MANILA, Philippines – Most members of the Cabinet of outgoing President Benigno Aquino III grew richer in 2015.
A summary of their 2015 Statements of Assets, Liabilities, and Net Worth provided by the Malacañang Records Office showed that 20 of 27 secretaries increased their net worth from 2014.
Department of Public Works and Highways Secretary Rogelio Singson’s net worth also grew by at least P6 million – from P82.55 million in 2014 to P88.52 million in 2015.
Meanwhile, Palace Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr had the same net worth from 2013 to present, P16.39 million. Labor Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz had a dip in her net worth, from P4.87 million in 2014 to P2.27 million in 2015.
The list given by the MRO, however, is still incomplete. It excluded the SALN summaries of Foreign Affairs Secretary Jose Rene Almendras, Transportation Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya, Justice Secretary Emmanuel Caparas, Trade Secretary Adrian Cristobal, and Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Emmanuel Esguerra.
The Aquino Cabinet has a new richest member: Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima, who, in 2014, ranked second to Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario.
Purisima registered a net worth of P301,328,806, up from his 2014 net worth of P298.94 million.
Second to Purisima is Tourism Secretary Ramon Jimenez, with a net worth of P289.06 million. This slightly went up from P298.94 million in 2014.
Third is Health Secretary Janette Garin, with a net worth of P141.71 million. The former lawmaker was appointed to the health department in March 2015.
Education Secretary Armin Luistro remains to be the poorest Cabinet member, with a net worth of P586,107.11, a slight increase from his P471,064.46 in 2014.
Here is the ranking based on their declared net worth (excluding the 5 secretaries whose SALNs are not yet available.)
1. Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima – P301,328,806 (from P298.94 million in 2014)
2. Tourism Secretary Ramon Jimenez – P289,066,800 (from P283.43 million in 2014)
3. Health Secretary Janette Garin – P141,571,768.95
4. Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala – P92,985,163. 41 (from P91.17 million in 2014)
5. Public Works Secretary Rogelio Singson – P88,521,628.38 (from P82.55 million in 2014)
6. Science and Technology Secretary Mario Montejo – P63,138,153.24 (from P61.11 million in 2014)
7. Commission on Filipino Overseas head Imelda Nicholas – P44, 675, 258.87
8. Commission on Higher Education chair Patricia Licuanan – P40,443,888.31 (from P39.4 million in 2014)
9. Budget Secretary Florencio Abad – P34, 808, 911.39 (from P33.82 million in 2014)
10. Interior and Local Government Secretary Mel Senen Sarmiento – P33,692,420.60
11. Environment Secretary Ramon Jesus Paje – P33.28 million (from P31.98 million in 2014)
12. National Anti-Poverty Commission head Jose Eliseo Rocamora – P27,442,756.69 (from P15.65 million in 2014)
13. Presidential Management Staf Secretary Julia Abad – P26,310,000 (from P23.94 million in 2014)
14. Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin – P25,143,378.00 (from P24.73 million in 2014)
15. Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa Jr – P18,532,886.23 (from P18.12 million in 2014)
16. National Security Adviser Cesar Garcia Jr – P17,990,000 (from P17.3 million in 2014)
17. Communications secretary Herminio Coloma Jr – P16,390,000 (same as 2013 and 2014)
18. Agrarian Reform Secretary Virgilio delos Reyes – P13,441,440.79 (from P13.53 million in 2014)
19. Presidential Spokesman Edwin Lacierda – P12,997,905.42 (from P12.93 million in 2014)
20. National Commission on Muslim Filipinos Yasmin Lao – P12,812,224 (from P12.02 million in 2014)
21. Energy Secretary Zenaida Monsada – P10,772,247.67
22. Metro Manila Development Authority OIC Emerson Carlos – P10,075,000
23. Political Adviser Ronaldo Llamas – P7,952,666.95 (from P6.4 million in 2014)
24. Peace Adviser Teresita Deles – P6,156,574.22 (from P4.1 million in 2014)
25. Social Welfare Secretary Corazon Soliman – P4,709,000 (from P4.55 million in 2014)
26. Labor Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz – P2,269,992.26 (from P4.87 million in 2014)
27. Education Secretary Armin Luistro – P586,107.11 (from P471,064.46 in 2014)
Editor's note: In an earlier version of this story, NAPC head Joel Rocamora was listed as among the biggest gainers among the cabinet secretaries in terms of wealth in 2015 versus 2014. This was based on a summary of the SALNs of cabinet secretaries released by Malacañang to reporters.
Rocamora clarified, however, that Malacañang erred in citing that he had P15.65 million net worth in 2014. Based on a copy of his SALN shown to Rappler, the former NAPC chief had P27,758,665.15 in 2014 – more than P300,000 higher than his latest wealth recorded in 2015.
Camille Elemia is Rappler's lead reporter for media, disinformation, and democracy. She won an ILO award in 2017. She received the prestigious Fulbright-Hubert Humphrey fellowship in 2019, allowing her to further study media and politics in the US. Email firstname.lastname@example.org