From its kick-off last February 11, 2021 to celebrate Chinese New Year, GT Foundation, Inc. (GTFI), together with Metrobank Foundation, Inc. (MBFI), successfully completed this year’s Bags of Blessing (BOB) through a series of distribution across 33 sites nationwide. Following health and safety protocols and physical distancing measures, a total of 18,000 families exchanged their issued vouchers into goods at select supermarkets in their localities and organized distribution activities in select parishes.
GT Foundation, Inc. and Metrobank Foundation, Inc. kept the tradition of gift-giving alive with Bags of Blessing even amid the pandemic. In the photos are beneficiaries receiving their food packages at supermarket in the City of Manila which served as one of the distribution sites in NCR.
These beneficiaries were carefully chosen in partnership with the National Secretariat for Social Action (NASSA)/Caritas Philippines to contribute to the national goal to curb hunger and alleviate the impact of the pandemic on people’s lives. Through these specially packaged goods, the 9th year of the program saw an increase in the number of underprivileged Filipino families assisted. To date, BOB has assisted almost 100,000 families or approximately 500,000 individuals in 182 sites nationwide.
“Masayang masaya ako sa natanggap ko bilang isa sa mga benepisyaryo. Sa mga sponsor po nagpapasalamat kami. Ang masasabi ko sa kanila, sana hindi sila magsawang tumulong at magbigay ng kasiyahan sa tao (I’m very happy with what I received as one of the beneficiaries. We are grateful to the sponsors. What I want to say is that I hope they will not tire of helping and bringing joy to people),” said Cecilia Suguitan, beneficiary from City of Manila.
Some teachers, police officers, and soldiers, in partnership with the Department Education, Philippine National Police, and Armed Forces of the Philippines, also received goods as a fitting tribute to recognize their efforts during the crisis.
One of the teacher beneficiaries expressed her gratitude for receiving a food package. “Maraming salamat po sa biyayang ipinagkaloob ninyo sa aming mga kaguruan. Making tulong ito sa aking pamilya lalo na’t mag-isa lang akong naghahanapbuhay sa aming pamilya. Sana marami pa kayong matulungan at mabigyan ng Bags of Blessing (Thank you very much for the blessing that you’ve given to us teachers. This is a huge help to my family especially since I’m the only one working in our household. I hope that you’ll be able to help and give Bags of Blessing to more people,” shared Mary Joy De Vera.
The network of Metrobank branches from the identified sites made the distribution possible with branch managers acting as action officers, ensuring on-time claiming of goods, implementation of safety measures, and accounting of beneficiaries together with NASSA/Caritas Philippines local coordinators.
Marlon Lazaro Antolin NASSA/Caritas Philippines Coordinator, emphasized the significance of sustaining a culture of reaching out and paying-it-forward. “I feel humbled to be part of this endeavor. I believe that its success goes beyond the last day of distribution. We should take this opportunity to engage our beneficiaries and impart with them, in our brief encounters, the values of gratefulness and giving forward. We are all gifted to give. It will not stop from receiving the Bags of Blessing but we should be part of a fruitful cycle of giving,” he said.
Meanwhile, Ellen Reyes, Head of Metrobank Biñan Branch, revealed what this initiative means to her as one of this year’s Bags of Blessing Metrobank action officers. “Me and my colleagues are always excited to serve and participate in this activity. This is one of the many ways for us to give to our community, a simple way of sharing our service for these worthy activities. This year, I’m grateful to be chosen as one of the Metrobank action officers who will assist in the coordination, turnover of vouchers, monitoring of BOB activities,” she said.
The sites this year were: Manila; San Juan; Caloocan; Quezon City; Parañaque; Navotas; Valenzuela; Makati; Taguig; Malabon; Pasay; Pasig; Mandaluyong; Muntinlupa; Las Piñas; Marikina; Pateros in NCR including Baguio City; Antipolo City; Balanga City, Bataan; San Jose del Monte City, Bulacan; Batangas City; the cities of Bacoor, General Trias, and Imus in Cavite; the cities of Biñan, San Pedro, Santa Rosa in Laguna; Iloilo City; Cebu City; Mandaue City; Lapu-Lapu City; and Davao City.
