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2017 Metrobank Foundation Outstanding Filipinos Revealed; P1M Awaits Each Awardee

The 2017 Metrobank Foundation Outstanding Filipinos (from left top row): Jennifer Rojo, Dr. Esperanza Cabrera, Dr. Alonzo Gabriel, Edgar Elago, (from left bottom row) Staff Sergeant Narding Pascual PA, Lieutenant Colonel Elmer Suderio PA, Lieutenant Colonel Ricky Bunayog PA, Police Chief Inspector Rosalino Ibay, Jr., Police Senior Superintendent Joel Doria, and Police Officer 3 Shiela May Pansoy.

This year’s Metrobank Foundation Outstanding Filipinos have been named during a press conference held on August 10 in Quezon City. As a career-service award for Filipino exemplars in the academe, military, and police sectors—ten (10) Metrobank Foundation Outstanding Filipinos were presented, consisting of 4 teachers, 3 soldiers, and 3 police officers to the members of the media. Five of the ten awardees come from Mindanao. Each awardee will receive a cash incentive of Php 1 million each, a gold medallion, and a trophy.

Based on the theme of “Beyond Excellence”, a Metrobank Foundation Outstanding Filipino is recognized for rendering service above and beyond his/her call of duty. His/her 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.

For the teacher category, the awardees are: (1) Jennifer Rojo of Neogan Elementary School (Tagaytay City); (2) Edgar Elago of Magallanes National High School (Magallanes, Agusan del Norte); (3) Dr. Esperanza Cabrera of De La Salle University (City of Manila); and (4) Dr. Alonzo Gabriel of the University of the Philippines-Diliman (Quezon City).

Soldier awardees, on the other hand are: (5) Staff Sergeant Narding Pascual PA of the 26th Infantry Battalion, 4th Infantry Division, Philippine Army (Talacogon, Agusan del Sur); (6) Lieutenant Colonel Elmer Suderio PA of the Office of the Assistant Chief of Staff for Operations, 1st Infantry Division, Philippine Army (Labangan, Zamboanga Del Sur); and (7) Lieutenant Colonel Ricky Bunayog PA of the Office of the Assistant Chief of Staff for Operations, 6th Infantry Division, Philippine Army (Datu Odin Sinsuat, Maguindanao).

Police officer awardees are: (8) Police Officer 3 Shiela May Pansoy of Digos City Police Station (Digos City, Davao del Sur); (9) Police Chief Inspector Rosalino Ibay, Jr. of the Manila Police District (City of Manila); and (10) Police Senior Superintendent Joel Doria of Cebu City Police Office.

“We present to you these exceptional individuals who embody the best in the Filipino and have redefined public service as a worthy endeavour,” said MBFI president Aniceto Sobrepeña. “From teachers who shine a light on the future of our children and youth, to heroic military officers who exhibit acts of valor and integrity as guardians of our sovereignty, and to police officers who are peace warriors, life savers, and community builders, the awardees, no doubt, render service above and beyond their respective call of duties,” he continued.

The awardees were chosen by the distinguished members of the Final Board of Judges chaired by Senator Panfilo “Ping” Lacson and co-chaired by Quezon City 4th District representative Feliciano “Sonny” Belmonte, Jr.. The other members include: Court of Appeals Associate Justice Magdangal De Leon, US Ambassador to the Philippines Sung Kim, Manila Electric Company president and CEO Oscar Reyes, Asian Institute of Management president and dean Dr. Jikyeong Kang, Palo Archbishop John Du, and GMA Network senior vice president for radio Miguel “Mike” Enriquez.

Joining the ranks of 645 outstanding public servants recognized by MBFI since 1985, the awardees will be honored during the formal conferment ceremonies on September 7, 2017 at the Metrobank Plaza, Makati City as part of Metrobank’s 55th anniversary celebration.

Cebuano students enjoy financial aid from the Aboitiz Foundation

CEBU CITY -- The upcoming school year 2017-2018 is shaping up to be a productive and meaningful year as the Aboitiz Foundation, the corporate foundation of the Aboitiz Group, recently turned over various financial assistance packages for several Cebuano public school students.

Last month, the Aboitiz Foundation conducted several education-related donations, turning over checks and school supplies to the Banilad Center for Professional Development (benefitting 40 technical-vocational scholars), the City Social Welfare and Development units of Talisay and Lapu-Lapu Cities (benefiting 158 and 287 street urban working children, respectively), the Children of Cebu Foundation, Inc. (benefiting 459 students), and the Department of Education (DepEd) Region VII.

The Aboitiz Foundation likewise renewed 37 college scholarships in the province and awarded 27 more to students at the Science and Technology Education Center, where the Aboitiz Foundation has already supported 128 scholars since 2002.

Finally, the Aboitiz Foundation gathered 415 of its high school beneficiaries and DepEd partners at the Aboitiz Foundation High School Scholars Annual General Assembly at SM Seaside City Cebu, where they also participated at a senior high school career orientation session by

“We help the country achieve its goal of providing universal public education for young Filipinos through our various interventions in education, which include partnering with DepEd and non-government organizations to build classrooms, upgrade school facilities, provide scholarships and teacher training, and in many other interventions that encourage our young stakeholders to become lifelong learners,” said Maribeth L. Marasigan, Aboitiz Foundation First Vice President and Chief Operating Officer.

“For us, the ultimate measure of our CSR (corporate social responsibility) efforts is in knowing that our beneficiaries have made a better life for themselves because of the empowering options they were given through our education projects,” Marasigan added.

The Aboitiz Foundation has long been a staunch supporter of Philippine education reform, believing education is where the Group can make the biggest impact. This, in turn, supports the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals, specifically on Quality Education (ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all).

