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Ramon Ang, 6th Richest Filipino, Opens Food Bank in His Birthplace of Tondo

San Miguel Corporation president Ramon Ang remembers his roots and gives back to his hometown.
IMAGE WIKIMEDIA COMMONS
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Batang Tondo ako eh... kumita na tayo ng konti so ibinabalik ko naman dito sa lugar kung saan ako nanggaling, which is Manila and Tondo,” said Ang in a report by ABS-CBN. (“I grew up in Tondo… We earned a little, so it’s about right to give back to the place where I came from, which is Manila and Tondo”).

How “little” did Ang earn exactly? Currently, he is the sixth richest person in the Philippines, with a net worth of $2.9 billion. He is the president of San Miguel Corporation (SMC), a global brand that made its name in the food and beverage industry. The conglomerate also has a strong presence in the energy sector, the fuel and oil industry through Petron, and has also ventured into infrastructure development with its plan to build a P735.6-billion international airport in Bulacan. Yesterday, SMC bared plans to construct a 10-lane elevated expressway on EDSA

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Tondo is often depicted in Filipino films as an impoverished neighborhood in Manila, with obligatory casting of thugs and gangsters, to boot. It is a rough place to grow up in, the kind that builds street cred as a fighter and a survivor and of being one with the people. Maybe it’s because of this reason that many well-meaning public figures want to emphasize their connection to the neighborhood. Among them are Manila Mayor Isko Moreno and 2019 senatorial candidate Chel Diokno.

Starting this year and for the next 10 years, San Miguel Foundation will provide daily meals to one million children in Tondo. “San Miguel is into food business so why don't we provide our children in Tondo a better place for them to try our products?" said Ang. The project, called Better World Community, is not just about giving dole outs. It will also educate the beneficiaries by inspiring them to dream big like Ang.

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“It will be an educational place for them to learn while eating," he said. "We can entice them to dream of becoming somebody," said Ang.

Ang started out as a mechanic who fixed and sold old Japanese cars and used truck engines. Years later, he met Eduardo Cojuangco, Jr., who is now also a billionaire (11th richest in the Philippines with a net worth of $1.2 billion), and together, they sold aluminum wheels. In 1999, he was elected SMC’s vice chairman, then in 2002, he became its president and chief operating officer. In 2012, Ang gained control of SMC when he acquired the shares of Cojuangco, Jr.

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Mario Alvaro Limos
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