Around 400 Batak families in Barangay Concepcion received grocery packages from Metrobank during the Chinese New Year celebration on Tuesday.

Marievic Mariano, Metrobank grants and healthcare unit head, said the gift-giving activity is a traditional part of their bank’s Chinese New Year celebration

Dr. George SK Ty, founder of Metrobank group started it in  2011, Mariano said.

Ty already passed away last year at the age of 86.

“Kahit wala na si sir tuloy-tuloy pa rin ang ganitong gawain kasi naging tradition na siya ng pamilya. Instead of giving ampao or red envelope, grocery packages ang binibigay na kulay red din,” she said.

(Even if he is no longer here, the tradition of the family will continue. Instead of giving ampao or red envelope, grocery packages

Mariano said the whole family of Mr. Ty also joined in the other thanksgiving activity in other areas.

“Dati talaga sumasama si sir sa mga activity. Ngayon, since wala na siya ay kumpleto pa rin ang family niya na pumunta,” she said.

In a separate interview, Metrobank first vice president Dennis Lawrence Lu said the company allocated P10 million every year for this project which targets the “poorest of the poor” people to be their beneficiary.

Lu said that Ty is a Filipino-Chinese businessman who has a heart to help poor people in the Philippines.

“Yon kasi ang gusto ni Mr. Ty na kapag new year dapat magkaroon ng ganito bilang pasasalamat sa buong isang taong nakalipas at darating na taon. Gusto din natin na makatanggap ay ‘yong mga taong bihira maabot ng tulong,” Lu said.

Each family received one grocery package amounting P1,000.

This year, their company conducted the same activity in 24 sites nationwide with around 10,000 beneficiaries.

“Ngayon mas dumami na ang mga barangay na napupuntahan natin compared dati na parang nasa 10 barangays lang,” he added.

The activity was initiated by the GT Foundation, GT Capital, Metrobank Foundation, and Metrobank Group.

Personnel from the Philippine National Police (PNP), Naval Forces West, 3rd Marine Brigade and 570th Tactical Operation Wing West also participated in the activity.