Member News
Petron's Relief Operations for Earthquake Victims in the Visayas

In the aftermath of the magnitude 7.2 earthquake that shook the provinces of Bohol and Cebu in the Visayas Region last October 15, Petron quickly mobilized to undertake relief efforts. However, because of the severity of the damage sustained by these two towns during the earthquake, getting there proved to be a challenge, as bridges collapsed and roads cracked open. For our relief goods loaded in a ten-wheeler truck, getting from Tagbilaran to Antequera and Loon took a good three hours. Our volunteers on the other hand had to take the land trip from Tagbilaran to Abatan, then a boat ride from Abatan to Maribojoc, and then back on the road from Maribojoc to Antequera and Loon.

As this was the first time for Petron to provide post-earthquake assistance, we noted a critical difference with that of flood disasters. When the rainwater eventually subsides, residents can immediately return to their homes to start rebuilding. In the case of earthquakes, the residents had nothing to return to. Either their homes had been completely destroyed, or the structural damage has made their houses unsafe to settle back into. Those who survived the quake are now faced with the harsher reality of having to live in makeshift tents along the roadside, and exposed to the elements. Schools, too, are unsuitable to serve as venues for learning. Rebuilding Bohol will require literally putting back together the building blocks of their homes.

For the meantime, the immediate task is to reach out to the quake survivors with the vital supply of water, food and other relief items. As soon as it was safely possible, we started our soup kitchen and relief work on Sunday, October 20 in Poblacion, Antequera. The goods are directly handed out to the beneficiaries.

By October 26, we would have directly serviced 2,488 families from 15 barangays in the two hard-to-reach municipalities of Antequera and Loon. Within this period, we were also able to provide goods to 59 families of our service station personnel in these municipalities.

Petron also turned over P100,000 to the Corporate Network for Disaster Response, through its Executive Director Ms. Conchita Ragragio, in support of relief operations to the Visayas. This amount came from employee donations. The company likewise activated over 500 service stations nationwide as an initial response to receive donation of relief items from motorists.

For the on-the-ground efforts, Petron organized a team composed of Petron Foundation, Tagbilaran and Mandaue Operations, and NSD-Reseller which deployed to Bohol on October 19 to conduct the necessary pre-work, such as goods purchase and repacking, data gathering, site inspection and coordination with groups concerned (Tagbilaran depot, DSWD and its local agencies, local government officials and command centers per municipality). The following day, October 20, company executives (Visayas Operations District Manager Rito Apas NSD-Reseller AVP Nolan Rada, VisMin Reseller head Fernan Magnayon, and Petron Foundation GM Malu Erni) led employee volunteers in conducting soup kitchens and relief goods distribution, with the able coordination of Mandaue Operations Joyce Palermo. Managers from Petron Pandacan, Limay, and Mandaue terminals for their part took charge in the shipping of the goods from their respective facilities to Cebu and Tagbilaran. Petron’s business partners have also been doing their share in donating relief items or helping facilitate the relief operations process.

The Art of Wellness

THE ART OF WELLNESS – In celebration of the National Teachers’ Month, Metrobank Art & Design Excellence (MADE) recently held its MADE-NTM Art & Wellness Workshop for Teachers at the Le Pavillon, Pasay Citylast September 21. Various art workshops in visual arts, movement, and other artistic practices related to wellness were conducted as part of MADE’s support to Art Education.

In celebration of the National Teacher’s Month (NTM), the Metrobank Art & Design Excellence (MADE) held the MADE-NTM Art Exploration: Art & Wellness Workshop for Teachers, a free art & wellness workshop for teachers, last September 21 at Le Pavillon, Pasay City.

The workshop started with a short lecture on the “Seven Dimensions of Wellness” with sessions on creative self visualization and imaging conducted by clinical psychologist Dr. Grace Brillantes-Evangelista. Going deeper into the self, the session was followed by a Mask Making Workshop by the MADE Network Of Winners. Facilitated by well-known painters, the participants were guided to an internal journey of recognizing and finding the “self” in each individual and manifesting it into creative output through hand painted masks.

Travelling from the visual to movement, a Dance Movement Therapy (DMT) Session was conducted by Ms. Baebee Reynoso. DMT utilizes movement and dance for emotional, cognitive, social, behavioral and physical conditions. Through the unity of the body, mind, and spirit, the introduction to DMT will provide a sense of wholeness to the participants. The last session was Art Discards which was facilitated by artist Alma Quinto. Art Discards utilizes everyday materials transforming them into works of art. Through this workshop, the participants were empowered and helped them explore how their daily struggles can be transformed into learning experiences through creativity by discovering their strengths and what they can do in whatever situation they find themselves in.

