Press Release
August 28, 2011


"I'm very happy and proud that this award has become one of the most prestigious in the country, and we are glad for the chance to honor the awardees here at the Senate," Senator Edgardo J. Angara said during the courtesy call earlier this week of the 2011 awardees of the Metrobank Foundation Search for Outstanding Teachers (SOT), The Outstanding Philippine Soldiers (TOPS), and the Country's Outstanding Policemen in Service (COPS).

Angara, chair of the Senate Committee on Education, Arts and Culture, noted that the SOT has always been important to him because it was initiated during his term as UP President.

"I was approached by the Metrobank president at the time, my good friend George Ty, and he consulted me about his idea of recognizing Philippine professionals who excelled in their fields. I immediately recommended the teachers who, despite typically low pay, dedicate their lives to shaping our youth," he told the awardees.

The 27th year of the SOT honored eight public school teachers from the primary and secondary levels and two higher education professors. Awarded from the elementary level were Mrs. Marcela Jingco, a teacher from the Angeles elementary school who specializes in the English subjects; Mrs. Lora Añar of the Bukidnon State University who specializes in teaching elementary mathematics; Dr. Teodora Conde, from the Andres Bonifacio Elementary School with 44 years of experience in teaching and education research and Mrs. Djhoane Aguilar of the Panabo Central Elementary School in Mindanao.

From the High School level were Dr. Chelo Tangan from the Cagayan National High School with 17 years of experience, specializing in Social Studies; Mr. Buenaventura Luces of the Lusacan National High School in Quezon who invented a Mathematics teaching device called "Math Checker"; Mrs. Vilma Ambat of the Baguio City National High School who has already won multiple local and international teaching awards; and Mrs. Maricel Franco from the Nueva Vizcaya General Comprehensive High School who initiated ICT integration in the classroom.

Awardees in the Higher Education category were Dr. Jericho Thaddeus Luna from the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology in the UP College of Medicine-Philippine General Hospital, a recipient of several local and international awards for his contributions to his field; and Dr. Allan de Guzman of the University of Santo Tomas College of Nursing and College of Education, who pioneered the introduction of the "Thesis-by-Article" format in the country.

"I consider our educators, those who guide and lead our children, to be exceptional specimens of the human race--more so the elite few who are acknowledged as the best in their fields," said Angara.

According to Angara, this new set of Metrobank Foundation awardees brings pride and honor to the country, joining the elite clan of the 300 or so recipients over the last three decades.

"I only wish for more recognitions and awards in the Philippines, so that those who excel in their profession get the commendation they deserve," he said.

The veteran lawmaker also filed a resolution recognizing the achievements of the Metrobank awardees.

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