2 billionaires in House in 2018; Port tycoon Romero still richest
MANILA, Philippines — Port tycoon and 1-Pacman (Patriotic Coalition of Marginalized Nationals) Rep. Michael Romero is still the richest lawmaker in the House with a P7.858 billion declared net worth based on the summary of Statements of Assets, Liabilities, and Net Worth (SALNs) of 291 lawmakers as of December 2018.
In 2017, Romero, son of construction magnate Reghis Romero II, declared a P7.291 billion net worth. The reelected party-list representative serves as chair of the Board of Globalport 900, Inc. that develops and operates port facilities in the country.
Outgoing Negros Occidental 3rd District Rep. Alfredo Benitez, who is also a businessman, came in second with a P1.017 billion net worth, according to the document posted on the House’s website.
Meanwhile, graft-convicted Ilocos Norte 2nd District Rep. Imelda Marcos is the third-richest House member with a declared net worth of P923.8 million.
She was followed by Quezon City 4th District Rep. Feliciano Belmonte Jr. with P864.8 million declared wealth, Manila Teachers Rep. Virgilio Lacson with P793.9 million, and Marikina 1st District Rep. Bayani Fernando with P748 million.
Meanwhile, progressive Kabataan Rep. Sarah Elago is still the poorest lawmaker with a net worth of just P85,400.
Rounding the rest of the top 10 richest congressmen as of December 2018 are:
Davao del Norte 2nd District Rep. Antonio Floirendo Jr. (P714.6 million), Batangas 6th District Rep. Vilma Santos-Recto (P555.3 million), Leyte 1st District Rep. Yedda Romualdez (P487.6 million), and House Speaker and Pampanga 2nd District Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo (P479.5 million)
Arroyo’s net worth had a 14.7 million increase from her 2017 net worth of P464.8 million. She entered the top 10 following the exit of Diwa Rep. Emmeline Aglipay Villar, the second-richest solon in 2017, who was appointed as a Department of Justice undersecretary. Emmeline is the wife of Public Works Secretary Mark Villar.
Majority Leader and Capiz 2nd District Rep. Fredenil Castro declared a net worth of P39.9 million, while Minority Leader and Quezon 3rd District Rep. Danilo Suarez had P214.8 million.
Meanwhile, the lawmakers in the bottom 10 with the lowest net worth include six of the members of the opposition and independent Makabayan bloc:
- Gabriela Rep. Emmi de Jesus – P1,895,000
- Bayan Muna Rep. Carlos Zarate – P1,710,048
- Coop-Natcco Rep. Sabiniano Canama – P1,515,634
- Anakpawis Rep. Ariel Casilao – P913,351
- ACT Teachers Rep. France Castro – P912,809
- Diwa Rep. Pepito Pico – P680,000
- Gabriela Rep. Arlene Brosas – P518,660
- Camarines Sur 3rd District Rep. Gabriel Bordado Jr. – P515,659
- Kabayan Rep. Paul Hernandez – P340,000
- Kabataan Rep. Sarah Elago – P85,400 (Editor: Mike U. Frialde)
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