Another highlight of the lecture is a special interactive sculpture entitled “Teacher, Teach Her” by renowned sculptor and Metrobank Prize for Achievement in Sculpture awardee Juan Sajid Imao. The sculpture is that of a little girl painted in green blackboard texture where students and teachers alike are encouraged to write on the sculpture using a piece of chalk. The model is his own daughter, Arya Imao, who led the teachers to write in honor of their own mentors. As the title “Teacher, Teach Her” suggests, messages from thankful students and grateful teachers were written on the sculpture creating a visual conversation between the student and the mentors.

Now on its third year, the MADE Art Exploration: Art & Wellness Workshop for Teachers holds various art workshops in visual arts, movement and other artistic practices in relation to wellness as part of their support to Art Education.

For more details, visit Metrobank Foundation's website: or like MADE's page on Facebook: Metrobank Art and Design Excellence.

Manila Water Foundation upholds importance of proper handwashing

Manila Water Foundation, the additional corporate social responsibility arm of East Zone concessionaire Manila Water Company for areas outside Metro Manila, visited different parts of the archipelago spreading the value of handwashing as part of proper hygiene and healthcare. The Foundation joined over 100 countries, involving more than 200 million people across five continents in celebrating the 2013 Global Handwashing Day.

Carla Beriña-Kim, Executive Director of Manila Water Foundation, imparts that handwashing serves as an easy and cost-effective measure in preventing different infections and diseases. “This simple task can lower the number of people affected by fast-spreading illnesses that take a toll not only on one’s health, but also on the family’s budget. When done properly, regularly and collectively, handwashing can create healthier communities”, says Beriña-Kim.

On its first year to lead a series of events for the Global Handwashing Day in the Philippines, Manila Water Foundation staged a week-long celebration that saw more than 7,000 people participating in its activities. Students, teachers, and school personnel from different schools in Metro Manila, Pampanga, Laguna, and Boracay Island were visited by the Foundation, informing them on the proper way of washing one’s hands and how responsibly transforming this into a habit may reduce vulnerability to different health risks and infections.  Partakers were encouraged to stamp their handprints on the pledge wall to signify their commitment to practice proper handwashing and to encourage their family and friends to do the same. In a move to further its advocacy, Manila Water Foundation extended its efforts by setting up booths that deliver information on the benefits of handwashing in Trinoma Mall in Quezon City, Pavillion Mall in Biñan, Laguna, Nuvali in Sta. Rosa, Laguna and Marquee Mall in Angeles, Pampanga. Participants showed their support to the cause by contributing in the pledge sticker wall. As its culminating event, the Foundation conducted an information and education drive at the Boracay Beach Front Station One and enjoined tourists and locals alike to practice proper handwashing.

The successful celebration was co-presented by Manila Water, Laguna Water, Clark Water, Boracay Water, and supported by the Department of Education, Globe Telecom, Ayala Malls, Unilever (Vaseline as official soap sponsor), Universal Robina Corporation (Granny Goose Tortillos, Mang Juan, Hunt’s and Refresh), Unilab (RiteMed and Ceelin Plus) and Enchanted Kingdom, as well as media partners, The Philippine Star, Business World, Health Today and Working Mom.

The Road to Road-proofing Children

CEMEX helps children stay safe on the road with the Listo Tayo! Road Safety Program

LISTO TAYO! Pupils of Jesus Cabarus Elementary School had a fun learning session on road safety with
CEMEX employee volunteers.

Four kids stand in front of a crowd of fellow children. They’re understandably timid at first, but the allure of a prize for holding their breath the longest is hard to resist for these 8 to 10-year olds.

Si Mentong Matibay, CEMEX's safety ambassador, bends over to ask the second girl’s name. “Alona,” she answers shyly. She then takes in as much air as she could and starts to hold “Listo Tayo…” for as long as possible. She makes it to the winning time of 15 seconds, only a second more than the kid after her. Alona happily troops back to her classmates and pays attention to what they would be doing for the rest of the morning.

Alona is only one of over 700 third and fourth grade pupils of the Jesus S. Cabarus Elementary School that cement manufacturer CEMEX Philippines is educating about road safety through their program called “Listo Tayo! Ligtas 24-Oras.”

