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.
Metrobank Foundation, Inc. (MBFI), together with the League of Corporate Foundations (LCF) and Manila Water Foundation, Inc. (MWF), turnover a Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) facility to Subay Elementary School at Talim Island, Cardona, Rizal on Feb. 17. This is part of MBFI’s PhP2.7 million donation to the “#LCFWinS: Lingap Eskwela sa Pandemya” program that aims to construct 10 WASH facilities and distribute 2,000 hygiene kits to 20 schools nationwide.
To protect the health, safety, and well-being of students, teachers, and personnel in this time of pandemic, the Metrobank Foundation, Inc. (MBFI) has partnered with the League of Corporate Foundations (LCF) for its #LCFWinS: Lingap Eskwela sa Pandemya Program. Through, a PhP2.7 million donation, 10 WASH (water, sanitation, and hygiene) facilities were constructed in select public schools made possible through the efforts of Manila Water Foundation.
From December 2020 to February 2021, 10-faucet hygiene facilities were turned over to Mataas na Paaralang Neptali A. Gonzales and Addition Hills Integrated School in Mandaluyong City; Fortune Elementary School and Fortune High School in Marikina City; Kapitolyo High School in Pasig City; Quezon City Science High School and Ramon Magsaysay (Cubao) High School in Quezon City; Dita Elementary School in Sta. Rosa City, Laguna; and Subay Elementary School and Sampad Elementary School in Cardona, Rizal. An estimated 31,000 learners shall benefit from these facilities including teachers and school personnel.
For ease of access for small children and PWDs, each hand hygiene facility comes with 10 faucets distanced at one-meter and can be operated with a foot pedal. Signages about COVID-19 precautionary measures, proper handwashing, and proper toothbrushing are also posted in the facility.
“Investing in proper hand hygiene facilities that is modified in compliance with the government health and safety protocols is a valuable intervention for increasing pandemic preparedness for the safe return of the students as well as the school personnel and the parents,” said MBFI president Aniceto Sobrepeña.
“Proper handwashing and hygiene habits will indeed be a key in ensuring the health and safety of our children, not just in schools but even in our homes. We hope to make that valuable contribution in promoting a sustainable proper hand hygiene culture in the Philippines even beyond the COVID-19 pandemic,” he added.
With the new facility, Addition Hills Integrated School Principal Gigi Bullanday said that this prompted their school to improve on their health and safety protocols. “Babaguhin po natin ang aming protocol. Hindi lang po magse-spray ng alcohol ang aming visitors, parents and stakeholders—lahat po ng aming guests, ire-require po naming maghugas ng mga kamay bago pumasok sa school. Para naman po safe tayong lahat (We will change our protocol. We will not only require our visitors, parents, and stakeholders to sanitize with alcohol but to also wash their hands before entering the school. This is so we can all be safe.),” she said.
Apart from sponsoring the constructions of the hygiene facilities, 2,000 hygiene kits were also distributed to another 10 schools namely Manggahan Elementary School in Pasig City; Bulihan Elementary School in Malolos, Bulacan; Tawiran Elementary School in Obando, Bulacan; San Nicolas Elementary School in Agoo, La Union; Caingin Elementary School in Sta. Rosa City, Laguna; Ayala Central School and Catalina Vda. de Jalon Memorial School in Zamboanga City; and Bayanihan Elementary School, Luyan Elementary School, and Sixto Babao Elementary School all in Davao City.
The kits contain items such as soap, toothbrush, toothpaste, washable face mask, vitamin C pads, and disinfecting alcohol. These will be distributed to school children from low-income families.
“Despite the fact that there are no face-to-face classes today and probably until the end of the school year, we chose to forge ahead with a future in mind. Hand washing needs to be the new norm. And if you want to encourage and drive this behavior, we need to provide the means to make this happen,” said LCF Chairperson and Aboitiz Foundation President and COO Maribeth Marasigan.
“LCFWinS: Lingap Eskwela sa Pandemya is a demonstration of our collective effort and impact – working together to create the enabling environment and the right conditions for good hand hygiene in schools. Let us continue advancing WASH for all communities for a healthier and safer Philippines,” MWF Executive Director Reginald Andal added.
