METROBANK Foundation (MBFI) is off to an early start in 2018, as it launched on the very first working day its annual search for outstanding teachers, soldiers and police officers.

"Launched 38 years ago, the annual search for Metrobank Foundation's Outstanding Filipinos is Metrobank Group Founder Dr. George S.K.Ty's way of paying tribute to the sacrifices of these extra-ordinary individuals in the service to fellow Filipinos," explains MBFI President Aniceto M. Sobrepeña.

The 10 Metrobank Foundation Outstanding Filipinos represent what MBFI identifies as "key pillars of society" -- the academe and the peace and security sectors.

Four members of the academe will be selected under the teacher component of the search.

Three soldiers and three police officers will also be selected from the peace and security sectors.

Each awardee will receive a P1 million cash incentive, a trophy, and a gold medallion.

Teachers, soldiers, and police officers who are eligible to join must have a minimum of 10 years of service with at least "very satisfactory" rating in the last 10 years of service to their profession.

Those who are set to retire must have at least three remaining years of service.

Qualified elementary and secondary teachers must have completed academic requirements for Master's Degree while Higher Education teachers must have a doctorate degree.

Qualified AFP commissioned officers (Captain to Colonel) must have completed a Bachelor's Degree while AFP enlisted personnel (Corporal to Chief Master Sergeant) must have completed a High School degree.

PNP commissioned officers (Police Inspector to Police Senior Superintendent) and non-commissioned officers (Police Officer 2 to Senior Police Officer 4) must have completed a Bachelor's Degree.

"By giving them due recognition, we hope to inspire the Filipino nation further in our collective task of building a strong and progressive society," Sobrepeña added.

"We recognize that the task of nation-building has become crucial more than ever. Public servants need to embody more than exemplary values, and be more than outstanding in their professional service, hence the theme 'Beyond Excellence'," Sobrepeña explained.

The search is held in partnership with the Department of Education and Commission on Higher Education; Rotary Club of Makati Metro and the Armed Forces of the Philippines; Rotary Club of New Manila East, Philippine Savings Bank, and the Philippine National Police.

Nomination forms and detailed guidelines are now available via the Metrobank Foundation Outstanding Filipinos Facebook page.

Deadline for nominations to be sent to the MBFI Secretariat is on March 1, 2018.

Last year's awardees, whose work were adjudged to have transformed their communities with a lasting positive impact on people and to the country, include the following:

- Jennifer M. Rojo (Master Teacher II, Neogan Elementary School, Tagaytay City) - Tagaytay's visionary science teacher

- Edgar T. Elago (Teacher III, Magallanes National High School, Magallanes, Agusan del Norte) - Agusan del Norte's culture coach

- Dr. Esperanza C. Cabrera (Full Professor and University Fellow, De La Salle University, Malate, Manila) Manila's master microbiologist

- Dr. Alonzo A. Gabriel (Professor and University Scientist, University of the Philippines, Diliman, Quezon City) Diliman's food security advocate

- S/SGT. Narding N. Pascual (Squad Leader, Bravo Company, 26th Infantry Battalion, 4th Infantry Division (PA), Talacogon, Agusan del Sur) Caraga's Lumad hero

- Lt. Col. Elmer B. Suderio (Assistant Chief of Staff for Operations, 1st Infantry Division (PA), Labangan, Zamboanga del Sur) Basilan's soldier-trailblazer

- Lt. Col. Ricky P. Bunayog (Assistant Chief of Staff for Operations, 6th Infantry Division (PA), Datu Odin Sinsuat, Maguindanao) Central Mindanao's warrior-peacekeeper

- PO3 Shiela May S. Pansoy (Investigator, Women and Children's Protection Desk, Digos City Police Station, Davao del Sur) Davao del Sur's anti-abuse advocate

- P/CInsp. Rosalino P. Ibay, Jr. (chief, District Police Intelligence and Operation Unit, Manila Police District, Manila) MPD's finest officer

- P/Ssupt. Joel B. Doria (City Director, Cebu City Police Office) Cebu's Pokemon groundbreaker

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