MANILA, Philippines – Public Works and Highways Secretary Mark Villar and Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi remained the only billionaires and the richest members of the Cabinet in 2018, based on their Statements of Assets, Liabilities, and Net Worth (SALNs).
Villar declared a net worth of P1,408,281,794.00 in 2018. This is slightly higher than his net worth in 2017, when he declared P1,407,459,436.00, for an increase of P822,358.00.
Cusi reported P1,385,545,339.00 in net worth in 2018, up by P29.9 million from his 2017 net worth of P1,355,632,637.00.
There were only 24 SALNs released by the Malacañang Records Office (MRO) to Rappler on Monday, June 10. The SALNs of some officials were "not among the records available on file nor in the possession of this office," said the MRO in a letter to Rappler dated May 30.
The following were the declared net worths of Cabinet and Cabinet-level secretaries, based on the SALNs made available to Rappler. Also included are the percentage increase or decrease from their 2017 SALNs:
Among these officials, 4 Cabinet secretaries have net worths below P10 million. The lowest net worth so far was that of Science and Technology Secretary Fortunato de la Peña, with P5,031,000.00.
De La Peña also had the biggest percentage decrease in net worth, with a 33% drop (amounting to P2.53 million) from his P7,561,000.00 net worth in 2017.
On the other hand, Education Secretary Leonor Briones posted the biggest percentage increase from 2017. She declared P6,668,136.00 in net worth in 2017, then it increased to P9,610,469.38 in 2018, going up by P2.9 million, or a 44% increase. Despite this, Briones is still among the secretaries with the lowest net worth.
As of this posting, Rappler has yet to have the 2017 SALNs – for comparison purposes – of 5 Cabinet officials who held other civilian and military posts before they became Cabinet members:
Rappler also requested the 2018 SALNs of the following, but they were not yet among the ones released by the MRO on Monday:
Rappler also requested the SALNs of the following former Cabinet officials who left their posts in 2018 for various reasons. They were required to file exit SALNs upon leaving office:
Michael Bueza is a researcher and data curator under Rappler's Research Team. He works on data about elections, governance, and the budget. He also follows the Philippine pro wrestling scene and the WWE. Michael is also part of the Laffler Talk podcast trio.