The economic slowdown didn’t stop Cebu’s top elected officials from improving their financial assets.
They increased or maintained their wealth during their last eight years in public service based on a review of their Statements of Assets, Liabilities and Net Worth (SALN) filed with the Office of the Ombudsman in the Visayas.
Cebu Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia maintained her top spot in the list of millionaires in power with a net worth of P104.1 million as of December 31, 2011.
Her wealth increased by P11.7 million since she was elected the first woman governor of Cebu in 2004.
She is followed Cebu City Councilor Rodrigo Abellanosa whose net worth amounted to P75.6 million.
Cebu Vice Gov. Agnes Magpale, a scion of the Durano clan, came in third with a net worth of P54.9 million.
Net worth or actual wealth is computed based on the value of one’s total assets minus total liabilities.
Cebu City Vice Mayor Joy Augustus Young, who was elected in 2010, maintained his net worth of P9.3 million in the past two years.
Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama wasn’t a millionaire when he was elected vice mayor eight years ago.
Rama’s increased his wealth from P941,000 in 2004 to close to P4 million last year over a period of seven years.
Rama almost doubled his net worth last year from P1.8 million in 2010 to P3,955,217.92 in 2011.
In an interview, the mayor said there was nothing irregular in this. He explained that the sharp increase was due to the value of his recent inheritance of land as his share in the two-hectare Rama compound in Basak, San Nicolas in Cebu City.
The compound used to be in the name of his grandfather Vicente Rama Sr. and and was recently subdivided among clan members, he told Cebu Daily News.
Rama said his property value will increase even more in the next few months when his share of inherited land in Danao City is transferred in his name.
The mayor does not own a car based on his SALN but he has a Honda motorcycle worth P500,000.
His listed assets include a residential lot in barangay Basak San Nicolas, Cebu City worth P2.3 million; cash on bank of P1.2 million; jewelry (P85,000); investment (P300,000); furniture (P250,000); stocks (P641,300).
His liability solely comes from personal loans worth P1.1 million.
Rama, who is a lawyer by profession, has been “on leave” in the Rama and Associates Law Office since July 1, 2010, according to his SALN.
The mayor has an annual income of P584,774.
He named four relatives in government service: his nephew, Cebu City Councilor Eduardo Rama Jr.; and his cousins barangay captain George Rama of Basak San Nicolas, barangay captain Domingo Lopez of Tinago, and barangay councilor Ramon Rama of Sambag I.
Public officials and employees are required to submit their SALN every year under Republic Act 3019 or the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act and Republic Act 6713 or the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees.
They have to declare under oath their assets and liabilities, net worth and financial and business interests including those of their spouses and of unmarried children under 18 years of age living in their households.
The SALN is part of the governent policy to uphold transparency and accountability of public officials.
It also allows the anti-graft office to monitor the financial holdings of public officials in case of circumstances of ill-gotten wealth.
Deputy Ombudsman Virginia Palanca-Santiago said government officials and employees who fail to submit their annual SALN or stated false items in the document are liable for violation of the law.
Based on her 2011 SALN, Governor Garcia declared a net worth of P104.1 million, an increase of P2 million from P102.1 million in 2010.
Her liabilities amounted to P59.7 million, listed as bank loans (P33,223,466), accounts payable (P20,184,770), and loans from the Government Service and Insurance System (GSIS) and Pag-Ibig (P6,335,913).
Garcia’s assets reached P163.9 million, which include P371,124 in bank accounts and cash on hand; P5.9 million in furniture and antiques; and P8.6 million in pieces of jewelry.
Before she was elected governor in 2004, Garcia purchased two residential lots, one in Cebu City and another in Ormoc City; and a Chevrolet vehicle amounting to P88.9 million.
Garcia listed herself as a shareholder of the GGC (Gwen Garcia Codilla) Group Inc. and the GGC Services, Inc. in Ormoc City, Leyte; and is the proprietor of GGC Enterprises in Ormoc City, Leyte.
She has a 50 percent share in total assets of GGC Enterprises valued at P16.6 million and a 67 percent share in total assets of the GGC Group at P43.6 million.
Garcia said she has 15 relatives in government service including her father Deputy House Speaker Pablo Garcia of Cebu’s second district; brothers Rep. Pablo John Garcia of Cebu’s 3rd district, Dumanjug Mayor Nelson Garcia, and Barili Vice Mayor Marlon Garcia.
The governor’s annual gross income was recorded at P970,685.
Vice Governor Magpale increased her wealth slightly from P53.7 million in 2010 to P54.9 million in 2011.
When she was a Provincial Board member, Magpale usually topped the list as the wealthiest legislator in the Capitol.
Magpale said she had no liabilities.
Her real properties include a beach resort in Danao City, a beach lot in Tuburan town, Cebu, two condominium units in Las Piñas and Ayala, as well as agricultural, residential, and commercial lots amounting to P23.9 million.
Magpale’s personal properties include cash in hand at P18 million; furnitures, antiques, paintiings, jewelries, books and appliances (P2 million); school investment (P6 million); a share in the Cebu Country Club (P3 million); RAV 4 vehicle (P1.1 million); and Montero (P1 million).
She is connected with the JD Alendras Agro-Industrial Development Corp in Danao City and she is the president of Northeastern Cebu Colleges in Danao City.
Magpale has four relatives in government service which include her cousin Danao City Vice Mayor Ramonito Durano III, her brother, Energy Secretary Jose Rene Almendras, her daughter, Energy Undersecretary Josefina Patricia Asirit, and her son, Danao City Councilor Miguel Antonio Magpale.
She has an annual income of P945,408.92
The SALN of Cebu City Vice Mayor Young shows he has real properties worth P6.5 million.
Young, who was elected vice mayor in 2010, registered four vehicles valued at P3 million: a Toyota Hilux, Isuzu Elf, Toyota Land Cruiser, and a Starex Van.
CEBU CITY COUNCILORS
In the Cebu City Council, the richest is school owner Rodrigo Abellanosa with a net worth of P75.6 million.
Abellanosa is president of the Asian College of Technology and the chief executive officer/owner of CyberTower Development Corp., Quickshoppe Supermart Inc., and the American International Culinary and Hospitality Institute.
He was followed by Councilors Raul Alcoseba with a net worth of P37.8 million; Edgardo Labella (P12.8 million); Sisinio Andales (P8.26 million); Nida Cabrera (P5.9 million); Lea Japson (P5.3 million); Margot Osmeña (P5.1 million); Alvin Arcilla (3.9 million); Noel Wenceslao (P2.1 million); Augustus Pe (P1.7 million); Jose Daluz III (P1.7 million); Ronald Cuenco (P1.3 million); and Alvin Dizon (P635,000).
In Cebu province, the 2011 SALN of 10 board members were released by the anti-graft office.
Board Member Sun Shimura is the richest board member with a net worth of P23.4 million; followed by Board Member Thadeo Ouano with P13.6 million.
The other board members whose SALNs were released are as follows: Peter John Calderon (P12.9 million); Alex Binghay (P7.6 million); Julian Daan (P7.6 million); Caesar Ian Zambo (P1.9 million); Jude Thaddeus Sybico (P1.9 million); Sergio Restauro (P1.8 million); and Joven Mondigo Jr. (P929,000).
Sangguniang Kabataan Cebu Federation president Aladin Caminero has registered a net worth of P144,000.
All SALN filed with the Ombudsman are available to the public for examination and inspection. Those who wanted to request for copies of the SALN can fill in a request form before the anti-graft office. /Ador Vincent Mayol, Reporter