Metrobank Foundation Confers Outstanding Filipinos

The 2013 Metrobank Foundation Outstanding Filipinos were awarded during Metrobank’s 51st anniversary led by Metrobank Group Chairman Dr. George S. K Ty (front row, 10th from left), Metrobank Chairman Arthur Ty (front row, 13th from left), Metrobank Foundation President Aniceto Sobrepeña (front row, 14th from left) with Guest Speaker (on the front row) Senator Koko Pimentel III (11th from left), Senator Antonio Trillanes IV (9th from left), AFP Chief of Staff General Emmanuel Bautista (12th from left), Director for DPCR Lina Sarmiento (6th from left), Chairperson of the Commission on Higher Education Dr. Patricia Licuanan (7th from left), and Secretary of the Department of Education Br. Armin Luistro FSC (8th from left).

As one of the highlights of its 51st anniversary, Metrobank conferred the winners of the 2013 Metrobank Foundation Search for Outstanding Teachers (SOT), The Outstanding Philippine Soldiers (TOPS), and Country’s Outstanding Police Officers in Service (COPS) in an awarding ceremony held last September 5, 2013 at the Metrobank Plaza Auditorium. Senator Koko Pimentel III served as the guest speaker, while distinguished officials from the government, business, academe, and diplomatic communities graced the event.

Collectively called as the Metrobank Foundation Outstanding Filipinos, these exemplary teachers, soldiers and police officers are honored because of their dedication to service and being champions of excellence even in the most trying of circumstances.

The 2013 Outstanding Teachers awarded by Metrobank Group Chairman Dr. George S.K. Ty (8th from left), Metrobank Chairman Arthur Ty (10th from left), Metrobank Foundation President Aniceto Sobrepeña along with Guest Speaker Senator Koko Pimentel III (9th from left), Chairperson of the Commission on Higher Education Dr. Patricia Licuanan (6th from left), and Secretary of Department of Education Br. Armin Luistro FSC (7th from left).

The 2013 Outstanding Teachers are: Fely A. Batiloy of Special Education Integrated School for Exceptional Children (Iloilo City); Dr. Mitchel V. Rodriguez of Odiongan Central School (Gingoog City); Cherry G. Vinluan of Guagua Elementary School (Guagua, Pampanga); Rodel C. Sampang of Pedro Guevarra Elementary School (City of Manila), Dominique J. Maquiran of the University of the Philippines High School in Iloilo (Iloilo City); Dr. Maria Teresa M. Bautista of Bacnotan National High School (Bacnotan, La Union); Marcelo T. Otinguey of Ampusongan National High School (Bakun, Benguet); Maria Lorna L. Garnace of Philippine Science High School, Eastern Visayas Campus (Palo, Leyte); Dr. Alfredo C. Robles, Jr. of the De La Salle University (City of Manila) and Dr. Emilyn Q. Espiritu of the Ateneo de Manila University (Quezon City).

The 2013 Outstanding Philippine Soldiers were awarded by (on the front row) Metrobank Group Chairman Dr. George S. K. Ty (5th from left), Metrobank Group Vice Chairman and Metrobank Foundation Adviser Dr. Antonio Abacan, Jr. (3rd from left), Metrobank Vice Chairman Francisco Sebastian (2nd from left), Metrobank Foundation President Aniceto Sobrepena (first from left) with the Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines General Emmanuel Bautista (6th from left) and TOPS Chairman Atty. Al Miguel Leogardo (4th from left).

On the other hand, the members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines who made it as the 2013 Outstanding Soldiers are: Colonel Romeo S. Brawner, Jr. (Quezon City); Chief Master Sergeant Rogelio J. Mendoza (Tarlac); Technical Sergeant Ferdinand S. Baladjay (Nueva Ecija); Captain Vicente L. Cejoco (Quezon City), Technical Sergeant Dante P. Berganio (Sulu); Hospitalman Third Class Sergs E. Estropigan (Cavite); Lieutenant Colonel Moises L. Micor (Pasay City), Master Sergeant Alberto A. Pesebre (Quezon City); Technical Sergeant Nolito E. Tumesa (Pampanga) and Major Daneck E. Dang-awan CHS (Taguig City).

Mrs. Melodina Viovicente (front row, 8th from left) receives the award on behalf of his husband SPO 2 Rodito Viovicente who suffered a stroke days before the formal awarding ceremonies of COPS. The 2013 Outstanding Police Officers were awarded by (on the front row) Metrobank Group Chairman Dr. George S. K. Ty (6th from left), Metrobank President Fabian S. Dee (3rd from left), PSBank President Vicente Cuna (2nd from left), Metrobank Foundation President Aniceto Sobrepena (first from left), together with Senator Antonio Trillanes IV (7th from left), Director for DPCR Lina Sarmiento (5th from left), and Rotary Club of New Manila East President Herminio Carreon (4th from left).

