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Commentary

The Chairman

05:06 AM December 04, 2018

It was a late Friday afternoon when I learned that Dr. George S.K. Ty, Metrobank Group chairman, had died. I was in a church activity that day, and I felt a great loss with his passing. I prayed as I remembered him as part of my family.

I was a member of the Metrobank Group for 31 years before I retired. My wife was also a part of it, having served the bank for 20 years before she left to take care of our children when they were young. I joined the bank in 1976, she in 1978. The bank was really our bread and butter, through which I acquired my residence, my first car, my children’s education, etc. My daughter received allowances as a Metrobank scholar, and I was also under the Metrobank MBA Scholarships Program.

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In the past, the bank struggled to be on top. I belonged to a crop of employees and officers who really worked hard, with the values of honesty, dedication and perseverance, imposed by management, as our guide. We grew in a conservative culture of hard work, excellence and loyalty. Our slogan then was, “You’re in good hands with Metrobank.”

When I became a branch manager, I had the opportunity to be with the Chairman. Not that close, but within elbow distance during our conventions, seminars, Christmas parties, bank anniversaries, etc. Metrobank soon became the No. 1 bank in the industry, and would hold such rank for more than two decades.

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I saw the Chairman as a humble, dignified man. He was punctual and very early to report for work, with the company ID hanging on his suit, and wearing a strict smile as you accidentally bump into him in the elevator. “Good morning, Sir,” you’d utter nervously. “Good morning,” he would reply gently.

He was known for visiting bank branches on Saturdays and holidays, with bank security guards caught off guard and not recognizing him. He was strict about the cleanliness of the bank externally and internally, and everyone had to follow bank policies and procedures strictly.

Before Christmas days ended every year, we went to his Forbes Park residence with clients. There, you saw him hosting the Who’s Who in the business and political worlds. On bank anniversaries, when corporate social responsibility was still new in the business world, he was already there giving plaques and cash rewards to teachers, policemen, artists, church
people, etc., as his tribute to these workers who gave excellent service to the community. During conventions, he was also present to see if everyone performed their functions well, and if the bank’s duties to the public were really carried out.

I knew he was also a spiritual man. I was always touched when, during our yearly conventions, before our corporate agenda began, a Holy Mass was celebrated and he and his wife, Mrs. Mary Ty, would be in attendance.

I know there are thousands of men and women around like me who, one way or the other, had been touched by this great man. Wherever they are, I believe they are one with me in honoring him.

I last saw Mr. George S.K. Ty two years ago at the Manila Doctors Hospital. Our president, Mr. Tony Abacan, himself a great and humble man, gave me and my wife the honor to approach and greet the Chairman.

“Sir, this is Mario and his wife, Ellen, previously Metrobankers,” Mr. Abacan told Mr. Ty. He smiled, grasped our hands warmly, then said goodbye.

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Mario D. Dalangin is a former Metrobanker and a member of various church organizations.

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