The 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.
The program received an Award of Excellence in the recent 18th Philippine Quill Awards by the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC) Philippines and a Silver Anvil in the 56th Anvil Awards by the Public Relations Society of the Philippines.
The Metrobank Foundation, Inc. (MBFI) bagged the Top Division Award for its 40th anniversary celebration “Puso at Sigasig” in the recent 18th Philippine Quill Awards. The Top Division Award was chosen among entries which received the Quill Award of Excellence under the Communication Skills Category. Under this category, awardees are recognized for their demonstrated technical skills such as writing, editing, design, and multimedia production, combined with innovation and creativity.” Organized by the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC) Philippines, the Philippine Quill Awards is a showcase of bright ideas, groundbreaking concepts, marvelous executions, and resounding results. The 18th Philippine Quill Awards was held virtually last March 25, 2021.
“Puso at Sigasig” is a milestone occasion that highlights the corporate social responsibility fetes of MBFI. The anniversary celebration was also an expression of MBFI’s gratitude to the people and institutions that have turned its vision and mission into a successful organization that contributes a significant impact on social development.
Two other communication tools— “Service with a Heart: Metrobank Foundation 2018 Annual Report” and “Beyond Excellence” 2019 Metrobank Foundation Outstanding Filipinos Souvenir Program”—received the Quill Awards of Excellence. “Service with a Heart” highlights inspirational and empowering stories of ordinary individuals who share its goal of nation-building. The 2018 edition is a fitting tribute to every person who devote their heart to serve others and put emphasis on the untamable Filipino character that enables us to rise again to the challenges of turbulent times. It was also nominated for the Top Division Award.
“Beyond Excellence,” on the other hand, is a publication that features a creative collection of the professional narratives and life stories of the 10 awardees of the 2019 Metrobank Foundation Outstanding Filipinos. Going beyond the basics of a traditional post-event brochure, the souvenir program seeks to uphold the prestige of the recognition program by creating a timeless keepsake for its intended audiences, something they can turn to as a reminder that public service exemplars are not a dying breed.
Other recipients of the Quill Award of Excellence are “2019 Metrobank Foundation Outstanding Filipinos” and “COVID Comms 2020: The Metrobank Group and GT Capital Holdings Response to Contribute to Combating COVID-19.”
The “2019 Metrobank Foundation Outstanding Filipinos” is a career-service award for exemplary public servants in the academe, military, and police sectors. In 2019, 10 exemplary Filipinos consisting of four teachers, three soldiers, and three police officers were hailed as Metrobank Foundation Outstanding Filipinos. They join the distinguished roster of 665 awardees honored by MBFI since 1985.
“COVID Comms 2020” showcases the Metrobank Group’s and GT Capital Holdings’ response in addressing the identified needs on the ground by targeting the most vulnerable sectors affected by COVID-19. The response also complements the efforts of the government and other stakeholders.
Meanwhile, GT Foundation, Inc. (GTFI)’s “Bags of Blessing 2020: #BeyondFestivityGenerosity” also won the Quill Award of Excellence. This annual gift-giving program initiated in 2011 by the late Metrobank Founder Dr. George Ty Siao Kian is held in celebration of the Chinese New Year. Php 10 million worth of food items was distributed to 10,000 identified beneficiaries in 25 cities and municipalities across the country.
Two other programs— “UNLEASH: 2019 Metrobank Art and Design Excellence (MADE)’s 35th Anniversary Celebration” and “Metrobank Foundation Fellowship in Public Service (FPS)”—received the Quill Award of Merit. “UNLEASH” is a two-day celebration of artistic excellence. It also highlighted the role of MADE as a key player in the arts scene through the MADE Awarding and Exhibition and Art Exploration Lecture Series, as well as showcase its appreciation for its patrons through the Vernissage 2019.
The Metrobank Foundation Fellowship in Public Service, on the other hand, is a program created in 2017 to provide a platform for the Metrobank Foundation Outstanding Filipinos to share and propagate their best practices and innovations. These achievements must have resulted to positive change or addressed sectoral or societal issues.
