A graduate of the Bachelor of Science in Commerce major in Business Management, Abegail Olandria-Ong, ranked first among the 31 graduates of the Management Associates Program (MAP) of the Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP). Ong at age 31, will assume junior officer position in DBP.
Ong did not expect to top a batch of competent young professionals coming from the country’s leading universities like the University of the Philippines, De La Salle University, University of Sto. Tomas and Mapua Institute of Technology. Participants in the MAP are in the 25-35 age brackets. Some of them are licensed accountants, engineers and graduates of business, economics, finance, mathematics and other related fields. Most of the applicants, according to Ong, were the top of their class in college with about 95% of them being recipients of “Latin honors”. Ong herself finished Cum Laude at LCC Bacolod in 2006.
MAP is DBP’s award-winning training and selection program for bank executives. In 2008, it was cited as the Most Outstanding Human Resource Development Project by the Association of Development Financing Institutions in Asia and the Pacific according to a press release published by the Philippine Information Agency. DBP also said that the program has received numerous other citations from the People Management Association of the Philippines and the Civil Service Commission.
More than 1,700 from DBP’s bank personnel and external aspirants all over the Philippines applied for the most recent MAP but only 31 were selected to undergo the rigorous training program that included nine modules, 61 subjects, more than 100 presentations and more than 4,000 examinations. The program ran for a year but trainees received allowances throughout its duration.
Professors varied from the highest executives of the bank and invited lecturers from the University of the Philippines and the University of Asia and the Pacific. Others are experts consulting big corporations.
The program is designed to prepare individuals for leadership roles in the bank. MAP combines the development of technical, behavioral and supervisory competencies through diverse learning approaches in the real-world context, the press release said. Students went through intensive and compact training that included board presentations, loan-packaging, RLE writing (Related Learning Experiences) apart from traditional quizzes and paper examinations.
Donna Shotwell, First Senior Vice President and Head of the Human Resource Management Group, said that the ninth batch of students, Ong’s group, exhibited superb critical thinking and strategic planning skills. Ong in her speech during the graduation at Bulwagan Ng Diwang Pilipino, DBP Main Office in Makati on September 23, 2016, noted that her class is the first with 100% of the students successfully completed in MAP’s nine-year history.
DBP said that as a program for future bank officers, the MAP selection process is highly competitive. Through the program, DBP is able to create new and young corps of bank officers with the competence, zeal, enthusiasm and ideals which they will bring with them as they step out to their areas of assignment. MAP graduates will be deployed as junior officers to the DBP head office, branch marketing units, and credit and support departments.
After completing her baccalaureate degree at LCC Bacolod, Ong worked for Mainstream Business Inc. where she served as Training Supervisor for two years. She then joined DBP Bacolod where she is employed for seven years now. In 2015, she applied for the MAP which makes her the third person to have been qualified from Bacolod City since the program began in 2004.
During her years at LCC, Ong was actively involved in co-curricular activities. She was a student leader and an academic scholar. Roland Garcia, a former faculty at LCC Bacolod who is close to Ong said that, she originally hailed from Cebu but moved to Bacolod with her sister who worked in the city. Garcia added that Ong did not receive much financial assistance from her sister while in Bacolod so she really struggled her way through college — “despite the odds, she was determined and finished Cum Laude”, he added.
Ong believes that anyone has the capability to reach their dreams, but to make dreams happen, perseverance and confidence are necessary — “dreams will remain dreams if you will allow your thoughts to remain thoughts” she added.