Ramon Ang in Forbes Asia’s Heroes of Philanthropy

Iris Gonzales - The Philippine Star
Ramon Ang in Forbes Asia�s Heroes of Philanthropy
Ramon Ang
STAR / File

MANILA, Philippines — Tycoon Ramon Ang, known for his business acumen and philanthropic work, has been included in Forbes Asia’s 2023 list of “Heroes of Philanthropy.”

The only Filipino to make it to this year’s list, the president and chief executive officer of San Miguel Corp. (SMC) joins a roster of 15 leading philanthropists from the Asia-Pacific region who have shown commitment and donated generously to causes close to their hearts.

In its citation, Forbes Asia recognized Ang’s generosity – from building schools in Manila to responding to the COVID-19 pandemic and to helping clean up rivers in Metro Manila.

“Ramon Ang, the controlling shareholder of San Miguel Corp. and a self-made billionaire, this year pledged P500 million ($9 million) to build schools for underprivileged children in Manila,” Forbes Asia said.

Ang announced the donation in September as he inaugurated a 39-classroom school in Tondo, one of Manila’s poorest districts where he grew up.

“I strongly believe that empowering a wide range of Filipinos with education and skills is key to unlocking the country’s potential. This includes not only the youth but also adults in less privileged areas who seek better jobs or want to start their own businesses,” Ang said, as quoted by Forbes Asia.

Ang, who has an estimated net worth of $3.4 billion, transformed the country’s biggest beer maker and food manufacturer into a diversified conglomerate with interests in banking, energy, power utility and toll roads.

Aside from growing the business exponentially and bringing it to dizzying heights, Ang has also consistently led SMC into actively responding to different challenges faced by the country.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, SMC was among the first conglomerates to help the government respond to the health crisis.

SMC donated P14.8 billion to support relief measures during the COVID-19 including the largest-ever food donation drive in the country, massive donations of disinfectant alcohol from its reconfigured liquor plants, life-saving medical equipment and supplies such as RT-PCR machines and test kits, which have raised the Philippines’ overall testing capacity.

Since 2020, Ang, through his RSA Foundation, has also personally contributed over P150 million to scholarship grants and medical aid.

Separately, SMC’s San Miguel Foundation spent over P1 billion to build five schools in the Metro Manila region.

It earmarked another P3 billion to help clean up the city’s rivers.

Also on the list are Andrew and Nicola Forrest of Fortescue Metals Group of Australia; Japan’s Takemitsu Takizaki of sensor-maker Keyence; He Xiangjian, founder of Shenzhen-listed Midea Group; Vikrom Kromadit of Bangkok-based industrial estate Amata Corp.; DLF chairman emeritus K.P. Singh; Low Tuck Kwong, founder and president director of coal miner Bayan Resources; City Developments executive chairman Kwek Leng Beng; Li Ka-Shing, Hong Kong’s richest person; Indian billionaire Nandan Nilekani; Australian mogul James Packer; Graeme Hart of the Rank Group; media mogul Eddy Atmadja; India’s youngest billionaire Nikhil Kamath; and Adrian Cheng, CEO of property developer New World Development.

The 17th edition of Forbes Asia’s annual Heroes of Philanthropy list, which includes lifelong philanthropists and newcomers, will be part of the December issue of Forbes Asia.

The unranked list highlights business leaders who are donating from their fortunes and giving personal time and attention to their select causes.

Forbes said the list does not include corporate philanthropy except for privately held companies where the individual is a majority owner.

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