Member News
2007 Metrobank Foundation Outstanding Filipino is New AFP Chief

Newly appointed Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Chief of Staff and 2007 Metrobank Foundation Outstanding Filipino, General Carlito Galvez, Jr. (2nd from left) with wife Marissa Galvez (3rd from left) pose for a photo together with Federal Land chairman and MBFI vice chairman Alfred Ty (leftmost) and MBFI president Aniceto Sobrepeña (rightmost) during the testimonial dinner held at the Grand Hyatt Manila

To honor newly appointed Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) chief of staff General Carlito Galvez, Jr. a testimonial dinner was hosted by the Metrobank Group on May 23, 2018 at the Grand Salon of Grand Hyatt Manila in Taguig City. General Galvez was a recipient of the 2007 search for The Outstanding Philippine Soldiers (TOPS), now widely known as the Metrobank Foundation Outstanding Filipinos. TOPS, as the highest and most prestigious civilian recognition given to a military personnel for his/her priceless acts of valor, selfless sacrifices and heroism, is being implemented by the Metrobank  Foundation, Inc. (MBFI) in partnership with Rotary Club of Makati Metro (RCMM).

Present during the testimonial dinner were senior officers of the Metrobank Group and RCMM.  General Galvez succeeded the position left by General Rey Leonardo Guerrero in the recent AFP Change of Command and Testimonial Honors activity held at Camp General Emilio Aguinaldo in Quezon City.

Federal Land chairman and MBFI vice chairman Alfred Ty, in his welcome remarks, congratulated General Galvez who have dedicated himself to a lifetime of exceptional service in the Philippine Army. Prior to his new appointment, General Galvez was the Chief of the Western Mindanao Command (WESMINCOM) who played a key role in ending the five-month siege carried out by ISIS-inspired terrorists in Marawi City in 2017.

“This gathering is more significant as we are not only honoring General Galvez as the 50th chief of staff of the AFP but the first soldier awardee of our awards program who in now at the helm of the institution they represent. This feat is a testimony of the quality of awardees we recognize. Truly, he have lived up to the call of going beyond excellence.”

Likewise, MBFI president Aniceto “Chito” Sobrepeña also congratulated General Galvez. “It is truly a great pleasure for all of us in MBFI to continue give recognition for the distinguished efforts and sacrifices of all our awardees. The Metrobank Foundation Outstanding Filipinos search has proven its worth by producing effective leaders in the sectors of military, police and education” he said.

General Galvez joins the roster of Metrobank Foundation Outstanding Filipinos who held key positions in the AFP including Lieutenant General Juancho Sabban (Ret), 2003 former Commander of Western Command; Vice Admiral Jesus Millan (Ret), 2006 former Flag Officer in Command Philippine Navy and Undersecretary Department of National Defense; Lieutenant General Romeo Tanalgo (Ret), 2009 former Vice Chief of Staff AFP and Commander, Northern Luzon Command; Lieutenant General Raul del Rosario (Ret), 2012 former Commander Central and Western Command; and Lieutenant General Danilo Pamonag, 2015 Commander, Southern Luzon Command.

 

 
May 1% Ka Ba? Meet Raph of the DFA!

Among the staff of the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), a special individual works tirelessly as an advocate for Persons with Disability within the agency: Raphael Torralba, the Assistant for Person with Disability Programs of the Human Resources Management Office. Under his careful watch, forty-five Persons with Disability spread out across the wide DFA network can integrate and work well with the agency, its operations, and the rest of its workforce.

Raph, a Person who is Hard of Hearing, first began with the DFA as part of the Office of Consular Affairs (OCA) before taking on an extensive range of responsibilities in various areas. He applied at the DFA as per normal hiring procedures, with guidance from the National Council on Disability Affairs (NCDA).

“When I first entered the halls of DFA, a mixture of happiness and uncertainty greeted me,” Raph explains. “I was glad to be shortlisted for a job interview while at the same time, I feared being rejected due to the communication barrier, which usually starts in the recruitment process. It makes life difficult for Person who is a Hard of Hearing person like me. Surprisingly, during my interview, the interviewer never made communication so hard for me. That was the moment I began to feel at ease, knowing that DFA really cares for Persons with Disability. Afterwards, the fear inside of me dissipated.”

