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  • Metrobank Foundation Outstanding Filipinos Bridge Hope to Residents of Pag-asa Island in the West Philippine Sea

Metrobank Foundation Outstanding Filipinos Bridge Hope to Residents of Pag-asa Island in the West Philippine Sea

Metrobank Foundation, Inc. (MBFI), together with the three alumni networks of the Metrobank Foundation Outstanding Filipinos, spearheaded and organized a multi-sectoral outreach program in Pag-asa Island in the Municipality of Kalayaan in Palawan on April 20, 2024. This initiative benefitted 80 families, 223 residents, 107 uniformed personnel, 10 teachers, and 83 students of Pag-asa Island, situated within the West Philippine Sea.

The outreach activity is under the Guro, Pulis, Sundalo na may Galing, Puso at Sigasig (GPS2) program, envisioned by MBFI on November 2018 during its 40th year, together with the three alumni networks of the Metrobank Foundation Outstanding Filipinos; namely, the Network of Outstanding Teachers and Educators (NOTED), The Organization of Philippine Soldiers with Outstanding Leadership, Dedication, Integrity, Excellence and Responsibility to Society (TOPSOLDIERS), and the Police Officers Responsible for Organizing, Transforming and Empowering Communities (PROTECT). The program is supported by the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Philippine National Police (PNP).

In continual celebration of its 45th anniversary with “A Heart that Serves” theme, MBFI brought the GPS2 program to Pag-asa Island to bridge hope and assistance to the island residents facing difficulties with access to basic needs and services. MBFI believes that a heart that serves is exemplified through commitment to reaching and empowering the unreached.


Free medical and dental consultations were made available for the Pag-asa Island residents.


To help address the healthcare needs of the residents in an island that is 520 km northwest of Puerto Princesa, free medical and dental consultations were conducted in partnership with Donate Philippines. Infants were administered with free vaccinations, and residents were provided with essential medicines, vitamins and eyeglasses.


Eyeglasses were given away to island residents as part of the GPS2 program.


As access to learning supplies and tools becomes a challenge to Pag-asa island residents, learning kits containing pencils, papers, notebooks, plastic envelopes, folders, rulers, protractors, crayons, and clay sets were provided to the students. The teachers received pens, markers, highlighters, expanding envelopes, and reams of papers.

All island residents were also given slippers and food packs while military and uniformed personnel received solar torches, solar flashlights, and toiletry kits to aid in their night patrols around the island.

These items and food donations were provided by NOTED, PROTECT, One Meralco Foundation, Donate Philippines and the PNP Academy Alumni Association, Inc. through Presidential Anti-Organized Crime Commission Usec. and 2007 Metrobank Foundation Outstanding Filipino awardee, PMGEN Gilbert Cruz (Ret.).

“Masayang-masaya po ang mga ka-barangay ko. Unang-una na po ang mga bata na nabigyan ng laruan at tsinelas. Napakalaking tulong po iyon sa amin lalo’t higit na napakalayo po ng lugar namin, (The residents of Pag-asa Island are all very happy especially the children who received toys and slippers. This is a big help to us considering our remote location)” shared Mr. Ronnie Cojamco, the island coordinator of Pag-asa.


Students received learning kits, modules, school supplies, snacks, and slippers from MBFI and partners.


Apart from free healthcare services and donations, MBFI also arranged dialogues with teachers, local government unit representatives, community leaders, and civil society organizations to further assess the needs of the community. The results of the scoping will be the basis for the high-impact community projects to be conducted for Pag-asa Island residents as part of the phase 2 of GPS2 program for the said community.


Children in Pag-asa Island were engaged through reading sessions.


To identify the relevant training programs and other assistance needed by the schools, NOTED held consultation sessions with the teachers. And to engage the children on the island, they conducted gamified reading sessions and fun activities. The Rotary Club of Makati Metro, represented by its President, LTGEN Raul Del Rosario PAF (Ret), who is also a former president of TOPSOLDIERS, provided gifts to the students participating in the games.


Delegation led by MBFI and the alumni networks of the Metrobank Foundation Outstanding Filipinos went to Pag-asa Island for the Guro, Pulis, Sundalo na may Galing, Puso at Sigasig (GPS2) program.


The delegation was led by MBFI executive vice president Philip Dy, joined by several Metrobank Foundation Outstanding Filipinos including NOTED president Dr. Ernelea P. Cao, TOPSOLDIERS president and AFP Chief of Staff GEN. Romeo S. Brawner, Jr., and PROTECT president PMGEN Edgar Alan O. Okubo, among others.

They were also accompanied by Pag-asa island coordinator Mr. Ronie Cojamco and volunteers from Donate Philippines and One Meralco Foundation.

“The GPS2 program is a realization of our vision for the Metrobank Foundation Outstanding Filipinos. Beyond prestige and recognition, our goal is to engage and empower our exemplary public servants to inspire and impact more communities towards nation-building. We are very delighted to work with our excellent teachers, soldiers, and police officers for this program,” said MBFI executive vice president Philip Dy.

Pag-asa Island is the second community assisted through the GPS2 program. The first outreach program extended help to schools in Marawi City in 2019 addressing the immediate needs of 201 teachers and 1,570 learners who were affected by the siege back then.

MBFI is the corporate social responsibility arm of the Metrobank Group to implement programs on education, to recognize excellence among key professions in the civil service and visual arts, and to extend grants to address social development gaps, fostering a compassionate community of service and excellence.

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