It isn’t a stretch of the imagination to say that 2020 changed things. Now, 18 months later, we find ourselves still in a position of relative uncertainty, and we don’t yet know how long we will have to co-exist with this virus. Amid all the bungling we’ve been calling out daily, it’s good to know we have public servants we can still count on.
These people aren’t politicians or appointed officials either – they have done so out of a sense of duty, and the true spirit of service. Here are 8 times that prove how teachers, soldiers, police officers – even bankers — can make outstanding strides to help other people.
8. When that Doctor Pushed for Good Drugs
Dr. Maria Minerva Calimag utilized digital media in order to engage communities, patients, and physician peers to embrace pharmacovigilance, promoting safe drugs, and condemning counterfeit medication. She also championed capacity-building of healthcare professionals in research through digital workflows in research management.
Pharmacovigilance, or drug safety, is an emerging priority concern, especially in light of recent events. In the plainest of terms, it analyzes which side effects are worth the risk to patients compared with how effective they are at treating a disease.
7. That Time When Police Officers Laid Down a Plan, and Put it Into Action
Often used by politicians as an electoral platform (yet seldom translating to actual reform), law enforcement and correctional systems around the world became the subject of serious scrutiny in 2020. Two Outstanding Filipinos just so happen to be members of the police force, and have made their own meaningful contributions to improving the safety and inclusion of their communities – P/SMSgt. Mary Joy Ylanan and P/Lt. Col. Jonathan Pablito.
Ylanan has helped rescue women and children from danger and exploitation, as well as cleared 29 barangays of drugs — while P/Lt. Col. Pablito ideated and implemented a communication plan for the Philippine National Police that promotes understanding and peace.
6. That Time a Science Teacher Turned Nature into Nurture
Jason Albaro of Muntinlupa National High School Main may look like your average, garden-variety passionate educator, but the director of I DID IT! (Invention Driven Instructional Design and Innovation Transfer) is doing an outstanding job at inspiring people to lead innovative lives and solve important problems.
He is leading the rehabilitation of a small lake in Muntinlupa that eventually was used for sustainable food production and livelihood generation for the locals. Albaro also co-managed the first Chlorella micro-farm in the country.
Chlorella is a crop that stimulates the growth of agricultural plants and suppresses the development of pathogenic microorganisms – literally, clean and green results!
5. That Time a Teacher Used Communication skills to Fight COVID
Do you know the reason why we all had to make Ibong Adarna comics in Freshman year Filipino class? Neither do we, until we heard about Ms. Lou Ongkiko.
Teacher Lou launched COVID-19 Comics, a way for kids of all ages and reading levels to understand the importance of social distancing, handwashing, and mask-wearing. She also started the first Facebook messenger classes (which eventually became the blueprint for Messenger classes around the country), led donation drives of Personal Protection Equipment for medical frontliners, and hosted two weekly radio and streaming programs to help teachers, parents, and students deal with the difficulties of distance learning and life in lockdown. *sniff* No, you’re crying.
4. When a Social Media Scholar Highlighted the Importance of Self-Care
Dr. Iris Thiele Isip-Tan conceptualized the online component of an endocrinology module, highlighted the use of social media and blogs for both graduate and undergraduate health informatics electives, and developed a course for doctors-to-barrios using blended learning.
Considering herself a “social media scholar,” Dr. Isip-Tan advocated for the improvement of health literacy about endocrine disorders like diabetes and goiter on Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube. Apart from promoting more visibility for physicians in the social media space, Dr. Isip-Tan empowers folks to be easier on themselves and to do self-care – not self-sabotage. She does all this in short videos and art cards which are accessible to everyone.
3. That Time We Wanted to Be All That We Could Be
Lt. Col. Elmer Boongaling’s accomplishments speak of his rich experience, both as a soldier and peacebuilder. He facilitated the peaceful and orderly conduct of the May 2019 elections in the 11 municipalities of Sultan Kudarat and Maguindanao, which eventually led to the surrender of terrorists, apprehension of drug personalities, and confiscation of drugs and firearms. TSgt. Jake P. Belino’s operational experience and technical expertise have landed him in commanding roles of several disaster and incident response activities, primarily in the management of missing persons. He has helped many families find closure in the wake of tragedy and loss.
2. That Time a Cop Worked Both Sides of the Fence – To Great Effect
P/Lt. Col Gerard Ace Pelare is a cop. But he’s also a lawyer. Offering free legal advice. For the last 15 years. Talisay City has seen him serve as its police chief since 2019, and while apprehending criminals and giving free legal advice to people who might be apprehended for their legal troubles otherwise seem to run in conflict with one another, it’s simply in keeping with his dynamic personality. If helping means helping both sides of the divide, then help he has, and continues to do.
1. That Time in 1979 When Dr. George S. K Ty had an Outstanding Idea
The Metrobank Foundation, Inc. (MBFI) was established on January 8, 1979, by Dr. George S. K. Ty, sixteen years after he founded the Metropolitan Bank & Trust Company (Metrobank).
This grand idea has resulted in our recognition of these outstanding people who go above and beyond their call of duty. They are a credit to their vocations, and each awardee receives a cool million each that they no doubt would reinvest into the very communities they have been helping for so long.
Since 1985, the Metrobank Foundation has honored a total of 675 Outstanding Filipinos. The program is held in partnership with the Department of Education, Commission on Higher Education, Armed Forces of the Philippines, Philippine National Police, PSBank, Rotary Club of Makati Metro, and the Rotary Club of New Manila East.
Find out more about the 10 awardees who went #BeyondExcellence, and let us know what act of public service moved you the most!