MBFI has been winning the Philippine Quill Awards since 1985. To date, it has won 71 Quill Awards of Excellence and Merit for its various public relations programs and tools. In 2015, MBFI has received the Top Communication Management Award for its relief and rehabilitation response for survivors of Typhoon Yolanda.
The 2019 Annual Report of the Metrobank Foundation, Inc. (MBFI) “Puso at Sigasig” was nominated for the Platinum Anvil in the recent 56th Anvil Awards. Taking home the Gold Anvil, the annual report adopted MBFI’s 40th founding anniversary theme “Puso at Sigasig (Heart & Zeal).” It curated stories of extraordinary kinship and mentorship among its featured stakeholders and highlights the values of heart & zeal as its foundation to shine a light on opportunities that expand access, provide recognition, and demonstrate possibilities of a better future for all.
Organized by the Public Relations Society of the Philippines (PRSP), the Anvil Awards is considered as the Oscars of public relations industry in the Philippines. The Anvil symbolizes excellence in public relations and is awarded by distinguished multi-sectoral jury to outstanding public relations programs and tools. The Gabi ng Parangal was held virtually on February 19, 2021.
Meanwhile, two (2) digital public relations programs both received the Silver Anvil. “#MADEatHome: Art Education Online” was launched in 2020 as a platform to sustain the art thrust of MBFI while the annual Metrobank Art and Design Excellence (MADE) painting and sculpture competitions were deferred due to the pandemic. To adapt to the changing times, MBFI launched “#[email protected]” to amplify the use of digital media for its art education track. Contents and webinars organized were highly received by the followers of MADE social media page.
The “2020 Metrobank-MTAP-DepEd Math Challenge (MMC) [email protected] Campaign” on the other hand, was designed to become an online learning environment for math enthusiasts. MBFI saw the need to revamp the existing MMC social media platform to sustain and scale its objective of awakening greater interest in mathematics among elementary and junior high school students. The results of the [email protected] campaign have borne fruit to a real disruption: it has successfully sustained and awakened the interest and participation of a more captive at-home audience in learning mathematics.
Meanwhile, GT Foundation, Inc. (GTFI), received the Silver Anvil for the “Bags of Blessing (BOB) 2020: #BeyondFestivityGenerosity.” A brainchild of the late Metrobank founder and chairman Dr. George Ty Siao Kian, BOB is a gift-giving program that is celebrated every Chinese New Year. BOB brings together employees of GT Capital Holdings and Metrobank Group of Companies, as well as institutional partners to participate in the legacy to sustain a culture of “Paying it forward” through the distribution of 10,000 bags of items worth PhP 1,000 to 10,000 indigent families in 25 sites nationwide. With this year’s public relation thrust of #beyondfestivitygenerosity, the program values volunteerism, social responsibility, and cultural connectivity among the volunteers and its beneficiaries.
MBFI has been winning Anvil awards since 1985. To date, it has won 92 Anvil awards for its various public relations programs and tools, including the much-coveted Grand Anvil gaining the record as the first corporate foundation to win a back-to-back Grand Anvil (2009 and 2010) and 2 Platinum Anvils (2015 and 2016) in the history of the award-giving body.
GT Foundation, Inc. and Metrobank Foundation, Inc. virtually kicked off the 2021 Bags of Blessing. The kickoff ceremony was led by (L-R) Metrobank Group chairman Arthur Ty, GTFI honorary chair Mary Ty, Federal Land chairman and GTFI president Alfred Ty, MBFI president Aniceto Sobrepeña, GTFI vice president Anjanette Dy-Buncio, and NASSA/Caritas Philippines executive secretary Fr. Antonio Labiao. Their hand gesture in the photo signifies “Hope for Prosperity.”.
As part of its Chinese New Year celebrations, the GT Foundation, Inc. (GTFI), together with Metrobank Foundation, Inc. (MBFI), virtually kicked off their gift-giving tradition called ‘Bags of Blessing’ on February 11, 2021.
