The 2022 Metrobank Foundation Outstanding Filipinos were introduced to the public through a virtual press conference on August 4, 2022. Ten awardees of this career-service award—comprising of four teachers, three soldiers, and three police officers—were presented to the members of the media. Each awardee will receive a cash prize of PhP 1 million each (net of tax), a golden medallion, and “The Flame” trophy during the conferment ceremonies in September coinciding with Metrobank’s anniversary celebration.
Outstanding Filipinos exemplify the true meaning of “Beyond Excellence,” as their contributions in service and community involvements are geared towards making a difference beyond their own selves, but in sectors where they serve and the country at large.
Recipients of the 2022 Metrobank Foundation Outstanding Filipino Award for Teachers are (1) Mr. Junmerth C. Jorta, Teacher I and Officer-in-Charge of Keupiyanan Te Balugo (San Fernando, Bukidnon); (2) Christine Joy DR. Aguila, Ph.D., Special Science Teacher 5, Philippine Science High School – Main Campus (Quezon City); (3) Mark Nolan P. Confesor, Ph.D., Professor 6, Mindanao State University – Iligan Institute of Technology (Iligan City); and (4) Leonila F. Dans, M.D., M.Sc., Professor 12, University of the Philippines Manila (City of Manila).
Recipients of the 2022 Metrobank Foundation Outstanding Filipino Award for Soldiers are (5) Technical Sergeant Joel L. Tuganan PA, First Sergeant of the Delta Company, 33rd Infantry Battalion, 6th Infantry Division, Philippine Army (Radjah Buayan, Maguindanao); (6) Colonel Maria Victoria P. Juan NC, Army Chief Nurse, Office of the Army Chief Nurse, Headquarters Philippine Army (Taguig City); and (7) Colonel Stephen L. Cabanlet PN(M), Assistant Chief of Unified Command Staff for Operations, U3, Western Command, Camp Gen. Artemio Ricarte (Puerto Princesa City, Palawan).
Meanwhile, recipients of the 2022 Metrobank Foundation Outstanding Filipino Award for Police Officers are (8) Police Executive Master Sergeant Rogelio A. Rodriguez Jr., Investigator, Anti-Fraud and Commercial Crimes Unit, Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (Quezon City); (9) Police Captain Rosalino E. Panlaqui, Chief of Police, Jalajala Municipal Police Station (Jalajala, Rizal); and (10) Police Colonel Lambert A. Suerte, Battalion Commander, Regional Mobile Force Battalion – National Capital Region Police Office (Taguig City).
“Outstanding Filipinos are defined by character, competence, and compassion. They embody the meaning of “Beyond Excellence” for rendering service above and beyond their call of duty as educators, peacekeepers, and defenders. Their contributions speak of not only caliber, but also of heart and community presence,” said Metrobank Foundation president Aniceto M. Sobrepeña.
“Their examples, therefore, are a stark contrast to the dark days we’ve experienced in the past couple of years; because they are bringing the much-needed light through their selfless work as purveyors of hope,” he added.
The awardees underwent an intensive selection process and were selected from hundreds of nominations. A multi-sectoral Board of Assessors, composed of members from the government, academe, military, and non-government sectors, shortlisted the semi-finalists through a review of documents and conduct of interviews. For teacher semi-finalists, live teaching demonstrations were held at the Metrobank Plaza in Makati City.
Eighteen finalists emerged from this round and were interviewed by the Final Board of Judges chaired by Senator Grace Poe-Llamanzares and co-chaired by the Supreme Court of the Philippines associate justice Ramon Paul L. Hernando. The members were: Robinsons Land Corporation’s president and CEO, Mr. Frederick D. Go; Nine Media Corporation/ CNN Philippines president, Mr. Benjamin V. Ramos; Coca-Cola Foundation Philippines president, Ms. Ma. Cecilia L. Alcantara; and International Association of Business Communicators (IABC) Philippines chairman, Mr. Agapito Joe R. Zaldarriaga.
The awardees’ accomplishments include innovations in their respective institutions as well as advocacies that benefit several communities. This year’s teacher-awardees have proven that mentorship is crucial in a learner’s journey, especially during a crisis. Their breakthroughs and innovations are rooted in shaping the future generation.
The soldier and police officer-awardees, on the other hand, live up to the values of industry and integrity, serving as role models to their peers in the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and Philippine National Police (PNP). Apart from guarding the nation’s peace and sovereignty, they also fulfill their obligations to keep the population safe from COVID-19.
Dr. Leonila F. Dans is dubbed as “Manila’s Pioneering Educator on Pediatric Rheumatology.” She observed that there was a need for pediatricians who can take care of thousands of children suffering from rheumatic diseases. This guided her choice to become the first Pediatric Rheumatologist and one of the first Clinical Epidemiologists in the Philippines. She led the implementation of Southeast Asia’s first Master of Science program in Clinical Epidemiology. To date, several pediatricians have followed in her footsteps, caring for children with rheumatic conditions.
Colonel Stephen L. Cabanlet PN(M), called “Philippine Marine Corps’ Visionary Warrior for Peace,” is fueled by the mission to bring harmony and development in conflict-ridden areas. In 2011, he introduced his brainchild, Football for Peace, a sports advocacy program which he started in Sulu and has since been adopted in different areas. It is anchored on inspiring the youth in conflict zones towards values formation and fostering peace in the communities.
Police Colonel Lambert A. Suerte is also known as the “PNP Special Action Force’s Stalwart
of Law and Public Safety.” As a commander, his resolve and expertise have been tested in several armed encounters with enemy forces. In 2017, he bravely led 108 of his men to victory and safety during the Marawi City siege that lasted for months. His legacy in the police force is marked by his efforts which were crucial in the liberation of stakeholder groups from security threats.
The awardees join the ranks of 685 Metrobank Foundation Outstanding Filipinos since 1985. 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.