Palawan Pawnshop founder and CEO Bobby Castro (second from left) receives a plaque of appreciation from Puerto Princesa City mayor Lucilo Bayron. Castro was accompanied by his wife Angelita (first from left). (Photo courtesy of the Puerto Princesa City Information Office)

Palawan Pawnshop founder and chief executive officer Bobby Castro is one of the five recipients of this year’s prestigious The Outstanding Filipino (TOFIL) Award conferred by the JCI Philippines, Inc. through the JCI Senate Philippines.

The city government also commended him Monday morning with a plaque of recognition for receiving the TOFIL recognition in a short awarding ceremony during the flag-raising at the New City Hall, led by city mayor Lucilo Bayron.

Castro, who founded Palawan Pawnshop in 1985 with a starting capital of P40,000 with his wife Angelita, was recognized for his contributions not only to Puerto Princesa but also to the country as a businessman.

In a speech, Castro gave a rundown of the company’s latest achievements, as well as a short message of thanks to the city government’s recognition.

Palawan Pawnshop has emerged to become one of the country’s leading and fastest-growing pawnshops and financial services companies in the Philippines.

“Ako, si Angie, buong Palawan Pawnshop family, buong JCI family, ay nagpapasalamat sa city government for giving such a meaningful and prestigious award,” he said.

The TOFIL Award is given to Filipinos aged 41 and above who have shown “exemplary achievements worthy of emulation.” It was conceived by the non-profit international organization Junior Chamber International (JCI) Philippines, through the JCI Senate Philippines in 1988.

Aside from the TOFIL Award, Castro has also been recognized not only for his entrepreneurship but for his philanthropy efforts as well. The company donated around 100,000 doses of AstraZeneca vaccines to Puerto Princesa in August this year and even held a mass vaccination event for its own employees in Puerto Princesa.

“Sa ngayon, ipinagmamalaki namin na 96 per cent ng aming workforce sa buong Pilipinas ay fully-vaccinated na,” Castro added in his speech.

Castro added that other noteworthy philanthropy efforts by the company are their scholarship programs, sponsorships for sports events, and the creation of hardwood tree nurseries in the City Environment and Natural Resources Office (City ENRO).

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