THE Philippines’ richest individual Manuel B. Villar, Jr. is the sole Filipino included in Forbes Asia’s list of top philanthropists in the Asia-Pacific region for 2020.
In its “Heroes of Philanthropy” list published on Wednesday, the business magazine identified 15 altruists for their contributions in the fight against the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic and other causes.
Mr. Villar is ninth on the list, primarily for his donation of more than two hectares of land to Saint Jude Catholic School and five hectares of land to the University of the Philippines. The magazine said the two properties have a combined value of P8 billion.
Forbes also cited contributions by Mr. Villar to four other schools, churches, and initiatives to combat poverty and the COVID-19 pandemic.
The magazine noted it awards candidates based on donations made from personal fortunes. It excludes those made by companies unless the tycoon is the majority owner of the privately held company.
Mr. Villar is a former senator and chairman of several listed companies, namely real estate firm Vista Land & Lifescapes, Inc.; mall operator Vistamalls, Inc.; death-care service provider Golden Bria Holdings, Inc.; and home improvement retailer AllHome Corp.
In September, Forbes said Mr. Villar’s net worth was $5 billion, down by $1.6 billion due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic to his businesses.
Other names in this year’s Philanthropy List are Vietnam’s Pham Nhat Vuong, India’s Pramod Bhasin, Singapore’s Robert and Philip Ng, Hong Kong’s Li Ka-shing, and Japan’s Tadashi Yanai.
Last year, two Filipinos made Forbes’ Philanthropy List: Hans T. Sy of SM Prime Holdings, Inc. and actress Angel Locsin. — Denise A. Valdez