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The Philippines may not be the paragon of prosperity in the Asia-Pacific region, but when it comes to charity, Filipinos are second to none, according to the latest MasterCard Survey on Ethical Spending.

In the survey, the Philippines topped the most charitable category at 68 per cent. It was followed by Hong Kong, 66 per cent; Malaysia, 63 per cent; and Indonesia, 62 per cent.

The survey, conducted from September 13 to November 11, 2010, involved 10,502 consumers from 24 countries in Asia and Africa. This result may come as a surprise: Respondents from most of the countries covered by the survey may be considered better off than those in the Philippines.

Consumers from these countries have the spending power to acquire all the things they need, and then some. Certainly, they have lots to spare if they choose to share.
And yet, they fail to figure prominently in the charitable works department. While Filipinos, with net income not even close to some of their neighbors, came out on top in this field.

Among respondents from Asia-Pacific, the most charitable consumers are 55 years old and above (57 per cent) and married (51 per cent). Women (50 per cent) tend to donate more than men (48 per cent). Also, 61 per cent of consumers from the Asia-Pacific bought items specifically because they were environment friendly. In fact, the respondents were willing to pay more for these kinds of products. Similarly, 56 per cent of those surveyed said they were willing to pay more for products where a percentage of sale would be donated for a good cause.