TWO Filipinos have been included by Forbes Asia in its list of 30 outstanding altruists in the region — Hans T. Sy of SM Prime Holdings, Inc. and award-winning actress Angel Locsin, joining the likes of China’s Jack Ma, India’s Azim Premji and South Korea’s Suh Kyung-bae.
Forbes Asia released on Tuesday its “Heroes Of Philanthropy: Catalysts For Change” list, where billionaires, entrepreneurs and celebrities were honored for their efforts in “solving some of the most pressing issues” in the region.
For the list, Forbes Asia said it wanted to identify those that are using their personal money and not their company’s cash for philanthropic work. It also looked at each person’s “depth of involvement” and the “reach” of their efforts and how it supports a “long-term vision.”
Forbes Asia acknowledged Mr. Sy, SM Prime’s 64-year-old executive committee chairman and director, for his work at Child Haus, a center for cancer-stricken patients located in Quezon City. It said Mr. Sy spent around $2 million in 2015 to buy the lot and build the facility as part of his 60th birthday celebration. To date, the heir of the country’s richest family continues to support the facility by taking care of its operating expenses.
For Ms. Locsin, Forbes Asia took note of the 34-year-old actress’ work to support victims of violence, natural disasters and the conflict in Mindanao. It cited several instances where Ms. Locsin helped in times of crisis, such as when she donated P1 million in October to distribute relief goods to victims of the Mindanao quake, when she joined the Rural Missionaries of the Philippines in 2017 to assist displaced victims of the Marawi siege, and when she made donations during Tropical Storm Ondoy in 2009, Typhoon Habagat in 2012 and Typhoon Haiyan in 2013.
It noted Ms. Locsin has shelled out about P15 million over the past 10 years for advocacies supporting education, indigenous people’s rights and ending violence against women and children.
Forbes Asia said India’s Mr. Premji made history this year for being the most generous philanthropist in Asia. It said he donated $7.6-billion worth of his shares in Wipro Ltd. — an information technology firm he founded and chairs — to his education-oriented organization Azim Premji Foundation.
China’s Mr. Ma was also acknowledged for focusing on philanthropic work after stepping down as executive chairman of tech giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.
South Korea’s Mr. Suh, who chairs skin care firm Amorepacific Group, was likewise honored for donating $9 million to four South Korean scientists to support their research in improving neuroscience and genetics.
Other notable names in the Forbes Asia philanthropy list are South Korean singer and actress IU (Lee Ji Eun), Japanese leader of band “X Japan” Yoshiki Hayashi, Australian billionaire Judith Nelson and Indonesian mining and agribusiness tycoon Theodore Rachmat. — Denise A. Valdez