In partnership with the National Secretariat for Social Action (NASSA)/Caritas Philippines, through the assistance of select Metrobank branches, 18,000 families from 33 sites and 3 sectors will receive food packages by presenting their issued vouchers in identified supermarkets from February 12 to February 26. The priority beneficiaries chosen this year are families whose source of living and income was affected by the ongoing pandemic, survivors of recent natural calamities, members of indigenous peoples (IPs) tribes, and select teachers, soldiers, and police officers.
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 and MBFI president Aniceto Sobrepeña. Joining them were National Secretariat for Social Action (NASSA)/Caritas Philippines executive secretary Fr. Antonio Labiao, NASSA/Caritas Philippines communications and partnership development coordinator Jing Henderson, and NASSA/Caritas Philippines head of resource generation and mobilization officer Analyn Julian.
“Today marks yet another milestone for us at the GT Foundation as we embark to widen the reach of the Bags of Blessing targeting an increased number of beneficiaries, from the usual 10,000 families to 18,000 families in 33 sites this time,” shared GTFI president Alfred V. Ty. “The sharing of Bags of Blessing is not only about gift-giving and keeping Chinese traditions alive but also to contribute to the national goal to curb hunger. Through our little contribution, we aim to bring food to the tables for the nutritional needs of the average Filipino earner,” he added.
“Nang nabalitaan ko na isa ako sa makakatanggap ng Bags of Blessing, labis akong nagalak kasi sa panahon ngayon napakahirap nang maghanap ng trabaho, Ngayong nahinto ako sa pagtatrabaho, malaking tulong ito para sa pamilya ko (When I heard that I will be one of the recipients of the Bags of Blessing, I was filled with joy since it’s difficult to find a job during this period. Now that I’ve stopped working, this is a big help for my family),” said Reynaldo Baria, a beneficiary from Iloilo City.
To this, MBFI president Aniceto Sobrepeña cites the jubilee year for Christianity in the country, the theme of which reflects the Bags of Blessings’ aspiration. “This year, we’re commemorating the 500th year of Christianity in the Philippines with the theme, “Gifted to Give.” 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 ang pao, a red envelope containing cash used to deliver best wishes and luck. Instead of cash-giving, specially designed red bags containing P1,000 worth of grocery items are distributed to indigent families. Bags of Blessing carries the same message: that the language of giving transcends differences and prevails even over tough situations,” he said.
Meanwhile, Bishop Jose Colin Bagaforo mentions NASSA/Caritas Philippines’ Alay Kapwa program whose mission strongly identifies with the purpose of Bags of Blessing. “Nagpapasalamat kami sapagkat ang GT Foundation ay aming naging partner sa gawaing ito, at ating maisakatuparan at maisabuhay muli ang isa sa mga hangarin ng Alay Kapwa program: ang makatulong sa ating mga kababayan lalung-lalo na ngayon sa panahon ng pandemya. Isang inspirasyon ito para sa maraming may kakayanang makatulong sa ating kapwa. (We’re grateful that GT Foundation became our partner in this initiative, and we’ll be able to fulfill and live out the aspiration of the Alay Kapwa program: to help our fellowmen especially during this time of pandemic. This is an inspiration to those who have the capacity to help).”
Sites chosen this year are the City of Manila, City of San Juan, Caloocan City, Quezon City, Parañaque City, Navotas City, Valenzuela City, Makati City, Taguig City, Malabon City, Pasay City, Pasig City, Mandaluyong City, Muntinlupa City, Las Piñas City, Marikina City, and Pateros for the National Capital Region (NCR). Balanga City, Bataan; City of San Jose del Monte, Bulacan; Batangas City; Bacoor City; General Trias City; Imus City; Biñan City; City of San Pedro; City of Santa Rosa; Iloilo City; Baguio City; Antipolo City; Cebu City; Mandaue City; Lapu-Lapu City; and Davao City will comprise the countryside.
GT Foundation, Inc. (GTFI) and Metrobank Foundation, Inc. (MBFI) reached out to thousands of families affected by the onslaught of recent typhoons Rolly and Ulysses. Implemented under its disaster relief and response program “Helping Hands,” the donation amounted to PhP 6 million.
