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Manulife progresses its Impact Agenda in the Philippines with a reforestation program, learning hubs, community food farms, & financial literacy classes


The global life insurer strengthens on-ground partnerships with Haribon Foundation, Gawad Kalinga, & Corazon Sanchez Atayde Memorial Foundation  


August 9, 2023


Manila, Philippines Leading global financial services provider Manulife continues to drive its Impact Agenda community investments in the country with key activities such as the launch of a reforestation program with Haribon Foundation; the establishment of new learning centers with Gawad Kalinga; and expanded financial literacy sessions with Corazon Sanchez Atayde Memorial Foundation (CSAMF).

“As Manulife aims to build a better world for our customers to realize our mission ‘Decisions made easier. Lives made better,’ strategic partnerships with respected non-government organizations are helping us deliver meaningful programs to help empower sustained health and well-being, drive inclusive economic opportunity, and accelerate a sustainable future for Filipinos. This has allowed us to progress and scale our Impact Agenda initiatives to support more beneficiaries and communities,” said Rahul Hora, President and Chief Executive Officer, Manulife Philippines.

15,000 seedlings donated to Haribon’s Forests for Life Movement

With the Philippines losing over 150,000 hectares of primary forest from 2002 to 2020, Manulife and leading nature conservation membership organization Haribon Foundation recently teamed up through the latter’s “Forests for Life Movement” to spur rainforest restoration and native tree forestry. As part of its commitment, Manulife has donated 15,000 seedlings of native trees such as tibig, kamagong, banaba, and white lauan that can adapt better to the local climate, have stingier rooting systems and longer lifespans, and will create a healthy environment for both wildlife and local communities.

“Manulife’s unwavering support empowers our mission to preserve our forests, champion nature conservation, and foster a sustainable future for the Philippines. Together, we recognize that it takes a collective effort to safeguard our environment. As conscientious guardians of nature, it our responsibility to continuously innovate sustainable solutions, ensuring the protection of our one and only planet,” said Anna Varona, Chief Operations Officer, Haribon Foundation.

New Peso Smart hubs, food sufficiency training for families, and mural paintings with Gawad Kalinga

In partnership with Gawad Kalinga, Manulife recently established three Peso Smart Learning Centers, in Mandaluyong, Taguig, and Butuan. Named after its award-winning financial literacy program Peso Smart, the hubs provide free computers and internet access to students in the community and cater to their remote schooling needs, as well as after-school activities. These are on top of Manulife’s training support to 300 families on organic agriculture as part of Gawad Kalinga’s Community Food Farms (CFF) program.

Peso Smart Hubs, which serve as avenues for Manulife to champion for community building and financial literacy, also feature mural paintings designed and painted by renowned Filipino landscape architect, photographer, and muralist AG Saño, Gawad Kalinga officers, and Manulife employees.

“Manulife and Gawad Kalinga work closely on this partnership, supporting Filipino communities, empowering the youth to become future leaders, and building a culture of caring and sharing – one where everyone takes collective ownership of selfless service and nation-building,” said Daniel Bercasio, Executive Director, Gawad Kalinga.

Peso Smart x RecoveREADS reached more students nationwide with CSAMF

Manulife has also expanded its Peso Smart x RecoveREADS financial education partnership with CSAMF by rolling out the program to seven public elementary schools this school year: Buting Elementary School, Ilugin Elementary School, and San Miguel Elementary School in Pasig; Pembo Elementary School in Makati; Guisad Valley National High School in Baguio; Gubat Elementary School in Albay, and Dao Elementary School in Tagbilaran. This latest expansion delivered Peso Smart x RecoveREADS to 350 students in these cities -- plus special sessions for parents and teachers -- by providing learning kits with activity journals based on Manulife’s Peso Smart modules. Since 2020, the program has taught the basics of saving, budgeting, and investing to students, teachers, and principals in public elementary schools in Metro Manila and various provinces in the country.

“Since partnering with Manulife, the Peso Smart x RecoveREADS program has been integral in helping scale our literacy initiatives that empower the lives of not only the student learners but also their parents and teacher volunteers. We are happy to continue supporting Manulife as we aim to positively impact more communities across the country,” shared Margarita Atayde, CSAMF Executive Director.

Manulife’s Peso Smart program recently won an Award of Merit for Corporate Social Responsibility at the 19th Philippine Quill Awards, and was a finalist in the Excellence in Corporate Social Responsibility category at the 2022 Marketing Excellence Awards. Since its inception, Peso Smart has produced more than 2,000 graduates.

Globally, as part of its sustainability initiatives, Manulife aims to support the transition to a net zero economy, reduce carbon emissions and provide nature-based solutions to help preserve the planet. Among the company’s commitments is achieving net zero financed emissions by 2050 by establishing near-term emission reductions, and scaling carbon-focused forestry and CO2 sequestration investments through nature-based climate solutions over a period of five years. 


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About Manulife Philippines

The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company opened its doors for business in the Philippines in 1907. Since then, Manulife’s Philippine Branch and later The Manufacturers Life Insurance Co. (Phils.), Inc. (Manulife Philippines) has grown to become one of the country’s leading life insurance companies. Manulife Philippines is a wholly owned domestic subsidiary of Manulife Financial Corporation, among the world’s largest life insurance companies by market capitalization. Learn more about Manulife Philippines by visiting their website and following them on Facebook (, Twitter (@ManulifePH), and Instagram (@manulifeph).


About Manulife

Manulife Financial Corporation is a leading international financial services provider, helping people make their decisions easier and lives better. With our global headquarters in Toronto, Canada, we provide financial advice and insurance, operating as Manulife across Canada, Asia, and Europe, and primarily as John Hancock in the United States. Through Manulife Investment Management, the global brand for our Global Wealth and Asset Management segment, we serve individuals, institutions, and retirement plan members worldwide. At the end of 2022, we had more than 40,000 employees, over 116,000 agents, and thousands of distribution partners, serving over 34 million customers. We trade as 'MFC' on the Toronto, New York, and the Philippine stock exchanges and under '945' in Hong Kong.

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