa; Las Piñas; Marikina; Pateros in NCR including Baguio City; Antipolo City; Balanga City, Bataan; San Jose del Monte City, Bulacan; Batangas City; the cities of Bacoor, General Trias, and Imus in Cavite; the cities of Biñan, San Pedro, Santa Rosa in Laguna; Iloilo City; Cebu City; Mandaue City; Lapu-Lapu City; and Davao City.
The Bags of Blessing is the brainchild of the late Metrobank Group founder and chairman Dr. George Ty Siao Kian. It is inspired by the traditional exchange of ang-pao, a red packet containing cash meant to deliver best wishes, favorable fortune, and good energy. Instead of cash-giving, specially designed red bags containing P1,000 worth of food packages are distributed to indigent families.
The program received an Award of Excellence in the recent 18th Philippine Quill Awards by the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC) Philippines and a Silver Anvil in the 56th Anvil Awards by the Public Relations Society of the Philippines.
Tags: 2021 Press Release