GT Foundation and Metrobank Foundation, through its disaster response program “Helping Hands,” donate relief assistance worth PhP6 million to 60,000 individuals hardly affected by typhoons Rolly and Ulysses. Photo shows Metrobankers in South Luzon branches distributing food, water and hygiene kits to residents of Lopez, Quezon on November 19, 2020.
It is expected that a total of 60,000 individuals from hardly hit-provinces of Albay, Camarines Norte, Camarines Sur, Catanduanes, Quezon, Batangas, Rizal, Isabela, and Cagayan, including Marikina City were to be given packed meals and relief goods.
From November 19 to 26, Metrobank branches in South Luzon were mobilized to distribute relief composed of rice, noodles, canned goods, water and hygiene kits—all packaged in reusable pails. They were able to assist 400 families from Lopez, Quezon and Lucena, City; 400 families from Lobo, Batangas and Batangas City; and 800 families from Guinobatan, Albay. Relief distribution will take place in the coming days to assist 700 families in Camarines Norte and 500 families in Camarines Sur.
On the other hand, the same assistance was rolled-out by the Metrobank North Luzon Branches from November 20 to 25 assisting 600 families in Cauayan City and Ilagan City, Isabela, and 600 families in Tuguegarao City, Cagayan.
GTFI and MBFI also provided financial support for a soup kitchen implemented by Manila Broadcasting Company DZRH’s Operation Tulong. The first round of the feeding activity was conducted in Virac and Bato, Catanduanes from November 10 to 16.
Portions of the donation were also coursed through Philippine STAR’s corporate social responsibility arm Operation Damayan, Alagang Kapatid Foundation, RMN Foundation, Operating Blessing Foundation Philippines and the Philippines National Police’s food bank.
Metrobank and GT Capital Holdings sustain support in curbing COVID-19 cases through a renewed partnership with GoNegosyo’s Project ARK, now focused on running pooled Reverse Transcription Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) testing. Coursed through Metrobank Foundation (MBFI), the companies’ corporate social responsibility arm, and the Ty family’s GT Foundation (GTFI), PhP4.5 million was donated to implement at least 3,000 runs of pooled testing for select individuals in Pasay City. GTFI president Alfred Ty led a virtual coordination meeting with GoNegosyo founder and Presidential Adviser for Entrepreneurship Joey Concepcion and Pasay City mayor Imelda Calixto-Rubiano on October 13 to discuss the initiative.
The pooled testing will compliment the local government’s efforts to screen micro and small entrepreneurs like carinderia and sari-sari store owners, public wet market tenants, and tricycle and jeepney drivers.
Earlier this year, MBFI and GTFI donated PhP10 million to purchase and distribute 22,220 antibody rapid test kits to the cities of Pasig, San Juan, Santa Rosa in Laguna, General Trias and Imus in Cavite and Lucban in Quezon. The kits were used to identify active COVID-19 cases and to determine recovered patients as potential donors for plasma therapy.
The donation is part of the consolidated PhP270 million contribution of the group to fund and support efforts to combat the pandemic and help those in need. The financial assistance has covered the following: construction of 10 molecular laboratories; purchase of personal protective equipment for healthcare and security frontliners; donation of RT-PRC testing kits to select government hospitals; support for Philippine Disaster Resilience Foundation’s “Project Ugnayan;” implementation of feeding interventions to underprivileged families; installation of handwashing facilities to schools; provision of laptops and tablets to educators and learners; distribution of equipment for the reproduction of modules and learning materials; support the livelihoods of various communities and donation of 30 units of Toyota Vios to DOH for the mobility of healthcare frontliners and local government hospitals, among others.
GT Foundation and the Catholic Church, through the National Secretariat for Social Action (NASSA)/Caritas Philippines sign agreement for 2021 Bags of Blessing (BOB). GT Foundation, Inc. (GTFI) and the NASSA/Caritas Philippines signed a partnership agreement for the conduct of the 2021 Bags of Blessing through a virtual signing of Memorandum of Agreement on October 27, 2020.