Said donation is part of the consolidated almost PhP322 million contribution of Metrobank and GT Capital Holdings to fund and support efforts to combat the pandemic and help those in need under its “Helping Hands” program. To date, the financial assistance has covered the purchase of personal protective equipment for healthcare and security frontliners; donation of RT-PRC testing kits to select government hospitals; facilitation of antibody rapid testing and pooled testing to local government units; construction of 10 molecular laboratories; support for “Project Ugnayan” led by the Philippine Disaster Resilience Foundation; distribution of meals and food packs to underprivileged families; creation of an amelioration program for visual artists; in-kind donations of learning materials and equipment to geographically-isolated schools; provision of laptops and tablets for students; and donation of 30 units of Toyota Vios to Department of Health, among others.
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.
Court of Appeals Associate Justice Maria Filomena Singh delivers her lecture at Supreme Court En Banc Session Hall. She highlights the role of judicial education & training towards the timely and effective administration of justice in the country.
The Metrobank Foundation, Inc. (MBFI) and Philippine Judicial Academy (PhilJA) conferred this year’s Metrobank Foundation Professorial Chair in Law to Court of Appeals Associate Justice Maria Filomena D. Singh during the 17th Metrobank Foundation Professorial Chair on March 5, 2021 at the Supreme Court En Banc Session Hall, City of Manila. She is the first-ever female chairholder in the program’s 19-year history.
Associate Justice Singh presented a paper entitled “Wielding the Sword: The Role of Judicial Education in the Administration of Justice.” She highlighted in her lecture the crucial role of judicial education and training in the swift and efficient delivery of justice.
Associate Justice Singh (3rd from left) was awarded the Metrobank Foundation Professorial Chair in Law after her lecture at the Supreme Court En Banc Session Hall. Joining her in the photo are Senior Associate Justice Estela Perlas-Bernabe (3rd from right), Associate Justice Amy Lazaro-Javier (2nd from right), PhilJA chancellor Adolfo Azcuna (rightmost), PhilJa vice chancellor Mariano Del Castillo (leftmost), and MBFI program officer Rahib Abdullah (2nd from left).
Participants were comprised of Supreme Court (SC), Court of Appeals, Sandiganbayan and Court of Tax Appeals justices, lawyers from SC and appellate courts, PhilJa officials, MBFI representatives, and institutional partners who joined the session live and online via Zoom.
Her paper “advances the thesis that judicial education and training, in tandem with broad institutional reform, is a keen weapon to cut case delay and court congestion.” In this context, she underscored the importance of timely and effective adjudication to regain the public’s trust and confidence in the judiciary—through the continuous learning and capacity-building of judges who are the immediate representatives of justice in the country.
“Now more than ever, the public’s confidence in the judiciary is crucial if the third branch of government is to fulfill its role as the last bastion of right and justice. Integral to resurrecting such public confidence is inspiring belief in our judicial officers. The line between ethics training and public trust is straight but long. Nevertheless, we must not hesitate to take the first step,” Singh emphasized.
To this end, she recommended three (3) crucial pathways that the Philippine Judiciary can embark on towards the collective pursuit of “delivering justice real time”: 1) Training and assessment to enhance the judges’ performance of the dual role of being adjudicators and administrative managers; 2) Promoting the culture of immersion and peer-mentoring among judges; and 3) calling for increased budget allocation to implement said measures.
Meanwhile, MBFI President Aniceto Sobrepeña reiterated the shared hope of the participating institutions. “The title of the lecture alone evokes a potent image and delivers a strong message. We hope that the lecture will further equip us with possible strategies as we consistently strive to enhance judicial education in the country. This can only be done if we set to the task, as aptly put, of wielding our swords well, for the public.”
A joint undertaking between MBFI and PhilJA, the professorial chair seeks to promote capacity-building and excellence in the judiciary and legal education through the delivery of timely and comprehensive discourses by seasoned legal practitioners.
Associate Justice Singh joins esteemed professorial chairholders such as Chief Justice Diosdado Peralta (2019), Court of Appeals Associate Justice Japar Dimaampao (2018), Retired Supreme Court Associate Justice Romeo Callejo (2017), Retired Court of Appeals Associate Justice Magdangal de Leon (2016), Retired Supreme Court Associate Justice Jose Vitug (2014), Supreme Court Associate Justice Marvic Leonen (2009) and Retired Supreme Court Associate Justice Adolfo Azcuna (2007).
