Good Men Honoring Other Good Men: Metrobank Group Chairman George S.K. Ty Receives the Ramon V. del Rosario Award

    It was a convergence of captains of industry at the Tower Club’s Taipan. Certainly business was part of the conversations around the tables, but it was after-work talk and congenial. The atmosphere was light among the predominantly dark suited men and some ladies in cocktail dress.

    Eight years since the Ramon V. del Rosario Award for Nation Building was launched in 2009, the Junior Chamber International Manila with the support of the Asian Institute of Management, have recognized Philippine businessmen whose visionary leadership have contributed to nation building. This year, Metrobank Group Chairman George S. K. Ty was chosen by a board of judges to join the roster of distinguished men, whose life works resonate the spirit of JCI’s founding father Ramon V. del Rosario Sr.

    Founding Father

    RVR or Monching, as he was widely known, had the professional credentials that established him as a leading figure in the corporate world. Entrepreneurship set him on track to different successful ventures, following his stint as the first Filipino general manager of IBM Philippines and later as executive vice-president of Philippine American Life Insurance Company. He helped set up Del Rosario Brothers with his siblings in 1953 to manufacture and distribute household appliances, which were made available to their customers on installment.

    Three years later, he was among the incorporators of the Philippine Investment and Management Consultants. Today, PHINMA is an aggrupation of more than 30 companies with interests in energy, education, roofing, financial services, and property and shelter sectors. RVR is also credited for establishing Filoil Refinery Corporation, the first Filipino oil company.

    He was actively involved in civic groups, notably the Junior Chamber International, formerly the Jaycees. The De La Salle alumnus was also one of the original founders of the Management Association of the Philippines. Ramon V. del Rosario is credited for bringing Harvard Business School professionals to the Philippines to teach management courses. This was the precedence that led to The Asian Institute of Management. He was a founding trustee of the AIM, which honored him with the Ramon V. del Rosario Center for Corporate Responsibility.

    Business of Trust

    Corporate social responsibility was part of  Dr. George S. K. Ty’s vision long before the term was coined. He established Metrobank at the age of 29, with a dream to become the biggest financial institution in the country, despite having no background in the banking industry. The difficulty of securing a bank loan for the family’s flour industry set him in the direction of establishing a bank that would help others in their business ventures. Three decades since the Chinese-Filipino businessman pursued his goal, Metrobank became the first billion-dollar bank in the Philippines, with the biggest assets and depositor base. Even before this achievement, Dr. Ty had already institutionalized a core value of giving back through the Metrobank Foundation. “Banking is a business of trust,” he repeats constantly. “Our depositors trust us with their hard earned money. That trust helped us to become successful. Success in business should also mean success for the community.”

    The Metrobank Foundation Incorporated is the realization of Dr. Ty’s philanthropic bent, addressing underserved sectors, recognizing outstanding Filipinos in the fields of education, public order and security, visual arts, and providing scholarships, quality healthcare and assistance in disaster situations and rehabilitation. “For 38 years, the Metrobank Foundation has always looked for ways and opportunities to help improve the society’s well-being,” Dr. Ty remarked on the occasion of the bank’s anniversary this year. “Our corporate social responsibility programs empower individuals and communities, recognizing their best potentials and elevating their social conditions.”

    The excellence programs of the MBFI encourage teachers, policemen, soldiers, artists to continue doing their best and consequently contribute to society and the country as a whole. It is for this that he was selected by a panel of judges, headed by retired Chief Justice Artemio Panganiban, as the eight recipient of the the Ramon V. del Rosario Award for Nation Building.

    Icon of Excellence

    Ramon R. del Rosario, namesake of RVR, who is president and CEO of the PHINMA Group, acknowledged Dr. Ty as one of the most successful businessmen of this generation. During the brief program that night, he called the Metrobank Group chairman “a visionary whose leadership and inspiration helped steer the Metrobank group to its current position as one of the country’s leading conglomerates…he founded the Metropolitan Bank and Trust Company…the flagship of a business conglomerate that spans not just banking but financial services, travel, car manufacturing and dealership, insurance, real estate, power generation and medical services. Dr. Ty has envisioned Metrobank to adhere to the credence that any business worth doing should be done well.”

    Following the course dinner, Mr. Ramon R. del Rosario led in presenting the brass trophy designed and sculpted by Juan Sajid Imao. The stylized blocks represented an edifice depicting RVR’s successful work in nation building. Well-wishers milled around waiting for their opportunity to greet the Honoree.

    Retired Chief Justice Panganiban expressed the sentiments of many when he said, “Over and above his private businesses, he dedicated a large part of his time, attention and resources to uplift the poor and the underprivileged in his many philanthropic, educational and charity undertakings that are rivaled only by his consuming desire to assist others more fervently and to give of himself more magnanimously.

    “Truly the board of judges is honored and pleased to have chosen an icon whose life story proves that the Filipino can compete freely and excel grandly.”

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