The ceremony was led by GTFI executive director Aniceto M. Sobrepeňa and NASSA/Caritas Philippines national director Most Reverend Jose Colin M. Bagaforo, D.D. Joining them were GTFI deputy executive director Nicanor L. Torres, Jr., GTFI assistant executive director Irene D. Labitad, NASSA/Caritas BOT vice chair Bishop Gerry Alminaza and NASSA/Caritas BOT member Bishop Honesto Ongtioco.
Bags of Blessing is a GTFI-led nationwide gift-giving activity initiated by the late Metrobank Group Chairman Dr. George Ty Siao Kian. It is held every Chinese New Year as a way of sustaining the tradition of sharing prosperity among thousands of indigent families nationwide. In 2021, the program will also seek to provide aid to the hardest hit sectors during the COVID-19 pandemic. It will reach out to 18,000 family beneficiaries through the distribution of food items in 33 sites nationwide.
The virtual turnover ceremony was led by Metrobank and MBFI chairman Arthur Ty, Metrobank president and MBFI trustee Fabian Dee and MBFI president and GTFI executive director Aniceto Sobrepeña on September 4, 2020 which was attended by key officers and representatives from beneficiary organizations.
Empowerment through dynamic partnerships has been at the heart of Metrobank’s anniversary for the many decades. This 2020, this rings true as it celebrates 58 meaningful years of being the people’s ally in progress. A total of PhP 30 million worth of grants was turned over to social development partners during its annual giving-back tradition, “Anniversary Grants Turnover Ceremony,” on September 4. To adhere to protocols, the event was held virtually attended by key officers and representatives from beneficiary organizations. Serving as Guest of Honor was Department of Education (DepEd) secretary Leonor Magtolis-Briones.
Department of Education secretary Leonor Magtolis-Briones
During this unprecedented period, Metrobank shares in the aspiration of helping Filipinos, most especially the vulnerable and underserved, to get back on their feet. To sustain its commitment to help the national government in addressing the effects and impact of the health crisis to many lives, said donation is added to the previous PhP220 million donation of the company which funded and supported efforts to combat the pandemic.
“The theme of this year’s event is collaboration. In these unusual times, our actions may be physically limited but through strategic partnerships, we can still achieve our objectives by working together,” said Metrobank and MBFI chairman Arthur Ty. “We at Metrobank have always looked at our anniversaries as an opportunity to give back and help the vulnerable and marginalized. There is a lot of need in our country right now but we hope that these small steps lead us to look to the future with some optimism and hope. And we’re grateful to our development partners for helping make this vision a reality,” he added.
Coursed through its social arm, Metrobank Foundation, Inc. (MBFI) and Ty family’s GT Foundation, Inc. (GTFI), this year’s batch of beneficiary organizations received financial aid to implement their programs on health, education, arts, livelihood, and nutrition.
One with the League to Promote Hand Hygiene
As a member of the League of Corporate Foundations (LCF), MBFI will support #LCFWinS: Lingap Eskwela sa Pandemya Program. Collaborating with fellow corporate foundations, WASH (water, sanitation and hygiene) facilities will be constructed in select public schools nationwide in compliance to the ‘Guidelines on the Required Health Standards in Basic Education Offices and Schools’ (DepEd Order No. 014 s. 2020) which covers the protection of health, safety, and well-being of students, teachers, and personnel. To complement the facility, hygiene kits and supplies will also be provided.
MBFI’s donation will benefit almost 29 thousand students from 20 schools in Pasig, Mandaluyong, Quezon City, and Marikina, including La Union, Bulacan, Laguna, Rizal, Zamboanga City and Davao City.Paddling Farther to Reach More Geographically-Isolated Schools
To reach out to more geographically-isolated schools, MBFI renewed its 7-year partnership with the Yellow Boat of Hope Foundation. This time, not only to provide physical access to education for schoolchildren in the form or boats and school dormitories, MBFI will also provide in-kind donation of printers, copiers and risograph machines to aid teachers in the reproduction of the modules and learning materials. The donation shall benefit more than 20 thousand students from 39 schools in the provinces of Cebu, Romblon, Zamboanga Sibugay, Camarines Sur, Sorsogon, Pampanga, Zambales, Bulacan, Basilan, Siargao, Tarlac, Capiz, Zamboanga del Sur, and Sulu.
