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Health in Our Hands celebrates Global Handwashing Day, World Toilet Day


In pursuit of raising awareness on water access, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) advocacy, Manila Water Foundation (MWF) held its annual celebration of the Global Handwashing Day (GHD) in October and World Toilet Day (WTD) in November through its flagship program, Health in Our Hands.


Global Handwashing Day (GHD) on its sixth year


Around 400 residents of San Mateo, Rizal joined MWF in the call for handwashing with clean water and soap during the celebration of Global Handwashing Day on October 15 at Jose F. Diaz Stadium.

GHD is an international campaign that aims to raise awareness and understanding on the importance of handwashing with clean water and soap as a cost-effective way to prevent communicable diseases. With the theme “Clean Hands—A Recipe for Health,” this year’s GHD focuses on the links between handwashing and nutrition. To further the advocacy, MWF partnered with nutrition institutions, namely the National Nutrition Council (NNC), Nutrition Center of the Philippines (NCP), and Philippine Association of Nutrition (PAN).


“We advocate the proper handwashing with clean water and soap to our kids in schools and communities to keep them healthy and prevent communicable diseases. It also plays a vital role in avoiding malnutrition, reducing absenteeism and contributing to a productive citizenry,” said MWF Executive Director Reginald Andal.



During the kickoff event held at KidZania Manila in Taguig City, children supported by the Educational Research and Development Assistance (ERDA) Foundation participated in an interactive lecture, handwashing demonstration, pledge wall, and activities inside the venue.



“We started partnering with Manila Water [Foundation] since last year,” ERDA Foundation Executive Director Dolora Cardeño shared. “Our kids are very happy because they were exposed to interesting places, at the same time, were given additional learnings about handwashing, which is connected to their health and nutrition,” she added.



After the launch in KidZania Manila, MWF brought the celebration to the following areas: Mauaque Resettlement High School in Mabalacat, Pampanga; Jose F. Diaz Stadium in San Mateo, Rizal; Don Jose National High School in Sta. Rosa, Laguna; Ayala Center Cebu; and Abreeza Mall Davao, where more than 2,500 individuals were reached on-site.



On October 15, the actual GHD, around 400 participants from the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps), San Mateo Help Ladies and Parents-Teachers Association (PTA) joined MWF to learn not only about proper handwashing, but also about the proper preparation of food for their families.



MWF was able to effectively hold this year’s Global Handwashing Day through the support of its partners, Green Cross, Johnson & Johnson, and Philusa Corporation.


Venue partners of the campaign were KidZania Manila, Ayala Center Cebu, and Abreeza Mall Davao. Meanwhile, Philippine Daily Inquirer, Philippine Star, Wish FM, People’s Television and DZMM Teleradyo helped disseminate information about its activities and events throughout the month.


First on-site World Toilet Day (WTD) celebration


MWF, together with MWC Advocacy and Research Department, UNICEF Philippines, and Department of Health (DOH), called for zero open defecation during the celebration of World Toilet Day.

In partnership with MWC Advocacy and Research Department, MWF launched its first on-site celebration of WTD with more than 150 parent-leaders from District III, Quezon City at Barangay Loyola Heights on November 19.


During the event, partners from UNICEF Philippines and Department of Health talked about the current sanitation status in the Philippines, risks of open defecation, and initiatives being done to address this. Meanwhile, MWC Advocacy and Research Department talked about proper septage management through its environmental advocacy program, Toka-Toka.



WTD, organized by UN Water, is an international campaign which aims to encourage individuals and groups to take action in ensuring that everyone has a safely managed toilet by 2030.


This year’s WTD celebration was made possible through the support of the following sponsors, Green Cross and Philusa Corporation: Gleam and Albatross.



Since 2013, MWF has been one of the most visible and active proponents of the GHD in the Philippines. Moving forward, it also seeks to lead other campaigns related to sanitation and hygiene such as WTD and World Oral Health Day.



The Search for the Next Metrobank Foundation Outstanding Filipinos is On


DepEd secretary Leonor Magtolis-Briones (seated 4th from left); AFP chief of staff General Carlito Galvez, Jr. (seated 3rd from right); PNP chief directorial staff Camilo Pancratius Cascolan (seated 2nd from left); MBFI president Aniceto Sobrepeña (seated 3rd from left) together with RCMM vice president Miguel Leogardo (seated 2nd from right); PSBank senior vice president Perfecto Dimayuga, Jr. (seated rightmost); and RCNME president John Paul Montero (seated leftmost) gathered on November 16 at the DepEd Central Office in Pasig City to sign their pledge of commitment and to convey their support for the next cycle of the Metrobank Foundation Outstanding Filipinos.


