MANILA, PHILIPPINES — The 2021 Metrobank Foundation Outstanding Filipinos have been introduced to the public during a virtual press conference held on August 6, 2021. As a career-service award for Filipino exemplars in the academe, military, and police sectors—ten (10) Metrobank Foundation Outstanding Filipinos are recognized composed of 4 teachers, 3 soldiers, and 3 police officers. Each awardee will be awarded a cash prize of ₱1 million each (net of tax), a golden medallion, and “The Flame” trophy during the conferment ceremonies on September 2 as part of Metrobank’s 59th-anniversary celebration.
Metrobank Foundation Outstanding Filipinos exemplify the true meaning of “Beyond Excellence,” whose contributions speak of service beyond one’s self—but also to their sectors and in the larger community, inspiring their peers. Their service and community involvements have helped shape better communities and created a lasting positive impact upon the people.
Recipients of the 2021 Metrobank Foundation Outstanding Filipino Award for Teachers are: (1) Lou Sabrina S. Ongkiko, Master Teacher I, Culiat Elementary School (Quezon City); (2) Jason B. Albaro, Teacher III, Muntinlupa National High School Main (Muntinlupa City); (3) Maria Minerva P. Calimag, M.D., M.Sc., Ph. D., Professor 5, College of Medicine, University of Santo Tomas (City of Manila); and (4) Iris Thiele Isip-Tan, M.D., M.Sc. , Professor 10, College of Medicine, University of the Philippines Manila (City of Manila).
Recipients of the 2021 Metrobank Foundation Outstanding Filipino Award for Soldiers are: (5) Technical Sergeant Jake P. Belino, PAF, Non Commissioned Officer in Charge, Civil Military Operations Tactical Operations Group 1, Tactical Operations Wing Northern Luzon, (Baguio City); (6) Lieutenant Colonel Elmer M. Boongaling, PA, Executive Officer, Office of the Assistant Chief of Staff for Plans, G5, Philippine Army, Fort Bonifacio (Taguig City); and (7) Colonel Augusto N. Padua, PAF, Executive Officer, Office of the Assistant Chief of Air Staff for Operations, A-3, Philippine Air Force, Villamor Airbase (Pasay City).
Recipients of the 2021 Metrobank Foundation Outstanding Filipino Police Officers are: (8) Police Senior Master Sergeant Mary Joy B. Ylanan, Police Community Relations PNCO, Bogo City Police Station (Bogo City, Cebu); (9) Police Lieutenant Colonel Gerard Ace J. Pelare, Chief of Police, Talisay City Poice Station (Talisay City, Cebu); and (10) Police Lieutenant Colonel Jonathan P. Pablito, Assistant Chief, Regional Police Strategy Management Unit, Police Regional Office 6 Camp General Martin Delgado, Fort San Pedro, (Iloilo City).
“As a community held together by hope especially during these turbulent times, may we derive inspiration from the awardees’ example,” said Metrobank Foundation president Aniceto Sobrepeña. “The entire nation continues to be at a standstill due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and the situation is still evolving. During this extended period of unease, we are fortunate to be inspired by the dedication of public servants and frontliners who are steadfast in their mission,” he added.
The awardees underwent a rigorous selection process and were chosen from hundreds of nominations. A Board of Assessors, composed of members from the government, academe, military, and NGO sectors, identified the semi-finalists through a review of documents submitted and conduct of online interviews, including virtual teaching demonstrations for teacher semi-finalists.
Eighteen (18) finalists were chosen and interviewed by a multi-sectoral Final Board of Judges chaired by Senator Nancy Binay-Angeles and co-chaired by Supreme Court of the Philippines associate justice Rosmari Carandang. The other members were: 1st District of Quirino representative Junie E. Cua; Civil Service Commission chairperson Alicia Dela Rosa-Bala; City of Manila Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso; Alliance Global, Inc. chief executive officer Kevin Andrew Tan; and United Print Media Group president Barbie Atienza.
The awardees’ accomplishments in their respective duties and communities range from creating breakthroughs and innovations that benefit their institutions and the people they serve. This year’s Teacher awardees have proven that no amount of challenge and difficulty brought about by the pandemic can hinder them in the delivery of learning to their students through the effective use of technology. Soldier and Police Officer awardees, on the other hand, have constantly lived up to the values of industry, integrity, and honesty, serving as role models to their peers in the Armed Forces of the Philippines and Philippine National Police. From crime solution and prevention to guarding our nation’s peace situations and sovereignty, they are committed to their line of duties in order to bring forth impact and innovations and fulfill their sworn obligations. The pandemic times indeed served as opportunities for the awardees to continuously make a difference beyond their capacities.
Dr. Maria Minerva Calimag, dubbed as “The Philippines’ Proactive Organizational Health Leader and Pharmacovigilance Advocate,” has championed e-learning and the use of educational media and technology throughout her teaching career. The pandemic has highlighted her role as a recognized e-learning specialist recognized by relevant educational institutions and organizations. Part of her portfolio likewise includes capacity-building of healthcare professionals in research through digital workflows in research management. In 2014, Dr. Calimag conceptualized and co-developed a cloud-based online program for the continuing professional development of health professionals, a capacity-building initiative that took place when webinars were not as widely utilized. For her extension work, she has also utilized digital media in engaging and influencing communities, patients, and physician-peers to embrace pharmacovigilance advocacy on promotion of drug safety and drug anti-counterfeiting initiatives.
Colonel Augusto Padua PAF “Philippine Air Force’s Airpower Innovator for Peace,” rallied his troops to embrace an unconventional approach to counterinsurgency: dropping leaflets, not explosives. Since he took command of the Philippine Air Force Tactical Operations Group 2 (TOG2) in 2019, his unit has performed strategic aerial leaflets dropping operations and persuasion flights in Region II’s hinterlands, aimed to dismantle guerilla fronts. To date, 103 individuals were persuaded to abandon the armed rebellion and be re-integrated into the mainstream society. TOG2, under the leadership of Col. Padua, also answered the call for help and the provided the much needed rescue and relief operations for families affected by the massive flooding in Isabela and Cagayan in November 2020. He has also led and organized the most vibrant and extensive Civil Military Operations by any PAF TOG in support to the EO Number 70 or the “National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) as well as the “Heal as One” Act to assist communities in finding alternative source of income pre-pandemic and up to the present time.
P/Lt. Col. Jonathan Pablito, “Western Visayas’ Organizational and Community Transformation Lead Strategist”, as an expert in institutional reforms and strategic communications, took on the responsibility to ensure institutional buy-in and ownership of the PNP’s Integrated Transformation Program called PATROL (Peace and order Agenda for Transformation and the upholding of the Rule of Law) 2030. Likewise, he initiated stakeholder-centric interventions when he took the helm of Iloilo City Proper and Malay-Boracay police stations—steering his units in drastically reducing crime volume while fostering community engagements that are proven effective in peace and order management during critical incidents.
Since 1985, the Metrobank Foundation has honored a total of 675 Outstanding Filipinos. The program is held in partnership with the Department of Education (DepEd), Commission on Higher Education (CHED), Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), Philippine National Police (PNP), PSBank, Rotary Club of Makati Metro, and the Rotary Club of New Manila East.