Photo from the Department of Education
Meanwhile, another donation of printers, copiers and risograph machines will go directly to select Department of Education public schools to benefit more than 23 thousand students from Manila, Navotas, Makati, Laguna, Sarangani, Leyte, Antique, Dipolog, Nueva Ecija, Iligan, Cavite, Iloilo, and Tarlac.Art Community Gets Boost of Support
To further solidify support for the local art community, MBFI extended cash assistance to 200 visual artists whose main source of living was impacted by the crisis. Dubbed as MADE CARES (Metrobank Art & Design Excellence–Community Aid and Relief for Emergency Situations), past awardees of MADE Painting and Sculpture Recognition Programs, including eligible Filipino painters and sculptors have applied for the amelioration program.Ministry to Curb Poverty
Another partnership renewed is that of the International Care Ministries (ICM). As a non-profit organization, ICM provides help, hope and change to impoverished families in Visayas and Mindanao. Through their integrated poverty solutions, 100 thousand ultra-poor Filipinos are assisted each year.
The donation will support their Transform and Prevail programs aimed at training and mentoring families living in ultra-poor communities on livelihood building skills. Transform is ICM’s core strategic program, designed to address the wide range of needs faced by families living in ultrapoverty. Transform starts by creating supportive environments for hope to grow, then invests in building capacity for sustainable progress out of poverty. Prevail, on the other hand, is a support network for savings groups that promotes sustainability towards greater financial inclusion. The assistance will cater to 222 households (1,110 individuals) from six (6) communities in the province Cebu.‘Kindness Kitchen’ Goes South
From its previous donation to support the ‘Kindness Kitchen’ program of Ronald McDonald’s House Charities of the Philippines (RMHC) that served hot meals to 40 thousand individuals from NCR last April 2020, MBFI will fund additional feeding activities. This time, families and frontliners from the cities of Cebu, Mandaue, and Lapu Lapu, and Davao province will be reached out, other than NCR.GT Foundation Steps Up Tech-Voc Program
GTFI, the family foundation of the late Dr. George Ty Siao Kian, believes that quality education and equitable healthcare are basic needs that should be made accessible to the underprivileged. Since 2009, philanthropic initiatives of the family are realized through GTFI’s strategic development programs in the areas of health, education, and technology and innovation.
Through its Scholarships for Technical-Vocational Education Program (STEP), out-of-school youth and underprivileged students can gain access to quality education that enable them to gain immediate employment. Scholars of some of the best technical-vocational education and training schools in the country with industry tie-ups for guaranteed employment are supported. The virtual event served as an opportunity to renew the partnership with Dualtech Training Center, Don Bosco Technical Institute, and Punlaan School. Over a period of three (3) years, 150 Dualtech scholars will be supported to meet the manpower demands of specific industries. On the other hand, the 3-year partnership with the Don Bosco Technical Institute will support the technical skills education of 135 scholars from their 3 centers. Lastly, 24 scholars of Punlaan School will have the opportunity to gain proper skills training on hospitality and culinary arts through a 4-year agreement.Extending Healthcare Privileges to Indigents
Manila Doctors Hospital (MDH) serves as the healthcare affiliate of MBFI which offers social services to indigent patients such as hospitalization and consultation subsidies, medical missions, and other health-related interventions in select communities. Through the annual financial support of GTFI, the corporate social responsibility programs of MDH such as quality non-discriminatory inpatient and outpatient services and surgical operations will reach out to more indigent Filipinos in need of medical assistance. Laptops and Tablets for Blended Learning
To complement the national government’s groundwork for a blended learning approach for the school year, GTFI launched Project PERFORM (Provision of Equipment to Reinforce Facility of Online and Remote Modality of Learning). The program is targeting to give laptops and tablets to more than 600 qualified students from public and techvoc schools, as well as GTFI and MBFI scholars.
