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  • Senate commends 2023 Metrobank Foundation Outstanding Filipinos

Senate commends 2023 Metrobank Foundation Outstanding Filipinos

The 2023 Metrobank Foundation Outstanding Filipinos, Metrobank Foundation representatives, and partners with the Senate President Miguel Zubiri (8th from the left), wife Audrey Tan-Zubiri, and the Senators present in the plenary session.

The Senate of the Philippines commended this year’s 10 Metrobank Foundation Outstanding Filipinos—comprised of four (4) teachers, three (3) soldiers, and three (3) police officers—in a plenary session held last September 26, 2023.

The 19th Congress adopted Senate Resolution No. 724 filed by Senator Maria Lourdes Nancy S. Binay and sponsored by Senator Jinggoy Ejercito Estrada, honoring this year’s awardees for their exemplary contribution and dedicated service to the country and their respective communities. The resolution was co-sponsored by Senators Sonny Angara, Pia S. Cayetano, Alan Peter S. Cayetano, Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa, Joseph Victor G. Ejercito, Francis G. Escudero, Win Gatchalian, Christopher Lawrence T. Go, Risa Hontiveros, Manuel “Lito” M. Lapid, Loren Legarda, Imee R. Marcos, Robinhood C. Padilla, Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III, Grace Poe, Ramon Bong Revilla Jr., Francis N. Tolentino, Raffy T. Tulfo, Joel Villanueva, Mark Villar, Cynthia A. Villar, and Senate President Juan Miguel F. Zubiri.

Prior to the resumption of the Senate session in the afternoon, the awardees were given an opportunity to have a courtesy call with Senate President Zubiri and his wife Audrey Tan-Zubiri personally.

(From L-R) The 2023 Metrobank Foundation Outstanding Filipinos Awardees Staff Sergeant Danilo S Banquiao PA; Lieutenant Colonel Joseph J Bitancur PAF; Colonel Joseph Jeremias Cirilo C Dator PA; June Elias V. Patalinghug Ed.D.; and Rex M. Sario, MAT; Metrobank Foundation President Aniceto M. Sobrepeña; Senate President Miguel Zubiri and wife Audrey Tan-Zubiri; The 2023 Metrobank Foundation Outstanding Filipinos Awardees Edgar R. Durana, MAEd; Jovelyn G. Delosa, Ph.D; Police Colonel Renell R Sabaldica; Police Major Mae Ann R Cunanan; and Police Chief Master Sergeant Dennis D. Bendo.

The Metrobank Foundation Outstanding Filipinos is an annual highly-coveted career-service award for remarkable Filipino public servants nationwide in the education, military, and police sectors. Outstanding Filipinos exemplify the true meaning of “Beyond Excellence,” as their contributions in service and community involvements are geared towards making a difference within their institutions and in communities where they serve and the country at large.

Recipients of the 2023 Metrobank Foundation Outstanding Filipino Award for Teachers are (1) Mr. Rex M. Sario, MAT, “Bukidnon’s Icon for Transformative Education in the Modern Age,” Master Teacher I/Teacher-in-Charge of Balogo Elementary School (Pangantucan, Bukidnon); (2) June Elias V. Patalinghug, Ed.D., “Davao City’s Modern Teacher Influencer,” Master Teacher II, Catalunan Grande Elementary School (Davao City); (3) Edgar R. Durana, MAEd, “Rizal’s Relentless Educator for People-with Special-Needs,” Master Teacher I/SPED Coordinator, Don Jose Ynares Sr. Memorial National High School (Binangonan, Rizal); and (4) Jovelyn G. Delosa, Ph.D., “Bukidnon’s Assessment Strategist for Modern Educators,” 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, “Lanao del Sur’s Peace and Youth Empowerment Sentinel,” 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, “Philippine Air Force’s Model Mentor on Military Training,” 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, “Philippine Army’s Innovator of Military Intelligence,” 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 are (8) Police Chief Master Sergeant Dennis D Bendo, “Manila City’s Police Mentor for the Out-of-School-Youth and Children-in-Conflict-with-the-Law,” Section Team Leader, District Mobile Force Battalion, Manila Police District (City of Manila); (9) Police Major Mae Ann R Cunanan, “PNP’s Vanguard of Police Integrity”, 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, “PNP’s Transformational Leader for Innovative Law Enforcement and Community Development,” Chief, Morale and Welfare Division, Directorate for Personnel and Records Management, Camp Crame (Quezon City) (formerly Provincial Director of Cagayan Police Provincial Office in Tuguegarao City).

Among the teacher awardees this year is Edgar R. Durana, MAEd, an expert in teaching Learners-with-Special-Needs. He believes in equal opportunities for every learner to flourish and this is evident in his numerous accomplishments that revolutionized special education. Through structured and research-based session guides, he mentors teachers to adapt to inclusive teaching strategies.

Meanwhile, Lieutenant Colonel Joseph Bitancur is a sought-after Instructor Pilot and Flight Examiner at the Philippine Air Force Flying School. Beneath his wings lies a remarkable story of personal resilience, an unyielding dedication to reform, and an enduring mission to nurture the dreams of the next generation of military aviation pioneers.

Police Major Mae Ann Cunanan has dedicated herself to eradicating scalawags from their ranks as well as advocated for LGBTQ rights and representation in law enforcement. In the last 15 years, she has advocated to enhance integrity and ethical leadership in law enforcement. A champion of ethical governance, she was one of the pioneering personnel of the Integrity Monitoring and Enforcement Group (IMEG) through the Counter Intelligence Task Force.

“These remarkable individuals toil behind the scenes, away from the limelight, and without seeking recognition. They persevere in the face of challenges, bureaucratic red tape, and sometimes limited resources. Their dedication is a testament to their commitment to the betterment of society, ” said Sen. Jinggoy Estrada in his sponsorship speech.

Of the 23 co-sponsors of the resolution, two senators delivered their co-sponsorship speeches:

“These Outstanding Filipinos, however, have gone above and beyond the call of duty. I am certain that this recognition does not even begin to capture all that they have done. From making learning more inclusive and engaging to countering terrorism and insurgency, as well as strengthening community relations for securing our communities–their achievements are worthy of emulation,” said Sen. Ronald Dela Rosa.

Sen. Pia Cayetano thanked the awardees for their hard work and committed to raising public awareness of their achievements. “In the days to come, we will continue to cite the accomplishments and the way you have given back to our country, not just in the halls of the Senate, but alam niyo naman, through social media. We want people to see the kind of leaders we have in different areas of our community. Thank you again to the Metrobank Foundation and congratulations to all the awardees, ” said Sen. Cayetano.

The awardees were selected by the esteemed members of the Final Board of Judges chaired by Senator Escudero and co-chaired by Supreme Court of the Philippines associate justice Henri Jean Paul B. Inting. The members include 2nd District of Marikina representative Stella Luz A. Quimbo, Department of Science and Technology secretary Dr. Renato U. Solidum, Jr., City Government of Baguio mayor Benjamin B. Magalong, Ateneo de Manila University president Rev. Fr. Roberto C. Yap, The Manila Times Publishing Corporation chairman and chief executive officer (CEO) Dante Francis M. Ang III, and Globe Fintech Innovations, Inc. (GCash) president and CEO Martha M. Sazon.

Each awardee received a cash prize of PhP 1 million each (net of tax), a golden medallion, and “The Flame” trophy during the formal conferment ceremony held on August 29 in Taguig City, as one of the highlights of Metrobank’s 61st Anniversary Celebration.

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

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