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GT Foundation Celebrates Over a Decade of Giving Bags of Blessing

GT Foundation, Inc. and Metrobank Foundation, Inc. virtually kicked off the 2022 Bags of Blessing. The kickoff ceremony was led by (L-R) Federal Land chairman and GTFI president Alfred Ty, GTFI vice president Anjanette Dy-Buncio and MBFI president Aniceto Sobrepeña. Their hand gesture in the photo means “Hope for Prosperity.”

GT Foundation, Inc. (GTFI) and Metrobank Foundation, Inc. (MBFI) virtually kicked off their sustained gift-giving tradition known as “Bags of Blessing” on February 1, 2022 as part of their Chinese New Year celebrations. This Year of the Water Tiger marks over a decade of the program which has touched the lives of 98,000 families across 195 sites nationwide since 2011.

The custom endures as Bags of Blessing will assist a new batch of 10,000 families in 20 sites across the country in partnership with Caritas Philippines and the Philippine National Police, with the support of select Metrobank branches. The priority beneficiaries chosen this year are families whose source of living and income was affected by the ongoing pandemic, victims of recent natural calamities, and members of indigenous peoples (IPs) tribes. They will receive food packages worth Php 1,000 by presenting their issued vouchers in identified parishes in their localities.

The kickoff ceremony was led by Metrobank Group Chairman Arthur Ty, Federal Land chairman and GTFI president Alfred Ty, GTFI honorary chair Mary Ty, GTFI vice president Anjanette Dy-Buncio, GTFI corporate secretary Alesandra Ty, and MBFI president Aniceto Sobrepeña. Joining them were Caritas Philippines national director Bishop Jose Colin Bagaforo, Caritas Philippines executive secretary Fr. Antonio Labiao, and Philippine National Police director for Police Community Affairs Development Group PBGEN Eric Noble.

Bags of Blessing seeks to reinforce the value of continued giving despite the quarantine restrictions and downscaled festivities. “As we’re learning to live with the reality of a different normal brought by the pandemic, the need to aid the indigent becomes more urgent, and our collective capacity to care is tested,” said GTFI president Alfred Ty. “With Bags of Blessing, individuals and organizations channel their energies into being present in the communities. Apart from gift-giving, the distribution of food packages aims to augment the government’s efforts to curb hunger and bring food to the table of average Filipino earners. Indeed, this time of constrained mobility can still remind us of the significance of community-building,” he added.

Meanwhile, MBFI president Aniceto Sobrepeña highlighted the synergy with partner institutions that animates the program. “On our second year of conducting Bags of Blessing amid the pandemic, we aim to contribute to food security in communities hit hardest by the health emergency. This is an extension of the conglomerate’s response in support of the government’s feeding efforts. From the selection of distribution sites, curating of goods to be placed inside the bags, and forming an alliance with credible institutions to identify beneficiaries, leading towards the actual distribution—all these steps were done with utmost consideration as we seek to reach out to 10,000 families in 20 sites across the country,” he shared.

Caritas Philippines national director Bishop Jose Colin Bagaforo likewise cited the common goal that unites both institutions. “Thank you for keeping us within your extended family. This program is very much in line with our Alay Kapwa’s works of mercy for poverty reduction, especially that the country is still being plagued by the COVID-19 pandemic. Bags of Blessing is our beautiful expression of our collective purposiveness to ensure dignity to our most vulnerable families and communities. This strong sense of community ownership and family is what brings us together.”

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.

Sites chosen this year for the National Capital Region are the City of Manila, Quezon City, Pasay City, Marikina City, and Taguig City. Meanwhile the countryside sites are Tarlac City, City of Gen. Trias, City of Sta. Rosa, City of Naga, and Legazpi City for Luzon; Iloilo City, Dumaguete City, Talisay City, Roxas City, and Tacloban City for Visayas; and Davao City, Cagayan De Oro City, Cotabato City, General Santos City, and Ozamiz City for Mindanao.

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