“Sharing has been at the core of Metrobank’s anniversary for the last 58 years. Grants turned over to our partners are intended to benefit those whom they are helping. Our donations are expressions of gratefulness ingrained in our institutional culture,” expressed MBFI president and GTFI executive director Aniceto Sobrepeña. “As we pursue these ideals, we do so honoring the memory of our founder Dr. George Ty Siao Kian. He envisioned a bequest that would go well beyond his lifetime, enabling and ennobling men to build a world where sound health, quality education, and productive lives are everyone’s portion,” he concluded.
GT Foundation, Inc. (GTFI) donated PhP1 million to Advancement for Rural Kids (ARK) for their project Feed Back—a vegetable farming program during this time of pandemic aimed at stemming hunger, keeping families healthy and together, and making communities achieve food security and resiliency. The donation will particularly benefit 416 families from the farming and fishing communities located in barangay Bogtong, Busuanga, Palawan; barangay Borac, Coron, Palawan; and barangay Traciano, Dumarao, Capiz. A virtual ceremonial signing of the Pledge of Donation was held on July 24 led by GTFI executive director and Metrobank Foundation president Aniceto Sobrepeña, ARK CEO Ayesha Vera-Yu; ARK trustee Philip Soliven; and GTFI assistant executive director Nicanor Torres, Jr.
“I am very thankful that GT Foundation partnered with us on this. Thank you for wanting to make sure that our kapwa (co) farmers, kapwa fisher folks, kapwa Filipinos are not going hungry and that they are securing their health particularly at this time of the pandemic,” said Vera-Yu.
In a span of 12 weeks, Feed Back will distribute vegetable baskets to participating farmers and fisher folks enabling them of three meals for a family of four. To ensure sustainability, the program’s next phase aims to empower the communities to grow their own produce for their household consumption at the same time create opportunities for them to earn a living by selling their excess produce to neighboring villages and towns. This will secure a family’s food, good health and enable them to participate in a secondary market.
“We have been praying that we get involved in agriculture and school-nutrition. The fact that we needed to do something to help our rural farmers and fisher folks to have something to eat during lockdown is a very important subject. Allow us to be able to do something in the areas that we would have wanted to move into,” said Sobrepeña.
The donation is part of over a PhP220 million contribution by Metrobank and GT Capital Holdings Group to fund and support efforts to combat the pandemic and help those in need. The amount was allocated for the purchase of personal protective equipment (PPEs) to benefit healthcare and security frontliners; “Project Ugnayan” led by the Philippine Disaster Resilience Foundation; distribution of meals and food packs to underprivileged families; construction and equipping of molecular laboratories for the testing of cases in partnership with the Department of Health, Philippine Red Cross, and Ayala Group; and Go Negosyo’s Project ARK (Antibody Rapid test Kits) of the Philippine Center for Entrepreneurship Foundation. Just recently, Toyota Motor Philippines Corporation donated 30 units of Toyota Vios to DOH for the mobility of healthcare frontliners and local government hospitals.
Last July 14, 2020, GT Foundation, Inc. (GTFI) and Don Bosco Technical Institute (DBTI) successfully held a virtual MOA signing for a three-year scholarship program with worth more than PhP7.4 million that will sponsor the education of 135 students from three Don Bosco Centers located in San Jose City, Nueva Ecija; Naga City, Camarines Sur; and Canlubang, Laguna. Representing GTFI were executive director Aniceto Sobrepeña (bottom left), deputy executive director Nicanor L. Torres, Jr, and assistant executive director Irene D. Labitad, while TVET technical director Fr. Jose Dindo S. Vitug SDB, signed for DBTI. Also present were head of secretariat Philip Jay M. Pronstroller, senior program officer Lilac C. Lazaro, and program officer Bryan J. Sudaria for GTFI; deputy director Marc L. Celis and external relations officer Carlo Sigua for DBTI.
Under its Scholarships for Technical-vocational Education Program (STEP), GTFI aims to equip out-of-school youth and other marginalized students with skills that will help them gain immediate employment. Since 2016, the foundation has been supporting a total of 100 scholars of some of the best technical-vocational education and training schools in the country with industry tie-ups for guaranteed employment. These schools are the Toyota Motor Philippines School of Technology, DBTI, and DualTech Training Center Foundation.