“Kasi ang Grade 3 and 4 pupils, sila ‘yung nag-uumpisa nang pumasok sa school mag-isa (It’s because the Grade 3 and 4 pupils are the ones who start to go to school on their own),” says Katrina Manzano-Flores from the CEMEX Logistics team, on why these grade levels were specifically chosen for the program.

The program, according to Manzano-Flores, aims to educate kids to be more cautious when they travel to and from school each day, whether on foot or in tricycles. Since the school is located within the vicinity of CEMEX’s Solid Cement Plant in Antipolo, where massive trucks pass through every day, road safety awareness among kids is a top priority for CEMEX.

“Ang goal nito is to instill safety consciousness sa mga bata lalo na sa mga naglalakad lang papasok sa school (The goal is to instill safety consciousness among kids especially those who walk to school),” Manzano-Flores explains, adding that the project is a new addition to CEMEX’s existing safety programs that focus more on the community around the plant instead of just the people within Solid.

SAFETY IS A PRIORITY. CEMEX Corporate Communications Director Chito Maniago is 'Si Mentong Matibay'.
Mentong shared the road safety imperatives with the kids of Cabarus Elementary School.

The program consists of three major activities, where pupils are educated through first-hand experience instead of being spoken to about safety. During the initial session, the pupils watched a video in the audio-visual room, played games at the covered court, and most importantly, explored two CEMEX cement trucks. The trucks were labeled all around with guidelines and reminders about parts of the truck and why the kids should be cautious about it.

Kids like Alona were given the chance to climb up and explore the trucks, with CEMEX employee volunteers acting as tour guides. For the children, it was like a mini-field trip, except that they didn’t have to leave school for it.

With the school having a population of 2,504 and an annual budget that’s not quite enough to provide books and school supplies for each student, field trips or experiential education for the students are hard to come by.

“This is learning through the environment. Not just the classrooms,” notes School Principal Mary Jane Halili and further explains the situation of the grade school pupils every day.

“Delikado talaga lalo na’t minsan may nakikita akong mga bata na mayroon na ngang covered walk, nandoon pa rin talaga sila sa street kung saan malalaki ang truck na nakakasalubong (It’s really dangerous especially when I see kids not using the covered walk and go about wandering the street where they come across big trucks).”

According to the Metro Manila Development Authority, there have been around 15,500 road accidents recorded in Metro Manila from 2010 to 2012, which involved pedestrians.

While there have been no reported incidents relating to CEMEX trucks in the Solid Cement Plant area and its surrounding communities, CEMEX and the Logistics team in charge of trucks and haulers do not want to wait for something to happen before they act.

“We are choosing to act now and prevent any sort of accident from happening. We believe it is our social responsibility to ensure that not only are our truck drivers alert and well-versed in road safety, but also those people, especially kids, whom they pass by every day,” says Mike Teotico, CEMEX Logistics Director and the brainchild behind the project.

“Safety is a top priority for CEMEX globally. Whether its safety in operations or on the road,” adds Chito Maniago, CEMEX Director for Corporate Communications and Public Affairs. “We put a very high premium on keeping everyone in and around CEMEX safe.”

Halili echoes the school’s gratitude for CEMEX’s initiative. “Nakatulong talaga sa amin ang programa na ito na mag-disseminate ng info sa mga bata “This program has been very helpful in disseminating information to kids.”

“Bago po tumawid dapat titingin muna sa kaliwa at kanan, pati na po tumawid sa tamang tawiran. Dahan-dahan lang po kapag naglalakad at huwag tatakbo, (Before crossing the street, look left and right and also use the pedestrian lane. Walk without hurry and don’t run,” Alona says without scrunching her eyebrows, indicating that she understands the rules when walking the streets.

According to CEMEX Logistics Director Mike Teotico, the company will roll out the program in several schools in Metro Manila, Cebu, Bacolod, Iloilo, and Davao starting this year. CEMEX is preparing to do the initiative at the Sumulong Elementary School in Rizal soon benefitting more than a thousand students.

Alona is now road-proof, and she is at least one child that, through CEMEX’s ‘Listo Tayo’ Program, can be kept safe.


CEMEX Philippines is the manufacturer of the only eco-labeled cement brands in the country including Island Portland Cement, Palitada King, Rizal Portland Super, Rizal Masonry Cement, APO Portland Premium, APO Portland Cement, APO Masonry Cement, and APO Pozzolan. For more information, please log on to For partnerships, please contact the Public Affairs Unit and email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

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.


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.

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