Metrobank Foundation likewise recently provided support to the Judicial Integrity Board (JIB) in its inaugural lecture given by Chief Justice Diosdado Peralta. The Supreme Court has recently reintroduced the JIB as part of Peralta’s Ten-Point Program. It aims to further strengthen the Judiciary by focusing on key areas namely efficiency, integrity, security, and service.
Cabinet Secretary and Task Force Zero Hunger (TFZH) chairman Karlo Nograles led the turnover of 1,000 meals to Municipality of Guiguinto, Bulacan Mayor Ambrosio “Boy Cruz and Vice Mayor Eliseo Santos. Joining them are representatives from the Metrobank Foundation, Inc. and McDonald’s Philippines.
Metrobank, through its corporate social responsibility arm Metrobank Foundation, Inc. (MBFI), joins the Task Force Zero Hunger’s Pilipinas Kontra Gutom (PKG), aimed at ending massive hunger by 2030. Sustaining previous donations made to provide food for underprivileged families most affected by the pandemic, Metrobank contributed additional 50,000 meals to provide sustenance for the average-earners and poorest of poor.
An amount of more than PhP 2.5 million was coursed through Ronald McDonald’s House Charities (RMHC) Philippines for its McDonald’s Kindness Kitchen (MKK) program. The donation completes the target to provide over 100,000 meals to 50 cities and municipalities in the National Capital Region(NCR), Regions I, II, III, IV-A, V, VI, VIII, XI, and XII, including the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.
To date, Metrobank, together with PKG and MKK has turned over almost 105,000 meals since November 2020. The distribution of meals will continue this month in Davao City, Tacloban and Palo, Leyte, and Antipolo, Rizal.
Led by Cabinet Secretary and Task Force Zero Hunger Chairman Karlo Nograles, PKG aims to address the problems on hunger and food security in the country especially during these times of crisis. A multi-sectoral movement, PKG is also committed to respond to the needs of communities during calamities and disasters through an efficient, systematic, and resilient relief operations. With the support of partner private institutions and non-government organizations, PKG shall ensure the availability and accessibility of food supplies, distribution of adequate nutrition to beneficiaries, and prompt assistance during crisis.
Photos above show the distribution of meals to the Municipalities of Mexico, Sta. Ana, and Arayat Pampanga; Municipalities of San Pedro and Biñan, Laguna; and Malabon City.
As one of PKG’s founding private sector members, MBFI president Aniceto Sobrepeña said, “We in the Metrobank Group seek to carry on our mission to uplift the lives of underprivileged Filipinos, especially now as our nation faces a long-drawn pandemic. Along with our partners from RMHC Philippines and Task Force Zero Hunger, we have made it our target to feed over 100,000 individuals in 50 cities and municipalities nationwide. Indeed, challenging times call for acts for solidarity and compassion. We are in the middle of a difficult period that demands kind thoughts and caring actions in equal measure.”
Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, Metrobank has been in the front lines in feeding poor families in the country. An amount of PhP 2 million was first donated to RMHC during the height of the enhanced community quarantine in March 2020. While another PhP 2 million was turned over during Metrobank’s Anniversary Grants Turnover in September last year. Through these donations, 80,000 meals were provided to individuals living in NCR as well as in Cebu and Davao provinces.
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.
Thousands of students, faculty and staff from five public schools in Metro Manila can now look forward to new handwashing facilities installed in strategic locations in their schools that will help them fight COVID-19 and other communicable diseases.
League of Corporate Foundations (LCF) member and project sponsor, Metrobank Foundation, Inc. (MBFI), formally turned over five new 10-faucet hygiene facilities to Mataas na Paaralang Neptali A. Gonzales and Addition Hills Integrated School in Mandaluyong City, Kapitolyo High School in Pasig City, and Quezon City Science High School and Ramon Magsaysay (Cubao) High School in Quezon City on December 17, and on a virtual ceremony on December 29.
This is under LCF’s initiative, LCFWinS: Lingap Eskwela sa Pandemya, implemented by Manila Water Foundation, which aims to support the Department of Education (DepEd)’s WASH in Schools (WinS) program.
In a message, Metrobank Foundation President Aniceto Sobrepeña shared that MBFI has been working hard to support the fight against COVID-19 and is delighted to support DepEd’s WASH in Schools program. “We at the Metrobank Foundation, together with our sister foundation GT Foundation, have recognized the need to contribute to the Philippine nation’s fight against COVID-19, by creating a multi-million-peso COVID fund to support our partners in their respective sectors,” he said. “The LCFWinS: Lingap Eskwela sa Pandemya program is one of the significant partnerships that we in the MBFI have for this year as we continuously support the WASH in Schools program of DepEd,” he further added.