The search for the next batch of Metrobank Foundation Outstanding Filipinos begins as top officials from the Department of Education (DepEd), Philippine National Police (PNP), Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), Metrobank Foundation, Inc. (MBFI) and program partners from Philippine Savings Bank (PSBank), Rotary Club of New Manila East (RCNME), and Rotary Club of Makati Metro (RCMM) gather in a historic ceremony on November 16, 2018 at the Bulwagan ng Karunungan, Department of Education Central Office, Pasig City.

Present during the launch were: DepEd secretary Leonor Magtolis-Briones, AFP chief of staff General Carlito Galvez, Jr., PNP chief directorial staff Camilo Pancratius Cascolan (representing PNP chief police director General Oscar Albayalde) and MBFI president Aniceto Sobrepeña. They were joined by PSBank senior vice president Perfecto Dimayuga, Jr., RCMM vice president Miguel Leogardo and RCNME president John Paul Montero.

To mark the occasion, a ceremonial signing of a pledge of commitment was held to signify unity among these institutions in fostering service excellence.

As a prestigious career-service award for Filipino exemplars in the academe, military, and police sectors—4 teachers, 3 soldiers, and 3 police officers will be recognized. Each awardee will receive a cash prize of P1 million, a gold medallion, and The Flame trophy during the formal conferment ceremonies in September 2019.

Guided by the theme “Beyond Excellence”, a Metrobank Foundation Outstanding Filipino renders service above and beyond his/her call of duty. Their accomplishments must have inspired and influenced their peers as well as the people in their respective communities. Their works must have transformed a community with a lasting positive impact on people and to the country. To date, the Metrobank Foundation has honored a total of 665 Outstanding Filipinos.

"We believe that achievements, which resulted to positive change, or innovations that addressed major societal problems should be highlighted and widely acknowledged. By doing so, we hope to create a ripple effect that would inspire other people, especially their colleagues in their profession, to follow in their footsteps," Sobrepeña said.

Also present during the launch were USec. Tonisito Umali, Esq.; USec. Annalyn Sevilla; USec. Victoria Medrana-Catibog; ASec. Alma Ruby Torio from DepEd; PNP DPCR police director Eduardo Garado; 2019 RCNME COPS chairman Claro Lorenzo Baarde; Metrobank Foundation Outstanding Filipinos past awardees MGen Restituto Padilla (2009); MGen. Arnold Mancita (2010); CMSgt. Nelson Mercado (2011); BGen. Maxima Ignacio (2015); Mrs. Jennifer Rojo (2017); Col. Elmer Suderio (2017); Dr. Carla Dimalanta (2018) and PS/Supt. Pascual Muñoz (2018).

Through a nomination-based process, teachers, soldiers and police officers who are eligible to join must have a minimum of 10 years of service with at least “very satisfactory” rating in the last decade. Those who are set to retire must have at least three (3) remaining years of service. All eligible nominees must have exhibited good moral character and must not have been charged guilty in any administrative or criminal case.

Teachers in the elementary, secondary or alternative learning system must have full teaching load and must have completed academic requirements for Master’s Degree while tertiary and graduate teachers must have attained a Doctorate Degree. Eligible AFP commissioned officers (Captain to Colonel) must have completed a bachelor’s degree while AFP enlisted personnel (Corporal to Chief Master Sergeant) must have completed at least a High School Degree. Finally, PNP commissioned officers (Police Inspector to Police Superintendent) and non-commissioned officers (Police Officer 2 to Senior Police Officer 4) must have completed a Bachelor’s Degree.

The nomination form and detailed guidelines are now available via the MBFI website at, Metrobank Foundation Outstanding Filipinos Facebook page or through the link Deadline for nominations is on January 18, 2019. For further inquiries, email the secretariat at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , telephone us at (02) 898-8898, (02) 857-8757 and (02) 945-7006 or contact Kristal Todcor (09258303717/ 09777236205) for teachers, Third Salang (09228038948) for soldiers, and Ernest Macapagal (09267080276) for police officers.


BDO Foundation and Bancnet build classrooms in Marawi

Like so many dedicated educators in public schools across the country, the teachers of Nanapun Elementary School in Marawi City, Lanao del Sur want to give their pupils high-quality education in an environment conducive to learning. Unfortunately, the sad state of the school's old, damaged and dilapidated classrooms made the teachers' task difficult. The Marawi siege, which devastated the city for months, made their job even more challenging. 

