MANILA — Officials of Ayala group and International Finance Corporation (IFC) expressed their commitment to help boost the country’s healthcare sector through a 10-year social bond amounting to $100 million, earmarked for the sustainable and resilient growth as well as capacity building of AC Health.
A closing ceremony for the social bond was held on Monday at Ayala Corporation’s headquarters in Makati. In his remarks, Ayala Corporation President & CEO Fernando Zobel de Ayala said the goals of the investment are aligned with the Ayala group’s sustainability agenda, particularly its contribution to the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goal 3—Good Health and Well-Being.
“This private placement by the IFC is a crucial component of Ayala’s largest sustainability agenda. This will add value to Ayala and AC Health’s mission to expand access to healthcare through digital technology as well as physical assets, including primary and multispecialty clinics, and a dedicated cancer hospital that is currently under construction,” Zobel said.
Jean-Marc Arbogast, IFC country manager for the Philippines, meanwhile said the private placement fits IFC’s goals in the country, which includes strengthening human capital through healthcare.
“Ayala and IFC have a long history of partnership. We go back more than two decades, from what we’ve done for the water sector, the energy sector through ACEN’s green bond, and now healthcare,” Arbogast said.
“When IFC invests in companies, it comes with a set of standards that we want our clients to follow, and Ayala has shown leadership in that spectrum. We value your leadership in the country in terms of the sustainability agenda. We’re very happy at IFC to support you in that agenda,” he added.
The Social Bond Program by IFC aligns with the Social Bond Principles and Social Loans Principles published by the International Capital Market Association. Sustainalytics was engaged to provide a second-party opinion on the framework.
This $100 million social bond, which is first of its kind earmarked for healthcare-related purposes in the Philippines, will be unconditionally and irrevocably guaranteed by AC.
AC Health President & CEO Paolo Borromeo, meanwhile, emphasized that the social bond will stimulate Ayala’s longstanding commitment towards improving lives and promoting sustainable development and growth for the country, which includes accessible, quality, and affordable healthcare.
“The pandemic exposed the massive underinvestment in healthcare in the country. But AC Health and the Ayala group have been committed to work hand in hand with the government and other private sector players to help address these gaps,” Borromeo said.
“The issuance of this social bond comes at an opportune time as it will help support AC Health’s endeavors in scaling up our services as we enter into the next phase of the pandemic,” he added.
In 2018, Ayala group deepened its commitment to the social, economic, and environmental well-being of the Filipino by being more deliberate and purposive in identifying areas where it can contribute substantially and help solve global issues. Ayala identified 11 Sustainable Development Goals that are at the heart of its businesses—including good health and well-being for AC Health—with the goal of bridging the Filipino to the year 2030.