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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.

GT-Metro Foundation leads the Metrobank Group Go4Health Run

Employees from the Metrobank Group participated in the 2013 Run for the Pasig River.


In line with its healthy lifestyle and environmental advocacy, GT-Metro Foundation (GTMF) led the Metrobank Group in the 2013 Run for Pasig River at the Quezon City Memorial Circle last October 6.

GTMF sponsored 1,000 runners from the Metrobank Group to run for the Quezon City leg of One Run One Philippines, a simultaneous running event in five locations, organized by ABS-CBN Foundation.

“We wanted to use the Run as a venue to promote healthy lifestyle among employees as well as join the whole country in showing concern for the environment,” said GTMF Executive Director Aniceto M. Sobrepeña.

GTMF adopted the healthy lifestyle advocacy as a way to help control and prevent the spread of non-communicable diseases (NCDs), which are the leading causes of deaths in the Philippines.

With its vision to be one of the leading healthcare advocates in the country, GTMF seeks to foster healthy habits in schools and workplaces where those who are most at risk of NCDs are present.

Additionally, GTMF spearheads initiatives within its sphere of influence as a way of protecting the environment and ensuring sustainable development.

The Metrobank Group is one of the financial institutions which actively supported this year’s Run for the Pasig River.

The Metrobank Group consists of Metrobank, Toyota Motor Philippines, Federal Land Inc., Philippine AXA Life Insurance Corporation, Global Business Power Corporation, First Metro Investment Corporation, Philippine Savings Bank, Metrobank Card Corporation, Orix Metro Leasing & Finance Corporation, Toyota Financial Services Phils. Corp., SMBC Metro Investment Corporation, Sumisho Motor Finance Corporation, Charter Ping An Insurance Corporation, First Metro Security Brokerage Corporation,  First Metro Asset Management, Inc. , Toyota Cubao, Incorporated,  Toyota Manila Bay Corporation, Metrobank Foundation, Inc., Manila Doctors Hospital and Manila Tytana Colleges.

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GT-Metro Foundation is the family foundation of Metrobank Founder and Group Chairman, Dr. George S.K. Ty. It seeks to realize the advocacies espoused by the Ty family through investing in strategic programs on health and environment, as well as through legacy projects and grants for the benefit of disadvantaged sectors and the society as a whole.

"Understanding the Mind" Forum by Dr. Colin Blakemore

The Knowledge Channel Foundation invites you to attend "Understanding the Mind: A Forum on Neuroscience and its Implications on Education and Medicine" featuring Dr. Colin Blakemore.

Please contact Ms. Coey Punsalan at 0915-8936658 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it to reserve/purchase your tickets.


Manila Water and subsidiaries champion sustainability; release pioneering sustainability reports

Subsidiaries of Ayala-led Manila Water such as Boracay Island Water, Clark Water, and Laguna Water mark a significant milestone by releasing their first ever respective Sustainability Reports, which all comply with the GRI Level C standards of the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) G3.1 Guidelines, a set of internationally-recognized standards for sustainability reporting.

Taking the first step towards their own sustainability journey, the subsidiaries aligned their reports’ themes with their respective business conditions. Boracay Water focused on protecting the environment in the country’s premiere tourist destination by naming their report, “Sustaining Tourism.” Clark Water, meanwhile, highlights its contribution towards the economic development of the Clark Freeport and Special Economic Zone with the theme, “Driving Growth.” Laguna Water, given its efforts to provide clean and affordable water to low-income families in Sta. Rosa, Cabuyao and Biñan, made “Building Communities” its report’s theme.

Serving as the subsidiaries’ benchmark in sustainability reporting, Manila Water likewise released its latest Sustainability Report with the theme, “Championing Sustainability”. The 2012 Sustainability Report once again complies with Level A G3.1 standards, as well as with the ISO 20006 guidance on social responsibility. Manila Water was the first Philippine company to ever release such a report last year.

“With the release of these reports, the Manila Water group clearly demonstrates its commitment to champion sustainability and engage its stakeholders as it continues its sustainability journey,” Manila Water Sustainable Development Head Carla Beriña - Kim said.

