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Outstanding Filipinos whose good hands the country can depend on

Epi Fabonan III - The Philippine Star
Outstanding Filipinos whose good hands the country can depend on
SPO1 Aida Awitin from the Davao Occidental Police Provincial Office and Lt. Col. Danilo Facundo of the Philippine Navy (Marines) are two of this year's Metrobank Foundation Outstanding Filipinos. The awardees underwent a rigorous selection process and were chosen from hundreds of nominations.

Behind every successful business is a solid team who exemplifies the company’s values and high level of customer service. 

These core values guide every business that exists today. Without these values — if a business operates solely on the idea of making a profit — such businesses are less likely to last. These values will define the company throughout its existence and will drive the organization’s actions as it works to achieve its ultimate vision.

But while many Filipino companies today have well-defined core values, only a few have core values that have successfully found its way beyond the confines of its corporate structure and affected society in general.

One such company is Metrobank.

For over half a century, Metrobank has operated on the foundation of trust. On its 56th year, the bank takes this opportune time to reflect on not just how far it has grown and evolved, but also to recommit and reflect on its values that define its people and what they stand for. Metrobank founder Dr. George S. K. Ty best articulated these points when he said, “Banking is not merely the business of money but really a business of trust.  A proper banker loves the business, protects the interest of the people and serves the community.”

Through the efforts of founder and chairman emeritus, George S. K. Ty, Metrobank has come a long way from a small bank in the heart of Binondo to becoming the country's second-largest financial services provider. Released

The success of the bank clearly stems from the values that were embodied by its founder. For every Metrobanker to be worthy of the trust of their customers, it is not enough that they know and understand the values. By living these values, they become the good hands of Metrobank.

The bank’s core values—passion for results, integrity, teamwork, commitment to customer service and heart for community, are also exemplified by this year’s 10 Outstanding Filipino Awardees. It is Metrobank’s belief that these exemplary men and women in public service breathe life to these unrelenting commitments. In their lives as exemplars, are inspiring lessons for those who share in the mission to serve the country and our fellow Filipinos at all cost.

Best among Filipinos

This year’s roster of Metrobank Foundation Outstanding Filipinos is composed of four teachers, three active duty soldiers and three police officers. Each of them receives P1 million, a medallion and “The Flame” trophy to be conferred in today’s Awarding Ceremonies at Metrobank Plaza in Makati City.

The teacher awardees are Mary Jane Ramo from Tonggo Elementary School in Tudela, Misamis Occidental; Alma Janagap, EdD from Pavia National High School in Pavia, Iloilo; Aimee Marie Gragasin, PhD from the Philippine Science High School-Cagayan Valley Campus in Bayombong, Nueva Vizcaya; and Prof. Carla Dimalanta, PhD from the University of the Philippines Diliman.

Meanwhile, Lt. Col. Francis Señoron of the Philippine Army; Lt. Col. Thomas Ryan Seguin of the Philippine Air Force; and Lt. Col. Danilo Facundo of the Philippine Navy (Marines) comprised the soldier-awardees from each branch of the Armed Forces.

Completing the roster are the three police awardees: SPO1 Aida Awitin from the Davao Occidental Police Provincial Office; PS/Insp. Dennis Ebsolo, PhD, Chief of Police in Villanueva, Misamis Oriental; and PS/Supt. Pascual Muñoz, Jr., PhD, Supply Management Division Chief at the PNP Directorate for Logistics in Camp Crame.

The awardees underwent a rigorous selection process and were chosen from hundreds of nominations. A board of assessors, composed of members from the government, academy, military and media sectors predetermined the finalists through document review while their accomplishments in service and community were field validated by third-party organizations.

A multisectoral Final Board of Judges chaired by Sen. Juan Edgardo Angara and co-chaired by Supreme Court Associate Justice Noel Tijam determined the 10 winners after a series of interviews. The board of judges is also composed of Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra, Makati Mayor Abigail Binay, De La Salle University president Armin Luistro, Philippine Business for Social Progress chairman Manuel Pangilinan, Rockwell Land Inc. president and CEO Nestor Padilla and veteran journalist Ma. Teresa Vitug.

Among them is Mary Jane Ramo who teaches the Subanon indigenous people in Tudela, Misamis Occidental. Ramo was credited for renewing the Subanon people’s appreciation for their language and culture. Her passion for the indigenous people and their culture has enabled her to master their language and customs, thus preserving it and enabling her to share it with younger generations.

“Nothing compares to the happiness and fulfillment I feel every time I see young Subanon learners perform Subanon dances, wear their Subanon attire, and be proud of their culture. I get goose bumps every time I think of my advocacy bearing fruit and creating impact in the lives of these children,” Ramo says.

Another awardee is Lt. Col. Thomas Ryan Seguin of the Philippine Air Force. During the 2017 Siege of Marawi City by Islamic State terrorists, Seguin was assigned as the flight leader of the Fifth Fighter Wing’s bombing missions that targeted key enemy positions in the city. Working with his small team based in Basa Air Base in Floridablanca, Pampanga, Seguin planned each bombing mission by carefully determining the key targets based on existing intelligence, the type of ordinance to be used and the flight path that the planes would take to best save their limited resources.

“As an instructor pilot and squadron commander, fulfillment comes in knowing that I have done my part to bring back the fighter operation competency of the Philippine Air Force. I have endeavored to achieve this by instituting training systems and develop a safety culture within my crew. I envision these in-place systems to eventually perpetuate and continually develop even after my time in the force,” Seguin shares.

A great man's reflection

In 1962, Metrobank founder and chairman emeritus George Ty—a then young entrepreneur managing his family’s business—had the vision of providing quality financial services to fellow Filipino-Chinese in Manila’s Binondo district.

He was motivated by personal struggle: He wanted to borrow money from another bank to complete the business but financial institutions at the time were unwilling to risk investing on such a small company. When he finally secured the loan, he was given only a short term to repay it.

With such experience, he set his heart toward improving financial accessibility for Filipino-Chinese entrepreneurs. He patiently waited each day outside the office of Central Bank Governor Andres Castillo in the hopes of discussing his planned venture to him. His patience paid off when Castillo agreed to meet him and approved his application to start a bank. With the financial backing of fellow entrepreneurs and friends, he established the Metropolitan Bank & Trust Co. on September 5, 1962, with its first branch located at Wellington Building near the commercial strip of Divisoria.

Looking at every aspect of the bank’s operations and structure, one would see the core values implemented—from the warm and accommodating service, a workforce that adheres to strict banking standards and government regulations, to a work environment that rewards loyalty and quality service, and to company traditions of giving back to the community through well-thought-out programs.

Metrobank has come a long way from a small bank in the heart of Binondo to becoming the country’s second-largest financial services provider. All this was possible because one man valued certain qualities over profit and institutionalized those values in every aspect of the business. It is these values that made Metrobank what it is now. It is the same values that will define what it will be for years to come.


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