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Who are the richest givers in the Philippines?

The billionaires in the country also engage their time and resources in various philanthropic efforts.
By Elyssa Christine Lopez |



RICHEST GIVERS. From left: Aboitiz Equity Ventures CEO Erramon Aboitiz, Ayala Corporation Chairman Emeritus Jaime Zobel de Ayala, and SM Group of Companies Chairman of the Board Henry Sy lead the list of most generous givers among the richest men in the country. The three have a combined P1.8-billion worth of philanthropic works. 





“It is in giving that you receive,” or at least that is what the Bible said. Whatever their religions may be, some of the richest men in the country have taken this principle to heart, as they are not only moneyed in assets and profits but are wealthy in generosity as well.

As cited in the Forbes Philippines March 2016 issue, Leading the pack is the Aboitiz Group of Companies with almost P800 million ($17.26) worth of philanthropic works distributed to its two foundations, the Aboitiz Foundation and the Ramon Aboitiz Foundation. It is joined by the top five richest billionaires in the country, alongside one of the youngest on the list, Jollibee Foods Corporation's Tony Tan Caktiong.


Related: 11 Filipinos on Forbes 2016 world's billionaires list


Aside from growing their share of the pie in business, these businessmen may all share the same principles in giving, as most champion causes in education, health care, and rural development. 



Following are the list of the country's richest givers (based on their net worth and amount spent on philanthropic efforts accordiing to Forbes Philippines):



Henry Sy, SM Group of Companies

Henry Sy with his wife, Felicidad Sy in a special dinner with SM Foundation graduates. Photo from SM Foundation website


Net worth: $14.4 billion (P666.79 billion)

Project expenses: P284 million ($6.13 million)


The SM Foundation and the Henry Sy Foundation, both charitable institutions of the SM Group of Companies, have combined efforts in education, health, community development, and care for special needs and the environment. As of January 2015, these groups have sent more than 3,400 students to college; served 813,685 patients in medical missions; and planted more than 426,186 trees, among its other pursuits.



John Gokongwei Jr., JG Summit Holdings

John Gokongwei Jr. (third seated from the left) with select members of the Gokongwei Brothers Foundation with some of the foundation's scholars at the De La Salle University. Photo from Gokongwei Brothers Foundation website


Net worth: $5.5 billion (P245.42 billion)

Project expenses: P13.4 million ($289,365)


Founded in 1992, the Gokongwei Brothers Foundation (GBF) mostly focused on educational causes, establishing various training centers across the country and granting multiple scholarships in the last two decades. The institution champions engineering as a profession, having opened the P100-million ($2.16 million) GBF Technical Training Center (GBF TTC) in Rosario, Pasig City, for those who wish to take vocational courses.


It also launched its Scholarship for Excellence program in 2011, which grants college scholarships to outstanding public school students who wish to take engineering courses.



Andrew Tan, Alliance Global

Alliance Global CEO Andrew Tan, center, with the Megaworld Foundation scholars. Photo from Alliance Global website


Net worth: $4.5 billion (P208.37 billion)

Project expenses: P45.3 million ($978,300)


Under the socio-civic arm of Alliance Global, the Megaworld Foundation has similarly focused its efforts in sending kids to school. From 2007 to 2012, the company has granted 2,975 college scholarships to around 400 students yearly. The young foundation, which only started in 1999, has partnerships with 25 schools across the country.



Lucio Tan, LT Group

Lucio Tan (left) leads a tree-planting ceremony at the University of the Philippines-Los Baños. Photo from the Tan Yan Kee Foundation website


Net worth: $4.3 billion (P199.24 billion)

Project expenses: P214.7 million ($4.63 million)


The LT Group’s Tan Yan Kee Foundation is one of the most generous benefactors in education, with some projects in health services and social welfare. With 30 years under its belt, the foundation has 13 ongoing projects solely for educational programs, which includes scholarships, book drives, and infrastructure construction for schools. It has also contributed its share for environmental efforts with the foundation’s reforestation projects and interests in solar power generators.



