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GT Foundation Kicks Off 2023 Bags Of Blessing to aid 10,000 Families

GT Foundation, Inc. and Metrobank Foundation, Inc. virtually kicked off the 2023 Bags of Blessing. The kickoff ceremony was led by (Top row L-R) Federal Land chairman and GT Foundation president Alfred Ty, GT Foundation vice president Anjanette Dy Buncio, Metrobank Foundation president Aniceto Sobrepeña, and Caritas Philippines national director Bishop Jose Colin Bagaforo. The hand gesture in the photo means “Hope for Prosperity.”

GT Foundation, Inc. (GTFI) and Metrobank Foundation, Inc. (MBFI) virtually kicked off their annual gift-giving tradition called “Bags of Blessing” on January 20, 2023 as part of their unique Chinese New Year celebration. Since 2011, this program has touched the lives of 108,000 families across 215 sites nationwide.

This Year of the Water Rabbit, Bags of Blessing will provide aid to a new batch of 10,000 families in 20 sites across the country through the distribution of food packages worth PhP1,000 each or PhP10 million in total. This is in partnership with Caritas Philippines, the Philippine National Police, and Armed Forces of the Philippines, and with the support of select Metrobank branches.

The priority beneficiaries chosen this year are the poorest of the poor families who lack permanent shelter and source of income, vulnerable households earning below minimum wage, victims of recent calamities, and members of the indigenous peoples (IPs) tribes. They will receive the groceries in red bags by presenting their issued vouchers in identified parishes in their localities.

The kickoff ceremony was led by Federal Land chairman and GTFI president Alfred Ty, GTFI honorary chair Mary Ty, GTFI vice president Anjanette Dy Buncio and MBFI president Aniceto Sobrepeña. Joining them were Caritas Philippines national director Bishop Jose Colin Bagaforo, Diocesan Social Action Center coordinators, and select Metrobank branch managers.

Bags of Blessing highlights the importance of fellowship and solidarity: to bring the Lunar New Year festivities to communities in need. “Circumstances may have changed but the heart for community that animates the Bags of Blessing tradition remains steadfast—like the Water Rabbit that embodies endurance and resolve. Behind this over-a-decade legacy of our founder, Dr. George S.K. Ty, is the hard work of individuals united by the goal of providing food aid to our fellowmen. It is in sharing that we reinforce our strength as one community,” said MBFI president Aniceto Sobrepeña.

Meanwhile, Caritas Philippines national director Bishop Jose Colin Bagaforo highlighted the organizations’ collective purpose to assist the vulnerable sectors. “We are always honored at Caritas Philippines to be a part of this happy giving tradition of the GT Foundation and of Metrobank. While we recognize that we have this program because there is still a need that we need to fill, and because there is poverty lingering in the midst of our partner communities, we also know in our hearts that we do this because of our shared commitment to better the lives of our kababayans. We believe that if we continue this tradition of sharing, generosity and compassion, we will create ripples in other communities, with other groups and families,” said Bishop Bagaforo.

Bags of Blessing is a legacy of the late Metrobank Group founder Dr. George S.K. Ty. It is inspired by the traditional exchange of ang-pao, a red packet containing cash meant to deliver best wishes and good luck. Instead of cash-giving, specially designed red bags containing PhP1,000 worth of food packages are distributed to indigent families.

MBFI Executive Vice President Philip Dy led the distribution of bags of blessing at St. Gabriel the Archangel Parish in Brgy. San Franciso, General Trias, Cavite on January 21, 2023.

Sites chosen this year for the National Capital Region are the City of Manila, Makati City, Pasay City, Pasig City, and Taguig City. Meanwhile, the countryside sites are: Laoag City, City of Santiago , Municipality of Libmanan, City of General Trias, and City of Puerto Princesa for Luzon; Iloilo City, Cebu City, Bacolod City, Ormoc City, and Municipality of Biliran for Visayas; and Zamboanga City, Ozamis City, Davao City, Cotabato City, and Butuan City for Mindanao.

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