CAMP AGUINALDO, Quezon City – As a gesture of gratitude for their heroism and sacrifices, 400 selected frontline workers from the Armed Forces of the Philippines each received PhP1,000-worth of groceries from the Metrobank Foundation, Inc. and GT Foundation, Inc.

AFP Chief of Staff, Lieutenant General Cirilito Sobejana presided over the ceremonial turnover of the “red bags” on Wednesday, February 17 at the AFP General Headquarters Canopy Area in Camp Aguinaldo.

“We are truly grateful to the MBFI and GTFI for including our troops as beneficiaries of these “Red Bags” and for recognizing the efforts of our AFP front liners in our battle against the pandemic and other various forms of threats that our nation continues to confront,” Lieutenant General Sobejana said.

He also praised the foundations for its genuine concern for the welfare of soldiers and for willingly supporting the military organization in many ways. “Indeed, this simple yet profound act of generosity will certainly rekindle our passion and motivate us to carry on with our mission of protecting our people and serving the land,” the AFP Chief said.

Also present in the ceremony were Major General Adriano S. Perez Jr, Deputy Chief of Staff for Personnel and Brigadier General Gabriel Viray, Acting Deputy Chief of Staff for Civil-Military Operations. They were joined by Hero Hernandez, Head of the Excellence Awards Unit of MBFI, and Lilac Lazaro, Senior Program Officer for GTFI.

The Bags of Blessings Project is a nationwide gift-giving activity of the MBFI and GTFI being held every Chinese New Year. As a way of carrying out their tradition of sharing, the red bags each containing P1,000-worth of assorted food items are distributed to 17,600 underprivileged families in different areas nationwide.

The AFP joins this philanthropic effort by providing assistance in the distribution of the red bags. Soldiers also provide security and manpower before, during, and after the distribution of gift packs to the families. It has been one of the active partners of MBFI and GTFI since 2015.

This year, the foundations included military frontline workers as part of the beneficiaries in appreciation of their dedication and contributions in the nationwide efforts to battle the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We deeply hope that our partnership will continue to flourish and remain stronger in the years to come. The Metrobank Foundation, Inc. and GT Foundation, Inc. have been there for us in times of need, and so, the AFP will be here for them,” Lieutenant General Sobejana said.

The Armed Forces of the Philippines continue to partner with private institutions to show its commitment and cooperation towards nation building and peace development. The whole organization also joins the Filipino-Chinese communities in celebrating the Chinese New Year by sharing happiness and prosperity to every member of the society including the less fortunate and the underprivileged./// (Photo by TSg Randulf Obinque PAF/PAOAFP)