Gigi Bullanday, Principal III of Addition Hills Integrated School, recalled the school’s transformation since the facility was constructed. “’Yung area na ito ay tambakan ng mga sirang upuan. Dito rin po nilalagay ang mga basura noon (This area used to be a dump site of broken chairs and trash,” she said. “This is the best place to build the WASH facility—something beautiful and useful,” she added.
With the new facility, Bullanday said that this prompted their school to improve on their health and safety protocols. “Babaguhin po natin ang aming protocol. Hindi lang po magse-spray ng alcohol ang aming visitors, parents and stakeholders—lahat po ng aming guests, ire-require po naming maghugas ng mga kamay bago pumasok sa school. Para naman po safe tayong lahat (We will change our protocol. We will not only require our visitors, parents, and stakeholders to sanitize with alcohol, but to also wash their hands before entering the school. This is so we can all be safe.),” she said.
“Thank you so much, League of Corporate Foundations, Metrobank Foundation, and Manila Water Foundation for giving us this facility. Iingatan po namin ito dahil malaking tulong po ito sa aming paaralan (We will take care of this as this is a huge help for our school),” Principal Bullanday said in a closing message.
The handwashing facilities under the LCFWinS program can be operated by a pedal, and has a one-meter distance between faucets, to observe physical distancing. It also has a lowered sink which can be easily used by children.
Upholding health and safety above all, the handwashing facilities under the LCFWinS program can be operated by a pedal. There is a one-meter distance between faucets, to observe physical distancing. It also has a lowered sink which can be easily used by children. Each facility is built with ten faucets with soap containers and installed with signages about COVID-19 precautionary measures, proper handwashing, and the responsible use of water. The turnover last December 29 is the first of many projects with MBFI under LCFWinS. Under the program, MBFI will be donating a total of 10 hygiene facilities and 2,000 pieces of hygiene kits to another 10 schools.
To date, the LCFWinS program has benefitted more than 96,000 individuals.
Just in time for its celebration of its 42nd founding anniversary, the Metrobank Foundation, Inc. (MBFI), in partnership with Ateneo de Davao University (AdDU), turned over a PhP 18 million worth of molecular laboratory to the Southern Philippines Medical Center (SPMC) on January 9, 2021 in Bajada, Davao City. The facility shall address the growing need for COVID 19 testing, specifically in this region, which can run 200 samples each day.
The virtual ceremony was attended by MBFI trustee Alfred Ty; MBFI president Aniceto Sobrepeña; Department of Health (DOH) undersecretary Leopoldo Vega; Davao City vice mayor Sebastian Duterte; Davao City Health Office assistant head Dr. Marjorie Colas (to represent Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio); SPMC OIC Medical Center chief Dr. Ricardo Audan; SPMC chief administrative officer Atty. Oscar Mata; AdDU president Fr. Joel Tabora, SJ and AdDU executive vice president Jeremy Eliab. An actual turnover and blessing ceremony was held onsite.
“Today’s occasion marks another milestone in our response to contribute to our country’s continuing efforts to mitigate the impact of the pandemic. Our appreciation to our institutional partners for their unwavering commitment to make this project a reality from the time we formally signed the MOA last year,” expressed Ty in his message.
“The inauguration of this molecular laboratory is a manifestation of our commitment to continuously serve as an institution that readily responds to the needs of society during catastrophic events and health crises such as this ongoing pandemic,” he added.
Situated at SPMC’s compound, the facility’s testing capacity will have a turn-around time of three (3) operating days from Monday to Saturday. It was established following all applicable laws, including the standards of the DOH, Food and Drug Administration, and other applicable regulatory agencies and accredited by the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine.
To date, MBFI has supported the construction and equipping of 10 molecular laboratories in the country amounting to a total of PhP61 million. These include the largest molecular laboratory capable of detecting COVID-19 and other contagious diseases at the former Philippine Red Cross Headquarters in Port Area Manila. MBFI also supported the “Test, Trace, and Treat” Network through the Ayala Healthcare Holdings, Inc., the healthcare arm of the Ayala Group, in building seven Biosafety Level 2 modular laboratories in Qualimed hospitals. Another molecular laboratory was inaugurated at the Manila Doctors Hospital through a donation from GT Foundation—the Ty family foundation.
