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By Edgardo J. Angara
Former Senator

Former Senator Edgardo J. Angara

In 1985, Metrobank Foundation launched what ultimately became the most sought after award (Search for Outstanding Teachers or SOT), singling 12 outstanding members of the most respected profession in the Philippines for the honor and recognition of teachers and teaching.

In tandem with the George Ty Foundation, Metrobank Foundation this year consolidated its awards and grants programme under five themes inspired by the UN 2016 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

As a result, Metrobank Foundation now focuses on five goals: 1) eradicating extreme poverty, 2) achieving zero hunger, 3) ensuring good health and well-being, 4) making quality education universally accessible, and 5) ensuring access to clean water and sanitation. It goes by the acronym HEAL (Health, Education, Arts, and Livelihood).

George Ty is exemplary. He parlayed a modest inheritance into one of the country’s large conglomerates. His business enterprises include banking, financial services, real estate development, and health delivery care.

From him, I heard for the first time, “The more you give, the more you receive.”

True to his advice, he has endowed Metrobank Foundation quite generously. The Foundation is run professionally and is staffed with competetent personnel. And the beneficiaries are legion.

This shift from the emblematic Outstanding Teachers Award to a kaleidoscope of “outstanding” awards, lumping the “Outstanding Teacher Award” together with the rest, was rather unfortunate. The “Outstanding Teacher Award” has a huge cohort of over 500,000 teachers. The teacher award is distinctively unique. And in our culture, education offers social and economic mobility.

These five SDGs indeed are noble and their pursuit laudable. But even among developed countries they prioritize to combat only those problempeculiar to their nation. For example, the US under President Johnson, waged war against poverty and under President Obama access to quality education (“No one left behind”).

And in terms of goals, and consistent with its education goal, Metrobank Foundation may more pragmatically and effectively deploy its expertise and resources to helping solve the tragic child malnutrition rampant in our country. That’s one big factor in our school drop out rate.

As someone wrote, if government does less, those who can must do more.

Email: angara.ed@gmail.com| Facebook & Twitter: @edangara

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