As of end-2016, the Aboitiz Group has already provided 32,429 scholarship grants since 1988. In 2016, the Aboitiz Group supported a total of 297 college scholars, with 11 graduates employed in various Aboitiz companies nationwide.

BDO volunteers provide food for Ormoc quake victims

In keeping with BDO Foundation's disaster response advocacy, volunteers from BDO branches in Ormoc City, Leyte recently mounted relief operations for people affected by the 6.5-magnitude earthquake that devastated the province. 

BDO officers and staff, led by BDO Leyte-Ormoc branch head Felda Orito, distributed 1,700 relief packs containing food and water to disaster-stricken residents of the city. Church volunteers and representatives from the local office of the Department of Social Welfare and Development also joined the activity. 

The relief operations were initiated by BDO Foundation, the corporate social responsibility arm of BDO Unibank, in response to the earthquake and almost 300 aftershocks that shook Leyte. The foundation conducts relief operations with the support of volunteers from more than 1,000 BDO branches nationwide. The initiative is in line with BDO Foundation's commitment to serve communities marginalized by natural or man-made disasters. 

The Leyte tremors triggered landslides, cut off electricity and damaged homes, school buildings and roads. Due to the earthquakes, Ormoc was placed under a state of calamity by the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council. 

Volunteers from the BDO Leyte-Ormoc branch and BDO Leyte-Ormoc Gaisano branch visited barangays and handed out relief goods to people affected by the 6.5-magnitude earthquake and subsequent aftershocks.

Rojan J. Pajarin for Smile Train

cleft patient, cleft advocate, marathoner, fighter, proud husband and father

Rojan J. Pajarin born with a cleft lip and palate is now a bike mechanic and a Patient Care Staff at Noordhoff Craniofacial Foundation of the Philippines, exuding with positivity and energy. At work, he is the source of encouragement of parents and children with clefts. He uses his life as an example to boost their morale and reminds them to never lose hope.

Life was not always bright for Rojan. At the age of 5, he had a cleft lip surgery during a mission in Legaspi City. However, his cleft palate remained so his speech was still impaired. He endured immense bullying and teasing during his teen years until adulthood because of the way he talked. His spirit was crushed and he lost his self-esteem. He limited interacting and speaking to other people altogether.

Rojan never gave up and was relentless in pursuing a better life. He was determined to get a college education and is a proud graduate of a business management course at Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Pasay. He was a working student and drove a pedicab (tricycle) after school hours to make this dream possible. His father was only a fisherman with irregular income so Rojan also carried the burden of supporting his siblings.

Despite his degree, he was rejected during job interviews, again because of his speech. He realized that he needed his cleft palate repaired in order to get employment and move forward with his life. Last 2008, Smile Train funded the much needed surgery for Rojan. Post-surgery, he also attended intensive weekly speech therapy classes in Our Lady of Peace Craniofacial Center as part of Smile Train’s comprehensive care. This dramatically improved the quality of his voice and speech. He was later absorbed as an employee of Noordhoff Craniofacial Foundation Philippines in Manila as a support staff.

Life just went uphill after the surgery and Rojan was able to pursue his dreams and passions.

Now at 31 years old, he is a member of Team Fitness and is an accomplished elite runner who has participated in numerous marathons. He has a beautiful wife and two children. His next goal is to race for Smile Train in IRONMAN 70.3 Mactan and raise funds for cleft patients just like him.

IGFI is into K-12 Program of DepEd

One of the challenges being faced by our high school graduates now especially those who have no or limited means to go to college is the difficulty of being employed due to lack of skills as needed by the industry. The K-12 Program of the Department of Education (DepEd) is supposed to address this problem but as admitted by the DepEd, the curricula of the K-12 Program particularly in the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) and Technical and Vocational (Tech-Voc) strands of the Senior High School are yet to be responsive to the needs of the industry.

Considering the above context, ICCP Group Foundation, Inc. (IGFI) forged a partnership with the Australian Embassy through the Asia Foundation Partnership in the Philippines under the Coalition for Change Program in Basic Education to contextualize the curricula of STEM and Tech-Voc based on the needs of the industry. The initiative that started in 2015 is dubbed as, “Senior High School Industry Linkage Project (SHSILP)” generally aims to develop a sound and sustainable industrial linkage and service program for the students of K-12 Program. The project pilot site was in Calamba, Laguna in partnership with the locators of the Light Industry and Science Park (LISP) II and DepEd Calamba Division of Schools. The collective partnership specifically aims to contextualize the curriculum of senior high schools based on the knowledge and skills’ needs of the locators of LISP II and develop immersion program for students in partnership with the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) towards the formation of a pool of skilled manpower for all our locators.

The success of the pilot project in Calamba triggered the replication of such initiative to other IGFI areas with industrial parks. The replication process has been conducted in four (4) areas, i.e. LISP I in Cabuyao, Laguna, LISP III in Sto. Tomas, Batangas, Hermosa Ecozone & Industrial Park (HEIP) in Hermosa, Bataan and Cebu Light & Industrial Park (CLIP) in Lapulapu City, Cebu.

Currently, the SHSILP is on the process of scaling up at the regional level. IGFI is now coordinating with major industry associations such as Semiconductors and Electronics Industries of the Philippines, Inc. (SEIPI), Philippine Ecozones Associations (PHILEA) and Bankers Associations of the Philippines (BAP) as well as with the regional office (Region IV-A) of the Department of Education. The effort is to implement the project to other regional areas to benefit more students and ensure employment especially to those senior high school graduates who will not be able to pursue college education.

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