Social Investment Landscape


The Philippines’ social economy is transitioning to the growth stage, driven by collaborative philanthropy and creative approaches to social funding such as pooled CSR funds


Executive Summary

In recent years, the Philippines has been among the fastest growing economies in the world, with an average annual growth of 6.3% between 2010-2016, up from 4.5% between 2000-2009. Domestic demand and increased infrastructure spending are expected to enable the Philippines to remain a top performer in 2019, with a projected GDP growth of 6.7%. This growth momentum will likely propel the country from lower-middle-income status to upper-middle-income in the medium term.

Nonetheless, the Philippines’ impressive growth has not translated to improved economic mobility. The 40 richest families account for about 76% of the economy while the country’s poverty headcount ratio, defined as the percentage of the population living below the national poverty line, has only declined slightly from 27% in 2006 to 22% in 2016. Disparities between affluent and poor households remain stark in key health indicators including maternal and child mortality and nutrition levels among children.

The Philippines’ social economy is transitioning to the growth stage, driven by collaborative philanthropy and creative approaches to social funding such as pooled corporate social responsibility (CSR) funds. The country has the second largest impact investing market in Southeast Asia in terms of the amount of capital deployed between 2007-2017. Since 2013, the Philippines has committed to taking nationwide actions to promote environmental, social and governance (ESG) compliance among banks. Moreover, the launch of the country’s first green bond in 2017 might provide the impetus to jumpstart the nascent sustainable finance space.

Philippines's Fact File

Philippines's 2018 Fact File

105 million


USD 875 billion


World Rank 28


GDP Growth

USD 8,343

Per capita GDP (PPP)

World Rank 119

54 47 in 2016

World Giving Index Rank

20%giving money 36%volunteering time 51%helping a stranger


Number of Millionaires




Global Competitiveness Index

Global Competitiveness Rank (2016-2017) – 57/138
Source: ADB, Charities Aid Foundation, Credit Suisse, World Economic Forum, World Bank. Figures are accurate as of March 2019


SDG Dashboard

Low economic mobility, poverty and income inequality, poor health care and nutrition, and environmental degradation are some of the key challenges the Philippines is facing in its development trajectory.
In February 2017, the National Economic and Development Authority Board approved the Philippine Development Plan 2017-2022, the first medium-term plan anchored to the national long-term vision for 2040 or Ambisyon Natin 2040. The Plan aligns the country’s development priorities broadly to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) organised within 5 pillars: (i) enhancing the social fabric, (ii) inequality-reducing transformation, (iii) increasing growth potential, (iv) enabling and supportive economic development and (v) foundations for sustainable development. By 2022, the plan aims to achieve:
  • An upper-middle-income status,
  • Rural poverty rate of 20%,
  • High level of human development,
  • Unemployment rate of 3% to 5%,
  • Greater trust in the government and the society,
  • Greater resilience and drive for innovation.

Source: (2018)

Note: The “traffic light” colour scheme (green,yellow, orange, red) illustrates how far a market is from achieving a particular goal

Government Initiatives

Government Initiatives to Address Development Gaps


SDG Goals


  • 26% of the total workforce were employed in agriculture but the sector contributed less than 10% of GDP in 2017.
  • The Philippines’ crop production index steadily declined from 119 in 2012 to 110 in 2017, impacting the country’s food security.

Government Initiatives

  • The Philippine Development Plan seeks to substantially increase the gross value add of agriculture, fisheries and forestry from the baseline value of 1% to 2.5%-3.5% between 2017-2022. Strategies supporting this target include improving agricultural productivity and the capacity of agricultural enterprises.

Climate action

SDG Goals


  • The 2018 World Risk Index ranked the Philippines the third most vulnerable country in the world with a high risk of tropical cyclones.
  • Climate change will cause crop yields to decrease by 25% according to the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO).

Government Initiatives

  • The National Climate Change Action Plan 2011-2028 outlines 7 key priorities: food security, water sufficiency, environmental and ecological stability, human security, climate-friendly industries and services, sustainable energy and knowledge and capacity development. The Philippines has committed to reducing carbon emissions by 70% by 2030.

Education and employability

SDG Goals


Presence, size, and maturity of SEs

  • The Philippines slipped from 49th place in 2016 to 50th in 2017 in the World Economic Forum’s Human Capital ranking due to challenges in skills application and accumulation through work.

Government Initiatives

  • The Philippine government focuses on improving access and quality of the “K to 12” programme, which covers kindergarten and 12 years of basic education. It is also working to ensure that higher and technical education keeps up with the changing employment landscape.


Deal Share in Singapore

Fields Data

By Fields Data

At Fields Data, we envision a coordinated, transparent and efficient development & humanitarian community striving collectively for social impact. We work to empower organisations by providing tailored data-driven solutions.

Financial Inclusion, Governance, Health

Improving the living conditions in slums

By Water and Life Philippines

W&L aims to improve the living conditions of people living in precarious urban neighbourhoods, by increasing access to water in homes, community building and training in environmental awareness.

Education, Livelihood and Poverty Alleviation, Water and Sanitation and Hygiene

The project recovers and converts waste plastic from polluted rivers and land into raw material for plastic production, to replace virgin fossil feedstock, lower GHG emissions and improve livelihoods.

Climate Action and Environment, Conservation, Energy, Gender, Livelihood and Poverty Alleviation

SOAPer School Program

By Soap Cycling Limited

Through fundraising, we aim to promote hygiene and provide 190 schools in Asia with the hygiene kits with soap to fight COVID-19. Roughly USD390 is needed to support one school with enough soap for 1 year.

Education, Health, Water and Sanitation and Hygiene


By KeepWell Telehealth, Inc.

The project aims to deliver safety and convenience to both Doctors and patients alike. KeepWell provides the venue for medical interaction in the comfort and safety of our client’s home.


Supplying high-quality, cost-effective data labelling services to companies globally, encouraging competition leading to better quality products. Providing data labelling jobs and training for women, mainly from the vulnerable sector.

Employability, Gender, Livelihood and Poverty Alleviation

The InvestEd Risk Engine (IRE) is a proprietary risk management system that predicts and mitigates the risk of lending to students from poor to low-income households.

Education, Employability, Financial Inclusion, Livelihood and Poverty Alleviation

Ecozen is a technology company enabling the Farm-To-Fork value chain for perishables with 3 core offerings – Ecotron, Ecofrost & Eco-Connect, which work across the production, management, and marketing of perishable Agri commodities respectively. We are guided by a strong leadership team of professionals with expertise in Agri value-chain, sales, core engineering & IoT. We won multiple awards and accolades since its inception, such as the CII Innovation in Cold Chain Award 2017, FEDEX Small Business Grant 2018, Ashden Award 2018, and OGCCC Award 2019. Ecozen has a dedicated R&D team that has filed 10 patents to date and working on filing more in the future.

Agriculture, Climate Action and Environment, Energy

Case Studies

Case Studies in Philippines

Long-term partnership catalyses innovative financing solution for smallholder farmers

RS Group: Investing in the future we want to create through Total Portfolio Management

Lok Capital’s active portfolio management approach

Green Monday movement – one mission, many ventures

SOW Asia Foundation

The Happiness Foundation



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Social Investment Landscape in Asia