MANILA, Philippines - Four Filipinos have made it to Forbes Asia’s Heroes of Philanthropy regional list this year.
A report on abs-cbnnews.com said retail and property mogul Henry Sy Sr., owner of one of the country’s largest conglomerates, together with John Gokongwei Jr., architect Felino Palafox Jr. and perfume manufacturer Joel Cruz were included in the business magazine’s “most remarkable givers” list.
John Koppisch, senior editor of Forbes Asia, was quoted in the report as saying that they picked only “true philanthropists who are giving their own money, not their company’s because donating shareholder funds isn’t charity.”
The magazine cited Sy for donating $7 million to De La Salle University to build an eco-friendly building and $112 million to an unnamed foundation. Sy is the founder and chairman of the SM Group of Companies that is engaged in retail, shopping malls, banking, hotels and property development.
The report said Gokongwei, chairman of the Gokongwei Brothers Foundation, donated half of his shares in conglomerate JG Summit when the foundation was put up in 1992. The donation is now worth more than $1 billion, the report said.
“The foundation is the conglomerate’s largest shareholder, with a 29.4 percent stake worth $2.3 billion. Disbursements are funded out of company dividends and are focused on education,” the report quoted Forbes Asia.
The magazine said Palafox donated the services of Palafox and Associates for the design of low-income housing developments, including a 12-hectare project for the Smokey Mountain dumpsite community in Manila.
Palafox “gives money to a program helping needy churches and in the last five years, his firm has done pro bono architectural and interior design or master planning for six church-related projects,” it added.
The magazine cited Cruz, 48, founder and CEO of Central Affirmative Co., manufacturer of Aficionado Germany, for helping abandoned children, the elderly and disabled.
The country’s leading mass-market perfume brand celebrates its anniversary by donating to charities and paying employees to volunteer for a day, the report said.
Cruz, dubbed as the “Lord of Scents,” is reportedly planning to launch the Joel S. Cruz Aficionado Foundation next year.
Forty-eight of the Asia-Pacific region’s most notable givers made it to the list this year. Among them were India’s biotech entrepreneur Kiran Mazumdar-Show, South Korean musician Cho Yong-pil, Chinese CEO Zhang Xin, Japanese talk show host Tetsuko Kuroyanagi and Miss Universe Malaysia Deborah Henry.
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