The reports are given life by testimonials from stakeholders and program beneficiaries, and are reviewed by a panel of sustainability experts.

The reports will soon be uploaded in full on

Aboitiz Foundation Celebrates 25 Years of Nation Building

Aboitiz Foundation, the social development arm of the Aboitiz Group, which has major investments in power, banking, food, and land development, is celebrating its 25th year anniversary this year with the turnover of 20 kindergarten schools to the Aklat, Gabay, Aruga Tungo sa Pag-angat at Pag-asa Foundation (AGAPP) last August 14.

Established in 1988, the Aboitiz Foundation has since been a proponent of education, enterprise development, and environment and sustainability in the country.

"Each of our social development initiatives articulates our legacy of helping people help themselves," said Aboitiz Foundation President Jon Ramon Aboitiz. He noted that education remains its biggest thrust among the focus areas.

"We believe education should be a great leveler of society and that all our students should be given the chance to succeed in school. In essence, we as adults are called to be positive influences on the lives of our children and the Aboitiz Foundation takes ownership of this duty," he added.

For 25 years, the foundation has provided training centers, computer laboratories, corporate donations, more than20,000 scholarships, over P100 million in microfinance loans and hundreds of library kits and classrooms to thousands of beneficiaries nationwide.

As part of its initiatives geared towards uplifting the education system in the country, the Aboitiz Foundation turned over 20 kindergarten school buildings comprised of 40 new classrooms amounting Php24.9 million to the AGAPP Foundation, a non-profit organization engaged in the pre-school construction in depressed and disadvantaged areas designated by the Department of Education (DepEd). 

The turnover fulfills its goal of providing 67 school buildings to AGAPP by 2013, demonstrating how education is an integral component of the Aboitiz Group’s corporate social responsibility initiatives.

Aboitiz expressed gratitude to the AGAPP Foundation for the privilege of being part of developing child- and school-focused projects that benefit underprivileged children. 

The Aboitiz Foundation came on board for the AGAPP Foundation’s “Silid Pangarap” project in 2011. 

The Aboitiz Group set out to build special classrooms for young children entering school for the first time and pledged to deliver 67 school buildings nationwide. The Aboitiz Foundation turned over 26 school buildings with 52 classrooms in 2011 and followed up with a donation of 21 more with 42 classrooms in 2012. The donations were worth Php23 million and Php23.6 million, respectively.

Corporate social responsibility in the Aboitiz Group can be traced back to the company’s modest beginnings in the hemp trade in the late 1800s. Today, the Aboitiz Group utilizes its resources to implement projects that uplift the lives of communities it serves.

In education alone, the Aboitiz Foundation builds school buildings, rewires classrooms, refurbishes science and computer laboratories, provides scholarships and financial assistance, donates computers and library kits, among others. 

The Aboitiz Foundation committed to the group’s five sustainability pillars, which are: Rejuvenate Nature, Re-use and Recycle, Reduce, Renewable Energy, and Recharge Communities in response to the adverse effects of climate change. It actively supports the Aboitiz Passion for Reforest and Agroforest to Keep (APARK) – a biodiversity program that aims to plant three million trees by 2015. 

The Aboitiz Group will likely reach its target ahead of 2015 as it expects to cross the three million mark by the end of the year.

Last year, Aboitiz Foundation also launched yet another milestone as it made its biggest donation yet at Php124.7 million to WeatherPhilippines Foundation, a partnership with Union Bank of the Philippines and Meteomedia, a Swiss based innovation leader in weather information and content services.

WeatherPhilippines works in close coordination with local governments to complete the installation of 1,000 automated weather instruments nationwide by the end of the year to give timely, accurate, localized weather forecasts that greatly improve the LGUs disaster preparedness.

During the 25th year celebration, Aboitiz also expressed his thanks to the support given by AGAPP Foundation led by Pinky Aquino-Abellada and Education Secretary Bro. Armin Luistro as well as the 30,000 Aboitiz group members who gave their time, energy, hearts and minds to support the worthy causes of the Aboitiz Foundation. #

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