Ramon S. Ang, president of conglomerate San Miguel Corp. (SMC), made it to the Forbes magazine’s list of Asia Pacific’s 15 billionaire philanthropists, who have shown commitment and gave generous donations to causes close to their hearts.
Forbes said Ang, a self-made billionaire, gave P500 million to build schools for underprivileged children in Manila. Ang announced the donation in September as he inaugurated a 39-classroom school in Tondo in Manila, 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,” Ang told the magazine.
“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, who has an estimated net worth of $3.4 billion, was instrumental in the transformation of the country’s biggest beer maker and food manufacturer into a diversified conglomerate with interests in banking, energy, power utility and toll roads.
Since 2020, Ang through his RSA Foundation has contributed over P150 million to scholarship grants and medical aid, the magazine said.
San Miguel Foundation, meanwhile, spent over P1 billion to build five schools in the Metro Manila region, while donating P14.8 billion to support relief measures during the Covid-19 pandemic and earmarking another P3 billion to help clean up the city’s rivers.
The list, which the magazine said was unranked, included billionaires from the region, some of which continue to endow their philanthropic foundations with significant amounts to carry on their missions.
Japan’s Takemitsu Takizaki, for instance, gave 7.45 million Keyence shares worth nearly ¥390 billion ($2.6 billion) to his foundation, while Australia’s Andrew and Nicola Forrest gave an estimated A$5 billion ($3.3 billion) worth of Fortescue Metals Group shares to their philanthropic arm Minderoo Foundation.
Several altruists on the list chose to direct their donations to advance higher education and research, especially in artificial intelligence, Forbes said.
Midea Group founder He Xiangjian pledged to donate 3 billion yuan ($410 million) to set up a fund supporting scientific research, including in artificial intelligence (AI) and climate change, in China, while veteran philanthropist Li Ka-shing donated HK$60 million ($7.7 million) to support using AI in medical training and research at two universities in Hong Kong.