SM Prime Holdings, Inc. Chairman of the Executive Committee Hans T. Sy was named one of The Outstanding Filipino (TOFIL) 2022 awardees, alongside Engr. Maria Catalina Estamo Cabral, Dr. Persida V. Rueda-Acosta, Hon. Karlo Alexei B. Nograles, Dr. Ruben L. Villareal, and Mr. Nemesio R. Miranda Jr.

SM Prime’s Hans T. Sy was recently recognized for his contribution to nation-building and resiliency in the country through sustainability and disaster risk reduction at The Outstanding Filipino (TOFIL) Awards 2022. The event was held on December 12, Monday, at the Rizal Park Hotel, Manila.

Mr. Hans T. Sy (center) accepts his TOFIL plaque and trophy from ANSA Foundation President Mr. Anthony Philip A. Nocom (left) and JCI Senate Philippines (JCISP)-TOFIL Foundation President Mr. Rogelio V. Garcia (right).

Sy was joined by other notable awardees this year, including Department of Public Works and Highways Undersecretary Engr. Maria Catalina Estamo Cabral, Public Attorney’s Office Chief Dr. Persida V. Rueda-Acosta, horticultural innovator and scientist Dr. Ruben L.Villareal, and the pioneer of Imaginative Figurism in the Philippines Mr. Nemesio R. Miranda Jr. Also present at the ceremony were Civil Service Commission Chairperson Hon. Karlo Alexei B. Nograles and Sen. Joseph Victor “JV” G. Ejercito.

Mr. Hans T. Sy (center) is joined by TOFIL Awards 2022 National Chairman Mr. Felipe V. Briones, JCI Philippines Inc. 2022 National President Mr. Henry T. Juan Tong, ANSA Foundation President Mr. Anthony Philip A. Nocom, JCISP-TOFIL Foundation President Mr. Rogelio V. Garcia, and Vice Chairman of TOFIL Awards 2022 Board of Judges Dr. Glenn S. Banaguas.

The TOFIL Awards was first established in 1988 by the JCI Senate Philippines (JCISP). It was created with the intention of institutionalizing public recognition of the exemplary achievements and contributions to public welfare and community building of Filipinos 41 years of age and older. Also dubbed the Filipino equivalent of the Nobel Prize, the TOFIL Awards seeks to recognize truly outstanding Filipinos who have dedicated themselves to serving the nation.

Mr. Hans T. Sy (left) and JCISP-TOFIL Foundation President Mr. Rogelio V. Garcia (Right). Sy was recognized as a TOFIL Awardee under Business and Resilience for his contribution to nation-building through sustainability and disaster risk reduction, most notably in the solid waste management, water conservation, air quality and energy efficiency programs under the SM Group.

“The Outstanding Filipino, or TOFIL Awards, is among the most prestigious awards given in our country to deserving Filipinos of good moral character, whose dedication to his or her profession or vocation has made significant contributions to the advancement of his or her calling,” said Nograles. “The honorees are chosen based on the strength of their character, the strength of their integrity and the impact of their achievements in their field of work.”

In his award acceptance speech, Sy stressed the importance of sustainability and disaster resiliency as a means of uplifting the lives of the Filipino people. “Our role as private sector members is to supplement public sector assistance with our expert knowledge and available resources,” he said. “In doing so, we can lift the majority away from hazards of disasters and enable a sustainable society we all aspire for.”

This year’s TOFIL Awards follows the theme “Resiliency in Rebuilding Our Nation”; as such, Sy’s recognition comes from his success in integrating sustainability and resilience in the framework of the SM Group’s operations. Under Sy’s leadership, SM has been a major player in disaster relief efforts and community assistance through initiatives such as the SM Yolanda Housing Program and COVID-19 vaccination programs. Sy has also helped in the formation of the ARISE Philippine Network, which fosters more public-private sector partnerships for capacity building, technological innovation, and sustainability in underserved communities. 

When asked what he would like to advise the next generation of Filipinos when it comes to promoting resiliency within the country, Sy said, “Start with yourself for positive change. Don’t really look into [whether the action is] big or small; whatever you can do for positive change, just do it.”

“My father, the late Henry Sy Sr., taught us a multitude of lessons growing up, one of them being the importance of goodwill and inclusivity. This evoked in me a passion for helping others and uplifting their lives through sustainability, disaster preparedness, and infrastructure resiliency programs at SM,” said Sy, chairman of the Executive Committee at SM Prime, in his acceptance speech. “My firsthand experiences with disasters and rehabilitation pushed me to strongly advocate for disaster resiliency in everything we do across the SM Group, by placing sustainability and resiliency at the core of our operations.”

Mr. Nemesio R. Miranda Jr. (left), fellow TOFIL 2022 awardee under Visual Arts and Sculpture, thanked Mr. Hans T. Sy for SM Supermalls’ contribution to the proliferation and protection of art culture in Miranda’s hometown of Angono, Rizal. “I would like to personally thank Mr. Hans Sy…when they built the SM in Angono, I asked the managers, you have to put up a gallery, because Angono is an artists’ village. You have to blend with the community, and so they did. We have a small gallery there, and every month, [we are able to hold an art exhibit there].”

“I dream about having a resilient and sustainable society that the next generations can benefit from, and I want you to join me in that endeavor…where no one is left behind, and where everyone can experience a safer, better future for us all,” Sy concluded.