Metrobank honors outstanding teachers, soldiers and cops on its 50th anniversary
On weekdays, she teaches Grade 6 students in Cotabato City how to say “No!” to drugs – but in a nice way.
“No, thank you!” she tells her students to say when offered an illegal drug.
For Perez, this is a good way for youngsters to start preventing drug abuse.
“Para hindi ma-offend yung kaibigan mo, you can say ‘No, thanks.’ Ang pinaka-quotation on how to say no to drugs is to say it in a nice way para hindi masaktan ang kaibigan mo, kasi sa mga edad na yan ‘yung peer pressure malakas,” Perez told GMA News Online.
This is her job as a Drug Abuse Resistance Education officer – the first police officer in Cotabato City to do so.
“Para na nga akong school teacher,” she added.
Perez is one of several exceptional Filipinos awarded by the country’s second largest bank on its 50th anniversary celebration on Wednesday.
Metrobank Foundation – the corporate responsibility arm of the Metropolitan Bank and Trust Company – annually recognizes 10 teachers, 10 soldiers and 10 police officers known for their exemplary performance in their fields.
For Metrobank Foundation president Aniceto Sobrepeña, it is their job to find these admirable Filipinos. “Ginagawa po namin ito kasi gusto naming ipakita sa mga kabataan na mayroon pa ring mga guro, sundalo at pulis na handang gawin lamang ang inaasahan sa kanila sa pang-araw araw na buhay,” he says.
He adds that recognizing these Filipinos aims to “boost their morale” and “raise the bar of excellence.”
'I know how it feels to have nothing'
Another awardee is master sergeant Juana Hernal of Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City. Already a mother of five children, she is also currently paying for the education of 10 indigent students in Isabela, Davao del Sur and Davao City.
Hernal does this because she knows how it feels to be indigent. Her family, she said, practically had nothing after her father – who worked as a security guard – was killed by rebels.
“Kumbaga sila talaga ‘yung sumasalamin kung ano ako noon… [Ginagawa ko ito] kasi I know exactly how it feels to have nothing,” Hernal said.
Already 22 years in military service, she also topped the Financial Management and Comptroller Specialist training course she took in Mississippi, USA with an average of 99.2 percent.
Metrobank chairman Arthur Ty deems the honorees “men and women [who] defy conventions and choose to live simple but exemplary lives devoted in serving others.”
“In choosing teachers and peacekeepers and in supporting artists and scholars, it is our hope that not only that we recognize those who have toiled quietly but also [present] them as role models to society to appreciate and hopefully to emulate,” he said.
The awarding coincided with the start of National Teacher’s Month (from September 5 to October 5), promulgated under Presidential Proclamation No. 242 signed last year.
The winners were each awarded a P300,000 cash prize.
The outstanding teachers:
- Roberto Santos Jr. of Sta. Rita Elementary School, Capas, Tarlac
- Nueva Mangaoang of Man-it Integrated School, Passi City
- Rizal Vidallo or Anabu II Elementary School, Imus, Cavite
- Mariam Rivamonte of Santa Cruz South Central School, Santa Cruz, Marinduque
- Annie Ignacio Rodriguez, Philippine Science High School-Southern Mindanao Campus, Davao City
- Bonifacio Caculitan Jr. Ernesto Rondon High School, Quezon City
- Marivi Castro, General Santos City SPED Integrated School
- Galcoso Alburo, Concepcion Integrated School-Secondary, Marikina City
- Hilda Montaño West Visayas State University University, Iloilo City
- Professor Catherine Vistro Yu of Ateneo De Manila University, Quezon City
The outstanding soldiers:
- Colonel Milfredo Melegrito, Camp O’Donell, Capas, Tarlac
- Master Sergeant Juana Hernal, Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City
- Technical Sergeant Rolando Diomangay, Camp Lapu-Lapu, Cebu City
- Captain Erick Kagaoan, Headquarters Naval Station, Jose V. Andrada, Manila
- Engineman Second Class Arce Balasabas, Felix Apolinario Camp, Davao City
- Engineman Third Class Ricky Burgos, Naval Station Romulo Espaldon, Zamboanga City
Philippine Air Force
- Lieutenant Colonel Antonio Francisco, Jr. Villamor Airbase, Pasay City
- Senior Master Sergeant Augusto Reyes, Villamor Airbase, Pasay City
- Master Sergeant Emerito Angcao, Sangley Point, Cavite
Technical and Administrative Services – Corps of Professors
- Colonel Raul Tangco, Professor from Philippine Military Academy
The outstanding police officers:
- Police Superintendent Belli Tamayo, Quezon City
- Police Chief Inspector Vicente Cabatingan, Laguna
- Police Senior Inspector Charity S. Galvez, Butuan City
- Police Superintendent Bernard Banac, Quezon City
- Police Officer 3 Eduardo Santiago, Bayambang, Pangasinan
- Senior Police Officer 3 Renjun Bagaman, South Cotabato
- Senior Police Officer 3 Rhia Sotomil, Pavia, Iloilo
- Police Officer 3 Mary Jane Perez, Cotabato City
- Senior Police Officer 4 Ma. Rosario Suarez, Davao City
- Senior Police Officer Robert Fabregas, Quezon City — BM, GMA News