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2023 Metrobank Foundation Outstanding Filipinos Awarded

The 2023 Metrobank Foundation Outstanding Filipinos receive their prizes during the conferment ceremony at Grand Hyatt Manila on August 29. (From L-R): Metrobank president Fabian S. Dee; Federal Land chairman Alfred V. Ty; Staff Sergeant Danilo S. Banquiao; Lieutenant Colonel Joseph J. Bitancur; Colonel Joseph Jeremias Cirilo C. Dator PA; Rex M. Sario MAT; Jovelyn G. Delosa Ph.D; Sen. Francis Joseph G. Escudero; First Lady Louise Araneta-Marcos; Metrobank chairman Arthur V. Ty; Edgar R. Durana; June Elias V. Patalinghug MAEd; Police Colonel Renell R. Sabaldica; Police Major Mae Ann R. Cunanan; Police Chief Master Sergeant Dennis D. Bendo; and Metrobank Foundation president Aniceto M. Sobrepeña.

The Metrobank Foundation bestowed its career service award to 10 Filipinos who went beyond the call of duty to be of service to others under its flagship program, the Metrobank Foundation Outstanding Filipinos. As part of Metrobank’s 61st anniversary celebration, the much-awaited Conferment Ceremony was held on August 29 at the Grand Hyatt Manila.

Each recipient of the career service award received P1 million cash prize (net of tax), a golden medallion, and “The Flame” trophy.

Metrobank chairman Arthur V. Ty, Federal Land chairman Alfred V. Ty, Metrobank president Fabian S. Dee and Metrobank Foundation president Aniceto M. Sobrepeña, together with First Lady Louise Araneta-Marcos and Sen. Francis Joseph G. Escudero, turned over the prizes to this year’s awardees in the conferment ceremony.

In his welcome remarks, Dee said he hopes that more people will trust themselves that they too can also do more to serve the community and the country.

“I hope you get a glimpse of each unique story that our awardees possess – how they embrace their profession, and what it means to serve people,” Dee said. “I congratulate all of our awardees as they become role models of service, trust, and excellence. Their accomplishments highlight the importance of making meaningful contributions, in their own communities no matter the scale and scope.”

Escudero, who chaired this year’s Final Board of Judges, also delivered his remarks.

Outstanding Filipinos embody the true meaning of “Beyond Excellence” as they go the extra mile in their chosen profession and selflessly extend a helping hand to those in need through their various service and community involvements while overcoming adversities and challenges.

The 2023 Metrobank Foundation Outstanding Filipino Award for Teachers were bagged by (1) Mr. Rex M. Sario, MAT, Master Teacher I / Teacher-in-Charge of Balogo Elementary School (Pangantucan, Bukidnon); (2) June Elias V. Patalinghug, Ed.D, Master Teacher II, Catalunan Grande Elementary School (Davao City); (3) Edgar R. Durana, MAEd, Master Teacher I / SPED Coordinator, Don Jose Ynares Sr. Memorial National High School (Binangonan, Rizal); and (4) Jovelyn G. Delosa, Ph.D., Associate Professor/Vice President for Academic Affairs, Northern Bukidnon State College (Manolo Fortich, Bukidnon).

Winning the 2023 Metrobank Foundation Outstanding Filipino Award for Soldiers were (5) Staff Sergeant Danilo S. Banquiao PA, Civil-Military Officer – Non-Commissioned Officer, 103rd Brigade, 1st Infantry Division, Philippine Army (Marawi City, Lanao Del Sur); (6) Lieutenant Colonel Joseph J. Bitancur PAF, Executive Officer, Office of the Assistant Chief of Command Staff for Operations, C-3 Air Education, Training, and Doctrine Command, Philippine Air Force (Lipa City, Batangas); and (7) Colonel Joseph Jeremias Cirilo C. Dator PA, Assistant Chief of Staff for Operations (G3), Presidential Security Group (City of Manila) (formerly Commanding Officer, 10th Military Intelligence Battalion, 10th Infantry Division in Mawab, Davao de Oro).