Lastly, the 2013 Outstanding Police Officers are: Police Superintendent Edgar Alan Omas Okubo (Quezon City); Police Chief Inspector Carlo Magno Mercado Manuel (Manila); Police Senior Inspector Arlan Lim Delumpines (Zamboanga City); Police Inspector Margienett Terano Yosores (Cebu); Senior Police Officer 1 Edgardo Abastar Figuracion II (Zamboanga del Sur); Senior Police Officer 1 Raquel Ramos Aniwasal (Batangas); Senior Police Officer 4 Teofilo Siao Juanata, Jr. (Pangasinan); Senior Police Officer 2 Oscar Morales Angeles, Jr. (Marikina City); Senior Police Officer 2 Rodito Torrevillas Viovicente (Lapu Lapu City) and Senior Police Officer 1 Eduardo De Guzman Covarrubias (Zamboanga City).

“Each year, together with our partner organizations, we go through the painstaking process of winnowing the grain from the chaff: searching across the country for extraordinary acts from among our country’s educators, soldiers and police officers,” said Metrobank Foundation president Aniceto M. Sobrepeña. “It is not an easy task but one we bear gladly for the opportunity to uplift those who embody the integrity, selflessness and professionalism that those in public service should aspire for,” he added.

Colonel Romeo S. Brawner, Jr. delivers a speech on behalf of the 2013 Outstanding Filipinos.

Outstanding Soldier Colonel Romeo Brawner, Jr. delivered the response on behalf of the 2013 awardees. “These awards are about our love of our country.  How else can we explain why our teachers continue to resist the lure of higher pay if they teach abroad? How else can we explain why our policemen continue to protect jeepney passengers from hold-uppers even during their off-duty hours? And how else can we explain how our soldiers continue to serve with dedication on board a Navy ship grounded in the Ayungin shoal, braving loneliness and even malnutrition just to protect our sovereignty and our sovereign rights?” said Colonel Brawner, a former AFP Spokesperson. “It is simply because of love of country. But more than just love of country, we want to ask our citizenry to join us in our campaign to develop a culture of peace and a culture of excellence among the Filipinos - A culture of peace where our citizens would resort to peaceful means to settle differences rather than through violence or armed struggle; A culture of excellence where we will not settle for mediocrity but excellence through education,” he expressed.

Col. Brawner developed the “Prosperity Team Concept”: a people-centered, poverty-reduction approach to insurgency prevention. He partnered with a US-based NGO for the construction of a medical clinic, birthing center and a two-classroom school building in Bohol. As a former AFP Spokesperson, he maintained the image of the AFP as a dependable first-responder by providing timely and accurate information regarding its function in law enforcement and disaster response, among others.

Another awardee this year is Outstanding Teacher from Benguet, Mr. Marcelo T. Otinguey who, aside from sharing his expertise as a demonstration teacher in his division, he has conducted programs and activities to educate members of his community, and nurture the Bakun Kankana-ey indigenous people’s cultural heritage. He has helped put up community libraries and learning centers in Bakun and organized technical education trainings for poverty alleviation in various rural communities.

Outstanding Police Officer SPO1 Edgrado Figuracion II led operations for dismantling of illegal gambling dens, and the arrest of a notorious drug syndicate in Zamboanga del Sur. As a member of the police force’s health service, SPO1 Figuracion plays an active role in their community outreach programs, especially in their medical missions. He also showed heroism beyond call of duty through the rescue and adoption of a baby girl who was a victim of a massacre in Zamboanga del Sur.

Each SOT, COPS and TOPS awardee are presented with a trophy and gold medallion and cash prize of Php 300,000 each for COPS and TOPS awardees and Php 350,000 each for SOT awardees.

Since 1979, Metrobank Group founder and Chairman Dr. George S.K. Ty believes that leadership in business entails leadership in community service as well.  Beyond serving as an expression of gratitude and a reward for their excellence, its recognition programs for outstanding Filipinos have become a testament to the abilities and potential of our democratic institutions and people to bring about change.

Now on its 29th year, SOT, in partnership with the Department of Education (DepEd) and the Commission on Higher Education (CHED), honors the teaching profession, recognizing those who exhibit competence, remarkable dedication to their work, and effective educational leadership, as well as their various community involvements. TOPS, in partnership with the Rotary Club of Makati Metro for the past 14 years, honors the gallant men and women of the Armed Forces who go beyond expectations and highlights their achievements and efforts toward nation building and development. On its 11th year, COPS honors the career achievements of gallant police officers of the nation who actively mobilized, involved and organized the community to become fellow vanguards of peace and order.

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Established on January 8, 1979 by George S. K. Ty, sixteen (16) years after he founded the Metropolitan Bank & Trust Company (Metrobank), the Metrobank Foundation is engaged in social development projects in the Philippines and other parts of Asia. As the corporate social responsibility arm of the Metrobank Group, the Foundation implements various programs in education, visual arts and healthcare. It also maintains an active and dynamic partnership with other organizations that likewise provide services for the disadvantaged. Among the Foundation’s flagship programs are the Metrobank Art & Design Excellence (MADE), Search for Outstanding Teachers (SOT), College Scholarship Program (CSP), Metrobank-MTAP-DepEd Math Challenge (MMC), The Outstanding Philippine Soldiers (TOPS), and Country’s Outstanding Policemen in Service (COPS), and the recently launched Search for Journalists of the Year (JOY). It also supports programs aimed at educating the citizenry on public-interest issues through research and lectures given by the distinguished holders of the Metrobank Foundation Professorial Lecture established by the Foundation in partnership with reputable educational institutions. The Foundation is also the principal owner of the Manila Doctors Hospital (MDH), one of the leading centers of wellness in the country.