By Merlina Hernando-Malipot
Hoping to contribute to the restoration of normalcy especially in the lives of the learners, outstanding teachers, soldiers, police officers gathered and launched a “pay-it-forward” project in Marawi.
Members of the Network of Outstanding Teachers and Educators (NOTED) and other alumni organizations of the Metrobank Foundation Outstanding Filipinos launched a project called “Guro, Pulis at Sundalo na may Galing, Puso at Sigasig (GPS²)” through the assistance of the Department of Education (DepEd), Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), and the Philippine National Police (PNP) in January.
The program aims to contribute to restore normalcy in the lives of the learners who were affected by the months-long siege in 2017. The group visited Marawi Sagonsongan Pilot Elementary School which is one of the largest temporary schools.
During the visit, the awardees conducted simultaneous storytelling sessions and distributed teddy bears to Kindergarten and Grade 1 learners, courtesy of Metrobank Card Corporation. The group also visited Amai Pakpak Central Elementary School for a brief ocular inspection and conversation with faculty members.
This first-ever collaborative project of NOTED, TOPSOLDIERS [The Organization of Philippine Soldiers with Outstanding Leadership, Dedication, Integrity, Excellence and Responsibility to Society] and PROTECT [Police Officers Responsible for Organizing, Transforming and Empowering Communities], is in time for this year’s celebration of the Metrobank Foundation’s 40th anniversary.
The delegation was led by Metrobank Foundation Inc. (MBFI) president Aniceto Sobrepeña, joined by a number of Metrobank Foundation Outstanding Filipinos including Dr. Ernelea Cao, Dr. Mary Ann Serrano, Dr. Mark Torres, Dr. Ruben Abucayon, Dr. Rizal Vidallo, Olivia Caling, retired Maj. Gen. Romeo Poquiz, retired Brig. Gen. Alex Tamondong ; Brig. Gen. Ariel Caculitan; Col. Elmer Suderio; Chief Supt. Mario Rariza, Jr.; Sr. Supt. Pascual Muñoz, Jr.; Sr. Supt. Alex Sintin; Supt. Carlo Manuel; and Chief Insp. Rosalino Ibay, among other awardees.
Meanwhile, to further its assistance to reach out to affected educators and schoolchildren of Marawi City, NOTED, TOPSOLDIERS, and PROTECT likewise launched a call for donation (both in-kind or cash) last December 2018 to support GPS². The proceeds will fund the establishments of libraries and WASH [Water, Hygiene, and Sanitation] facilities, and the provision of teachers’ and learners’ kits to benefit affected educators and learners.