Enrique Razon Jr., International Container Terminal Services

Left: One of ICTSI Foundation's programs is Project Lipad, where 500 street children are given weekly sports training to keep them off the streets. Right: Enrique Razon, Jr. Photo from ICTSI Foundation's website



Net worth: $4.1 billion (P189.97 billion)

Project expenses: P20.3 million ($438,128)


The youngest foundation on the list is the ICTSI (International Container Terminal Services, Inc.) Foundation, which only started in 2010. In its short stint so far, the foundation prides itself with the Parola Solid Waste Management Project, an environmentally-conscious and equally sustainable income generator for those in the lower classes at the ICTSI’s homebase, Manila Container Terminal. The program taught community leaders in Tondo, Binondo, and Antipolo proper waste management and how its by-products could be turned into profitable products. It has also sent almost a hundred students yearly in the last five years.



George Ty, GT Capital Holdings

GT Capital Chairman of the Board George Ty leads the ceremony at the company's Chinese New Year gift-giving program in Binondo. Photo from Metrobank Foundation's Facebook page


Net worth: $4 billion (P185.41 billion)

Project expenses: P196.1 million ($4.23 million)


Ty has three foundations under his name: the Metrobank Foundation, the GT Foundation, and the Norberto & Tytana Ty Foundation, with distributed projects in education, healthcare, arts, and the environment.


After serving the society for almost four decades, Metrobank has made a name in recognizing outstanding personalities from various professions, including the arts, media, and education.


Meanwhile, GT Foundation has committed to poverty alleviation projects, mostly by providing health insurance to the less fortunate. The institution has also been a visible fixture in relief operations when calamities hit.



Aboitiz Family, Aboitiz Equity Ventures

Aboitiz Equity Ventures CEO Erramon Aboitiz leads a tree-planting ceremony in Laguna. Photo from Aboitiz Foundation's Facebook page


Net worth: $3.6 billion (P166.88 billion)

Project expenses: P793.9 million ($15.97 million)


The most generous among the group is the Aboitiz family as its two foundations, the Aboitiz Foundation and the Ramon Aboitiz Foundation, accounts for almost P800 million ($17.26 million) worth of philanthropic projects combined, encompassing efforts in education, community welfare, healthcare, and the environment, among others.


As of 2014, the Aboitiz Foundation alone was reported to have supported 26,540 scholars; built 833 classrooms; and granted P135 million ($2.91 million) worth of microfinance loan packages for small entrepreneurs. The group has one of the most extensive volunteer program, with an almost 30,000-strong workforce.


Meanwhile, the Ramon Aboitiz Foundation has planted 824,542 trees in 2014 alone as part of its reforestation project.



Jaime Zobel de Ayala, Ayala Corporation

President Benigno Aquino III with Ayala Corporation's Chairman Emeritus Jaime Zobel de Ayala in one of the Ayala Museum's photo exhibit. Photo from the Malacanang Presidential Communications Press Office


Net worth: $3.5 billion (P162.21 billion) 

Project expenses: P330.4 million ($7.13 million)


One of the few foundations with major interests in the arts is the Ayala Foundation, spending most of its budget in the Ayala Museum and the Filipinas Heritage Library. The two institutions house prized art pieces and hold exhibitions for new and established artists yearly.  It also has an extensive educational program which benefits not only students but teachers as well. In 2014 alone, it trained 565 teachers from public schools in rural areas and supported 1,371 students.



Tony Tan Caktiong, Jollibee Foods Corporation

Jollibee Foods Corporation's chairman and CEO Tony Tan Caktiong (leftmost), and Jollibee Foundation's president Grace Tan Caktiong (rightmost), award Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) secretary Corazon “Dinky” Soliman and Department of Education (DepEd) secretary Bro. Armin Luistro certificates of appreciation for their collaborations with the company's philanthropic efforts. Photo from Jollibee Group Foundation's website


Net worth: $2.2 billion (P47.46 billion)

Project expenses: P78.6 million ($1.70 million)


True to its business practice, the Jollibee Group Foundation is centered on what it does best: feeding the hungry. One of its main projects is the Busog, Lusog, Talino (BLT) School Feeding Program which provided daily lunches to 40,000 students from 193 cities and municipalities for school year 2013-2014. Since its inception in 2007, the program has served daily lunches to 100,000 students in total.



Elyssa is’s  editorial assistant / staff writer. Follow her on Twitter, @elyssalopz.

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