The DFA is very supportive of employing Persons with Disability, exceeding the 1% Person with Disability employment rule mandated by RA 10524. It also maintains programs that specifically look after the well-being of its Persons with Disability employees and coordinates regularly among its varied embassies and related offices, with Raph’s meticulous support. The Deaf and Hard of Hearing employees are employed in the OCA, while other Persons with Disability are in other units, embassies, consulates, and regional consular offices.

Raph has had other productive work engagements over the years, and he is more than satisfied with the supportive atmosphere in the DFA. “I'm happy with my work. Considering that the DFA is a Person with Disability-friendly agency, it makes me feel at home. It makes me feel I'm a part of the family. DFA doesn’t leave their Persons with Disability employees behind. They provide them opportunities for career growth, just the same as what other employees are receiving.”

Acknowledging the growing trend of inclusion in workplaces, Raph feels strongly about how employers should give Persons with Disability the chance to shine. “Awareness inside the workplace is the key. It creates a ripple that passes to other colleagues, as seen in how we, the Person with Disability employees, educate our fellow colleagues: the lessons we teach them are continually passed on,” he points out.

“I want to share what one of my favorite ambassadors once said, that all of us are potential diplomats and one diplomat can change the world,” Raph underscores, firmly optimistic about how the public can support inclusion. “In that case, anyone can be an ambassador for PWD awareness. Be that one.”

This is the first in a series of special features on Persons with Disability in a variety of workplaces, both in the private and the public sectors. Stay abreast of the “May 1% Ka Ba?” campaign’s features and updates via https://www.facebook.com/ProjectInclusionPH/.

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In Pursuit of Inclusion in the Workplace: “May 1% Ka Ba?”

A different labor conversation

This Labor Day, the Fully Abled Nation and Unilab Foundation’s Project Inclusion, will out the spotlight on workplace inclusion through “May 1% Ka Ba?”, an advocacy campaign promoting access to the workplace for Persons with Disability (PWDs).

The campaign’s eponymous one percent (1%) draws from Republic Act 10524: An Act Expanding the Positions Reserved for Persons with Disability, which specifically amends Section 5 of Republic Act 7277, the Magna Carta for Disabled Persons, with this provision:

“At least one percent (1%) of all positions in all government agencies, offices or corporations shall be reserved for Persons with Disability: Provided, that private corporations with more than 100 employees are encouraged to reserve at least one percent (1%) of all positions for Persons with Disability.”

May 1% Ka Ba?

“May 1% Ka Ba?” is a comprehensive media campaign that will feature stories of PWDs employed in different capacities such as administrative aides, deputy directors, teachers, and architects from diverse workplace environments, including Special Education (SPED) centers and the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP).  The stories will highlight the triumphs of PWDs and the gains and benefits to those who employ them.

The campaign encourages employers to look beyond the disability and to see the contributions that PWDs can achieve in the workplace. It also urges them to embrace workplace inclusion and go beyond compliance to the 1% mandated by law.

The campaign is endorsed by the National Council for Disability Affairs (NCDA), Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), and the Civil Service Commission (CSC) with support from the Australian Embassy and The Asia Foundation Partnership in the Philippines.

The “May 1% Ka Ba?” features will be released to various media outlets and online venues over the next few months. Watch the first video, “Inclusion” here: (bit.ly/May1PercentKaBa-Inclusion) or follow Project Inclusion on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/ProjectInclusionPH/).

 

 
Thousands of TELUS International Philippines team members share their caring culture by rehabilitating Quezon City schools

 

Manila, Philippines - TELUS International Philippines, a leading provider of digitally-enabled customer experience and business process solutions, once again extended its leadership and support to Brigada Eskwela through the TELUS Days of Giving on May 12, 2018.

Now its fifth year of participation with Brigada Eskwela, TELUS International Philippines inspired more than 2,800 volunteers to volunteer 16,800 hours to rehabilitate Kamuning Elementary School and Quezon City High School during the powerful, one-day volunteer event. This year’s TELUS Days of Giving is one of the biggest to date, with team members renovating and refurbishing 11 school buildings, 66 classrooms, and more than 3,250 chairs.

“During these five years of giving of our team members’ hearts and hands to Brigada Eskwela, we have provided 54,000 volunteer hours to six schools, where we have meaningfully impacted more than 41,000 students, including the 6,000 students who attend Kamuning Elementary School and Quezon City High School,” shared Jeffrey Puritt, President and CEO of TELUS International.

