Razon, Po among Forbes' 'philanthropy heroes'
MANILA – International Container Terminal Services Inc. (ICTSI) chairman and chief executive Enrique Razon and Century Pacific chairman Ricardo Po Sr. are on Forbes Asia’s latest Heroes of Philanthropy list.
The annual list recognized 48 notable philanthropists in the Asia-Pacific region who made news in the past year by launching new and innovative projects.
The 54-year-old Razon was given recognition for his company’s hand in the rehabilitation efforts in areas hit by typhoon “Yolanda” in November last year.
Forbes cited Razon’s charity work in rebuilding the Tacloban airport and moving relief supplies through the seaport.
“His companies also put up $5.7 million for a hospital building; [and] called on port operators from as far as Madagascar to help,” the business publication said.
Razon’s ICTSI Foundation was also cited for repairing day-care centers in Samar.
Po, on the other hand, was honored for his Century Pacific Group-RSPo Foundation, which aims to improve nutrition and alleviate hunger.
The foundation, with the help of its partners, serves up to 3 million meals a year to schoolchildren.
Businessman Jose Mari Albert of iSport Life and hotelier Angelo King were also recognized for their charity works in the Philippines.
Meanwhile, Malaysian-based AirAsia group CEO Anthony Fernandes was also recognized for his works with Rags2Riches in training 100 people to design and make bags in the Philippines.
Rags2Riches, a for-profit social enterprise based in Manila, creates clothes and home accessories from scrap cloth, organic materials and indigenous fabrics with the help of workers living in poor communities across the country.
His foundation was also cited for raising more than $2 million for Yolanda survivors to assist them in rebuilding their homes and fund convenience store ventures.
Forbes described the honorees as “billionaires with expansive visions of how best to help society” and “less well-known business people whose generosity is also leaving a huge mark.”
Forbes said the objective of the list, which is on its eighth year, is not to rank the biggest givers but to “call attention to people and causes.”
“We try to identify a new group of altruists each year, though several people here are returning to the list because of an important donation or project announced since a year ago. And the goal is to pick only true philanthropists — people who are giving their own money, not their company’s (unless they own most of the company), because donating shareholder funds isn’t exactly charity,” it said.