Said donation is part of the consolidated PhP308 million contribution of Metrobank and GT Capital Holdings to fund and support efforts to combat the pandemic and help those in need.
The financial assistance has covered the following: purchase of personal protective equipment for healthcare and security frontliners; donation of RT-PCR testing kits to select government hospitals; donation of antibody rapid test kits through GoNegosyo’s Project ARK; support for “Project Ugnayan” led by the Philippine Disaster Resilience Foundation; distribution of meals and food packs to underprivileged families; financial assistance to different stakeholders through amelioration programs; provision of equipment to learners and schools; construction of Water, Sanitation and Hygiene facilities in schools; donation of Toyota Vios to DOH, among others.
The Metrobank Foundation, Inc. (MBFI) sustains its mission in fostering Filipino artistry and creativity through its annual excellence recognition program for the visual arts—the Metrobank Art & Design Excellence or MADE.
Guided by the theme “SPECTRUM: The Art of Possibilities,” MADE resumes in 2021, inviting Filipino artists to tap into the expansive realm of creativity and transpose their spectrum of ideas into works that mirror the human experience and reshape the world anew. MADE continues to be a purveyor of visual arts, amplifying the reach and voice of local talents and visionaries.ART THAT PROGRESSES AMIDST CHALLENGING TIMES
Given the restrictions of holding on-ground events, MADE shifts to digital media through #SpectrumMADE2021, a yearlong social media campaign which aims to bring art experience and art education to its stakeholders amidst the current COVID-19 pandemic. #SpectrumMADE2021 will also serve as the platform for entrants to get to know more about the Painting and Sculpture recognition programs.
To do this, a series of online activities were lined up throughout the year. These include webinars and artist’s talks to inspire new generation of artists, provide opportunities for the exposure of their works, and give updates about the 2021 MADE.A CALL FOR FILIPINO PAINTERS AND SCULPTORS
The MADE Painting Recognition Program is open to all Filipino painters aged 18-35 years old who have not staged a solo exhibition. The MADE Sculpture Recognition Program, on the other hand, is open to all professional and amateur Filipino sculptors who have not won in any sculpture competitions of MADE in the past.
The deadline for submission of entries is on March 31, 2021. Interested participants may register online through bit.ly/MADE2021_paintingform and bit.ly/MADE2021_sculptureform.
At the height of an enhanced community quarantine in the country last May 2020, MBFI announced the deferment of 2020 MADE Painting and Sculpture Recognition Programs. As a result, all artworks submitted for the 2020 MADE will still be considered and will be judged alongside the entries submitted for the 2021 MADE.
Two (2) grand awardees for the Painting Recognition Program and one (1) grand awardee for the Sculpture Recognition Program will be chosen by a distinguished panel of judges. They will each receive PhP 500,000.00 worth of financial assistance and fund for artistic development, plus the “Mula” glass trophy designed by visual artist and MADE awardee Noel El Farrol. The grand awardees will be recognized in an awarding ceremony during the celebration of Metrobank’s 59th anniversary celebration in September. The awardees will also become members of the MADE-Network of Winners (MADE-NOW), the alumni organization of past MADE awardees which implements pay-it-forward projects that benefit marginalized sectors.
Established in 1984 by the late Metrobank Group founder and chairman Dr. George Ty Siao Kian, MADE has served as a platform for discovery for the most passionate and persistent creative visionaries in the country. To date, more than 400 visual artists and design professionals have been recognized. A majority of them are now carving significant names in the local and even international art and design scenes.ADVANCING THE PHILIPPINE CULTURE AND HERITAGE
Despite being confronted with a national crisis, MBFI remains true to its commitment of educating the public and creating awareness of culture and heritage through its Culture and Heritage Education Program (CHEP). CHEP aims to showcase the cultural significance of MADE’s art collection, address the need for classroom learning materials, and support formal and informal learning initiatives of partner institutions.
Various activities of CHEP in the form of lectures and workshops will be part of the #SpectrumMADE2021 campaign and will be implemented on the official Facebook (@MADECompetition) and Instagram (@metrobankartanddesign) pages of MADE.
For further details, please contact Badet Macaraig at telephone number: (02) 8898-8094 or email [email protected]