Recognized with numerous awards, including Asia CEO Awards’ CSR Company of 2017, TELUS International Philippines held its first TELUS Days of Giving in 2007. What started with team members building homes for Gawad Kalinga (GK) in what is now known as GK’s TELUS Village eventually expanded its reach and impact through partnerships with various organizations, including Bantay Bata, Bantay Kalikasan, Virlanie Foundation, and Hands On Manila.

 

 
Improving School-Aged Kids’ Nutrition Through Innovative Organic Vegetable Gardening IGFI’s Gulayan Sa Paaralan Project

In pursuit of improving the health and nutrition of school children, ICCP Group Foundation, Inc.’s seven (7) partner-schools in Malvar, Batangas, namely: San Fernando Elementary School, Malvar Central School, Luta Norte and Luta Sur Elementary Schools, Bulihan Elementary School, San Pedro I and San Pedro II Elementary Schools, have implemented and completed the implementation of Gulayan sa Paaralan Project on February 2018 in partnership with the Canadian Embassy under the Canada Fund for Local Initiative (CFLI). The project was a 6-month initiative which started on September 2017.

Part of the project was the establishment of Greenhouse Facility in all school-beneficiaries as well as the conduct of training-workshop on organic vegetable gardening participated in by Grade 5 and 6 students with teachers, parents and some barangay workers. The workshops focused on teaching the participants how to grow vegetables using recycled PET bottles as planting pot, as well as how to produce organic fertilizer and pesticides.

The project generally aimed at reducing the malnutrition rate of partner-schools through increased availability of vegetable for students as well as heighten the awareness on environmental protection through productive use of recyclable wastes and materials.

As an immediate result, there was an increased availability of vegetable for the feeding activity of partner-schools of around 80%. With this, they no longer buy vegetables for the kids to eat but instead harvest them from their organic vegetable garden which are more nutritive than what is available in the market. Some are also being sold out and the revenue goes to the expansion of their organic vegetable garden.

Further, a total of 407 individuals capacitated (students, parents, teachers, LGU personnel) on organic vegetable gardening and the same number of persons have raised consciousness on environmental protection through productive use of recyclable wastes and materials in the implementation of the project.

With this project, the community through the initiative of children and other stakeholders has been empowered towards self-reliance and sufficiency in relation to health and environmental protection. It further paved the way for a collective action among community members for sustainable development using health and environment programs as driving force and integrated with other community development themes that could holistically achieve the vision, mission and goal(s) of the community.

 
BDO Foundation Helps Improve Healthcare for Pilareños

 

The health workers of Pilar, a municipality in the province of Capiz, aspire to achieve a noble goal. Led by their municipal health officer Dr. Ramon Alex Nolasco, the town's doctors, nurses and midwives want to deliver high-quality healthcare to all Pilareños. It is a mission that motivates and inspires them to work hard 24/7. 

Helping them achieve this mission is BDO Foundation, which recently rehabilitated Municipal Health Office Pilar, an initiative that is expected to benefit a catchment population of more than 46,000 people from 24 barangays. The initiative is aimed at enabling health workers provide patient care more efficiently to their constituents, especially the underprivileged. 

The newly rehabilitated rural health unit was turned over to the local government unit and provincial health office in inaugural ceremonies led by BDO Foundation president Mario Deriquito, BDO Foundation program director Rose Espinosa, BDO Roxas-CityMall branch head Neil Villaruz and BDO Roxas-Pueblo de Panay branch head Jojie Aga-in. BDO branches support the foundation's rehabilitation program by recommending health centers that need support. 

"Salamat gid, BDO Foundation! The rehabilitation of our health center will contribute to the health of Pilareños," said Dr. Nolasco as he accepted the new and improved Municipal Health Office Pilar together with Pilar mayor Gideon Ike Patricio. Provincial health officers and other local government officials witnessed the turn over the structure. 

BDO Foundation renovated the health center's overall structure, reception and waiting areas, offices, consultation and treatment rooms, dental clinic, pharmacy, laboratory and birthing facilities. An activity area for children complete with books and toys as well as a waiting lounge for the comfortable use of senior citizens were built. The foundation also installed a proper breastfeeding station to give nursing mothers the privacy they need. 

The initiative is in line with BDO Foundation's disaster response advocacy and rehabilitation program in provinces affected by calamities. Capiz and neighboring provinces were hit by Tropical Depression Urduja in 2017 and by Typhoon Yolanda in 2013. 

As a follow up to its relief operations for victims of Tropical Depression Urduja, BDO Foundation rehabilitated the municipal health office of Pilar in Capiz.

 
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