The teachers of Nanapun hoped and prayed that somehow their school's classrooms will be repaired. Their need for better classrooms gained more significance as the schoolchildren who evacuated ground zero of the siege transferred to Nanapun. The teachers' prayers were answered when BDO Foundation and BancNet, the Philippines' leading electronic payments and ATM network, selected Nanapun as a recipient of a much needed donation. 

BDO Foundation, the corporate social responsibility arm of BDO Unibank, and Bancnet funded and constructed a two-storey, four-classroom school building in Nanapun Elementary School. The structure was turned over to local government leaders, school administrators and local officials of the Department of Education (DepEd) in inaugural ceremonies led by BDO Foundation president Mario Deriquito, BDO Foundation program director Rose Espinosa and Bancnet consultant Jasmin Bunag. 

The new building was graciously accepted by the teachers, DepEd Marawi assistant schools division superintendent Anna Zenaida Unte, city councilor Aleem Nassif Marangit and Nanapun Elementary School principal Noronisa Dipatuan. 

"Finally, our prayers were answered," the principal said. "We are blessed to be a beneficiary of BDO Foundation. Words are not enough to express how happy we are now that we have a new school building. I would like to thank BDO Foundation, BancNet and other people who made this project a reality." 

The school new building--which was furnished with toilets, blackboards, fans, desks for teachers and chairs for students--is expected to benefit more than 300 pupils affected by the Marawi siege, which disrupted classes for several months and forced students and teachers to evacuate. 

The project is the latest BDO Foundation initiative aimed at helping rebuild war-torn city. The foundation mounted humanitarian missions and made donations for the benefit of thousands of evacuees, military operatives, police personnel and schoolchildren affected by the fighting and humanitarian crisis. BDO Foundation also donated storybooks and school supplies to hundreds of schoolchildren in the city. 

The corporate citizenship initiative is in line with the foundation's disaster response advocacy and rehabilitation program in areas affected by natural disasters or armed conflict. It contributes to the efforts of DepEd, one of the member agencies of Task Force Bangon Marawi, to rehabilitate public schools in the wake of the fighting that ensued last year between government forces and a militant group. 

Nanapun Elementary School was identified by BDO Foundation as a recipient of a new school building after site inspections in Marawi City conducted with the support of the BDO Iligan-Del Pilar branch.



Aboitiz gives relief assistance to fire-affected families in Taguig


SPIRIT OF GIVING IN TIMES OF DISASTER. The Aboitiz Foundation, together with the Philippine Red Cross and Taguig City local government provided assistance to 130 families displaced by fire in Barangay Bagumbayan, Taguig City last November 23, Friday. Aboitiz team member-volunteers who were supposed to conduct their annual christmas outreach to the community helped pack and distribute relief goods to evacuees at the Cayetano Sports Complex. The relief packs consist sleeping mats, blankets, and drinking water. The Philippine Red Cross and Aboitiz also facilitated play therapy sessions for affected children at the evacuation center.

“We are saddened that this had to happen on a day so close to Christmas; our thoughts are definitely with our brothers and sisters in Bagumbayan, Taguig. Nevertheless, we are proud of the efforts of our team members who immediately responded to assist the evacuees. This truly illustrates how the values of teamwork and responsibility are lived out by the Aboitiz team members,” Aboitiz Foundation First Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Maribeth Marasigan said.



Toyota Donates Dialysis Machine, Conducts Surgical Missions for Santa Rosa Community

Toyota Motor Philippines Foundation (TMPF), the social and humanitarian arm of Toyota Motor Philippines Corporation (TMP), recently donated one unit of dialysis machine to the Santa Rosa Community Hospital Dialysis Center. Simultaneously, TMPF held its 54th Medical-Surgical Outreach Program in partnership with the local government and Makati Medical Center (MMC). A total of 19 pre-screened patients with cases of cholecystolithiasis, goiter, hemorroid, hernia and small cysts underwent surgery performed by MMC surgeon-volunteers. Since 1992, Toyota has been providing health assistance to more than 100,000 constituents. In photo during the donation ceremony are (from left) TMPF assistant vice president Ronald Gaspar, TMPF treasurer Blesilda Rodriguez, TMPF president Dr. David Go, TMP president Satoru Suzuki, Santa Rosa Community Hospital medical director Dr. Parnell Patacsil, 1st District of Laguna representative Arlene Arcillas, Santa Rosa City mayor Dan Fernandez and Santa Rosa City vice mayor Arnold Arcillas.

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