Indonesian businessman donates P41.6 million to PH – Palace
MANILA, Philippines — Malacañang on Thursday said Indonesian businessman Dato’ Sri Tahir has committed to assisting the Marcos administration in improving the lives of the Filipino people through social work and the provision of low-cost housing.
According to the Presidential Communications Office (PCO), Tahir met President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. in Malacañang and handed over P41.6 million (SGD 1 million) to the chief executive.
The Indonesian businessman told Marcos that he was eager to see the President and congratulate him after winning the elections last year.
PCO said Tahir earlier met the Marcos family in Hawaii when they were in exile.
“So maybe I use this opportunity. I like to see, explore. We can work together in social work,” Tahir told Marcos, as quoted by PCO.
“We have been working in the region. So, I hope that, with your permission, with your support, let me arrange to explore,” he said.
Marcos briefed Tahir on the current government social welfare programs for children and the elderly, as well as the ongoing initiatives for housing.
“We have a program that we are going to start for the street children. Unfortunately, we still have people who are homeless. So, we are trying to look after them,” Marcos told the businessman.
“So, this is how we view social work in the Philippines. As much as possible, we would like people not to become dependent on the government. And Filipinos, I think, have that attitude. So, that’s a good situation. So, that’s more or less how we are approaching a new way of doing social work,” he told Tahir.
In terms of housing, the President said his administration has been very aggressive in its housing programs, aiming to build one million units each year for the next six years.
This, he said, is to catch up with the country’s backlog of 6.5 million in terms of housing units for socialized and local housing.
“That is a very important part of our agenda. It causes so many social problems if we don’t have available housing. It’s very hard for people to be productive if they do not have their own home,” Marcos explained.
“Even if they are just paying for it, it’s different from being informal settlers, squatters. That’s why it’s a big priority. So, housing is moving well,” he added.
Tahir, for his part, said he is also active in providing healthcare support to countries in crisis.
He said he has donated about US$40 million to US government and assisted the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).
Tahir said he went to Syria and Libya and also extended support to Afghanistan and Turkey.
“Anything regarding humanitarian, I’m interested in that,” he added.
Tahir also said he wanted to build a hospital in the Philippines, saying his firm is running the largest private hospital in Indonesia.
The President said he would ask concerned government agencies to help him put together his proposals when he comes back to the country sometime in July or August.
Tahir founded the Mayapada Group, an Indonesian conglomerate with businesses in the financial, healthcare, hotel and real estate, specialty retail, media, and mining industries.
In 2019, Tahir was appointed to the Presidential Advisory Council by Indonesian President Joko Widodo.