It’s no surprise that tycoon Ramon “RSA” S. Ang, San Miguel Corp. president and CEO is among Forbes Asia’s 2023 list of “Heroes of Philanthropy.”
The only Filipino to make it to this year’s list, Ang joins a roster of 15 leading philanthropists from the Asia-Pacific region who have shown commitment and donated generously to causes close to their hearts.
As I said, this is not surprising. SMC, after all, has been going beyond business and profits. It has been doing its part in nation building.
Today, SMC, the country’s diversified conglomerate, marks a decade of building homes.
This is its story:
In the aftermath of typhoons Sendong and Yolanda, SMC has been at the forefront of building resilient housing communities nationwide.
Partnering with several organizations including Gawad Kalinga and Habitat for Humanity, SMC has invested P3.05 billion in the last decade to build or help provide new homes for families impacted by natural disasters, and various development projects.
“Housing is a basic need. To enable Filipinos to participate in nation-building, we must first support the family unit. Providing safe homes for those affected by calamities or without a home has been our first step to transforming their lives,” Ang said.
SMC has built homes and communities in various areas nationwide, including Iligan City, Cagayan de Oro, Bukidnon, Negros Oriental, Davao, Surigao, and Bohol, among others.
By the time the pandemic happened in 2020, SMC’s program had evolved from simply building houses to advancing holistic community development.
Its latest housing community in Sariaya, Quezon serves as a model. It features disaster-resilient and eco-friendly homes and amenities that include a multi-purpose center, covered court, livelihood center, e-library, as well as a fishermen’s wharf and a public market run by the residents themselves.
Training programs on entrepreneurship, personal finance, food processing, farming, and other income-generating activities have also been provided to residents.
In partnership with the Technical Skills Development Authority (TESDA), SMC has extended this skills and livelihood training program nationwide, while assisting informal settlers in various locations secure titled properties and build permanent homes in various locations.
“Wherever San Miguel operates, progress follows. Our aim is to ensure that those we help are equipped for long-term success,” Ang said.
“But just as important as housing and jobs is having a sense of community. Being part of a supportive network is essential for their long-term success,” he also said.
This is what brought the company to its current flagship social development program, the SMC Better World Community Centers.
The project utilizes SMC’s unused properties as well as other resources, to scale up the capabilities of partner organizations, to address pressing issues at the community level.
SMC currently has four Better World Community Centers: Better World Tondo, a food bank, feeding, learning, and health center; Better World Diliman, a ready market for excess farm produce to support local farmers; Better World Cubao, a center for women’s health and issues that also has a clinic and livelihood training facilities, and Better World Smokey Mountain, a learning center for adults and children living in the former Smokey Mountain landfill.
Thank you, SMC and RSA for a job well done!