Cusi joins Villar in Duterte Cabinet 'billionaires' club' in 2017

MANILA, Philippines (3rd UPDATE) – Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi joined Public Works and Highways Secretary Mark Villar in the "billionaires' club" of the Cabinet, based on their Statements of Assets, Liabilities, and Net Worth (SALNs) in 2017.

According to the copies of 2017 SALNs obtained by Rappler on Tuesday, May 29, Cusi declared a net worth of P1,355,632,637.00 in 2017. This is a huge jump from P162,701,642.00 in 2016, or an increase of P1.19 billion.

In a text message sent to Rappler on Wednesday night, May 30, Department of Energy (DOE) spokesperson Felix William Fuentebella explained that the increase was "due to the sale of Starlite Ferries Incorporated (SFI) to Chelsea Logistics Corporation in November 2017."

"SFI is a family-owned and controlled corporation," Fuentebella said.

The Commission on Appointments wrote after Cusi's confirmation as DOE secretary in October 2016 that he was also involved in holding company Double Concept Investments Ltd before he joined the Duterte Cabinet.

Villar, meanwhile, declared a net worth of P1,407,459,436.00. This is P1.69 million lower than his 2016 net worth of P1,409,149,497.00.

Villar is the son of former senator Manny Villar and incumbent Senator Cynthia Villar. The family owns real estate conglomerate Vista Land & Lifescapes Incorporated and shopping center developer Starmalls Incorporated.

Meanwhile, National Anti-Poverty Commission Chairperson Liza Maza is the least wealthy Cabinet official, with a net worth of P1,186,500.00, up from P730,716.00 in 2016.

Below is the net worth of Cabinet officials, based on the SALNs released by the Malacañang Records Office (MRO) as of Tuesday:

Dominguez was also a businessman when he was chosen as finance secretary. He once chaired Philippine Airlines and RCBC Capital Corporation, among other companies. His family owns several businesses in Davao City, including the Marco Polo Hotel. 

Cusi and Dominguez also headed various government agencies in previous administrations.

Meanwhile, Tugade was president and chief executive officer of Clark Development Corporation prior to his appointment as transportation secretary. 

Rounding up the top 5 richest Cabinet members is Andanar, a former news anchor and radio commentator. He declared real properties worth P74.7 million and personal assets worth P105.8 million. He also listed shares of stocks in 8 companies.

The SALNs of the following Cabinet and Cabinet-level officials for 2017 are not yet available from the MRO: 

– with a report from Pia Ranada/Rappler.com

Michael Bueza

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.

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