Meanwhile, recipients of the 2023 Metrobank Foundation Outstanding Filipino Award for Police Officers were (8) Police Chief Master Sergeant Dennis D. Bendo, Section Team Leader, District Mobile Force Battalion, Manila Police District (City of Manila); (9) Police Major Mae Ann R. Cunanan, Chief, Police Community Relations, Criminal Investigation and Detection Group, Camp Crame (Quezon City) (formerly Chief, Case Monitoring Section, Regional Investigation and Detection Management Division, PRO 9 in Zamboanga City); and (10) Police Colonel Renell R. Sabaldica, Chief, Morale and Welfare Division, Directorate for Personnel and Records Management, Camp Crame (Quezon City) (formerly Provincial Director of Cagayan Police Provincial Office in Police Regional Office 2).

Speaking on behalf of this year’s teacher awardees, Dr. Delosa thanked the Metrobank Foundation for the recognition as she vowed to further deepen their commitment to the teaching profession moving forward.

“What brought us all here is our deep and sincere love of the teaching profession, love and compassion for our learners whom we treat as our own, and love for our children whom we share with our time and commitment. It is this great love that inspires us to innovate, to do things beyond excellence, to always do more and be more for us to help our students reach their dreams and pursue greater things,” said Dr. Delosa, known as “Bukidnon’s Assessment Strategist for Modern Educators.”

Colonel Dator, called “Philippine Army’s Innovator of Military Intelligence,” also delivered a response for the part of soldier awardees.

“This celebration is not just about recognizing our individual accomplishments, but a testament to the power of collaboration, dedication, and collective effort. I stand here, not only as a proud awardee but as a witness as well to the incredible potential within each one of us to effect positive change,” he said.

Lastly, responding on behalf of police officer awardees, Police Colonel Sabaldica said the award “celebrates the accomplishments of police officers who advocate for genuine and lasting transformation in the organization and who have worked tirelessly and incessantly to achieve this common goal.”

Sabaldica, “PNP’s Transformational Leader for Innovative Law Enforcement and Community Development,” added: “Our vision of “highly capable, effective, and credible police organization” is finally taking shape, thanks to the men and women of the PNP (Philippine National Police) who embody the true meaning of “Beyond Excellence.”

Among the teacher awardees this year was Sario who was dubbed as “Bukidnon’s Icon for Transformative Education in the Modern Age.” Aiming to produce students who are well-exposed to the 21st century, he launched iCONnect or iCON (Ako Nakipag Connect or Synergy) which has six (6) milestones or exemplary practices in transforming poor learning environment classrooms into hyper-flexible ones.

Meanwhile, Bitancur, known as the “Philippine Air Force’s Model Mentor on Military Training,” ensured the highest standards in training and treatment of trainees. He was also one of the first responders during the Bohol earthquake and Super Typhoon Yolanda, among other rescue and relief efforts.

Called as “Manila City’s Police Mentor for the Out-of-School-Youth and Children-in-Conflict with-the-Law,” Bendo devoted his efforts to rehabilitate out-of-school youth. He also led the establishment of ‘Ang Guro Kong Pulis Mobile Library’ to provide education and sustenance to juvenile delinquents, and the Manila Police District Alternative Learning System, a distinctive school made for indigent individuals, out-of-school youth, and children-in-conflict-with-the-law (CICL) in collaboration with the Department of Education (DepEd).

The awardees underwent a guided selection process and were selected from hundreds of nominations. A multi-sectoral Board of Assessors, composed of members from the government, academe, military, and non-government sectors, shortlisted the semi-finalists through a review of documents. The semi-finalists for the three sectors were then interviewed, including requiring live teaching demonstrations for the semi-finalist teachers, at GT Tower International in Makati City to determine the finalists.

Eighteen finalists emerged from this round and were interviewed by an esteemed Final Board of Judges chaired by Escudero and co-chaired by the Supreme Court of the Philippines associate justice Henri Jean Paul B. Inting. Members of this year’s judges include Marikina 2nd District representative Stella Luz A. Quimbo; Department of Science and Technology secretary Renato P. Solidum, Jr.; Baguio City mayor Benjamin B. Magalong; Ateneo de Manila University president Rev. Fr. Roberto C. Yap, SJ; Globe Fintech Innovations, Inc. (GCash) president and chief executive officer (CEO) Martha M. Sazon; and The Manila Times Publishing Corporation chairman and CEO Dante Francis M. Ang II.

The awardees join the ranks of 695 Metrobank Foundation Outstanding Filipinos since 1985. The program is held in partnership with DepEd, Commission on Higher Education (CHED), Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), Philippine National Police (PNP), PSBank, Rotary Club of Makati Metro, and the Rotary Club of New Manila East.

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