Duterte Cabinet

Cusi, Villar remain Cabinet members with highest net worth in 2020

Michael Bueza

This is AI generated summarization, which may have errors. For context, always refer to the full article.

Cusi, Villar remain Cabinet members with highest net worth in 2020

'RICHEST' IN CABINET. Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi and Public Works Secretary Mark Villar.

Cusi photo by Jasmin Dulay/Rappler; Villar photo from his Facebook page

Budget Secretary Wendel Avisado has the lowest net worth among the heads of executive departments, based on the 2020 SALNs obtained by Rappler so far

Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi and Public Works Secretary Mark Villar were still the Cabinet members with the highest net worth in 2020, according to their Statement of Assets, Liabilities, and Net Worth (SALN) obtained by Rappler.

Cusi reported a net worth of P1,462,685,899 in his SALN, up by 2.34% compared to 2019.

Meanwhile, Villar’s net worth of P1,402,417,452 in 2020 is 0.36% lower versus 2019.

Cusi and Villar are the only billionaires in the Duterte Cabinet, so far. Both were already wealthy prior to joining the Cabinet, with Cusi coming from the shipping and logistics industry, and Villar from the real estate industry.

In 2019, Cusi overtook Villar as the “richest” Cabinet member.

The 2020 SALNs of 32 Cabinet and Cabinet-level officials were available from the Malacañang Records Office, as of Wednesday, July 28.

Among the heads of the executive departments, Budget Secretary Wendel Avisado had the lowest net worth in 2020, at P13,778,000. This is up by around 10% from his net worth in 2019.

The second lowest was that of Education Secretary Leonor Briones, who reported a net worth of P13,973,865.24, an increase of P3.11 million or 28.64% from her 2019 net worth.

However, among all the 32 officials, including those with Cabinet rank, Komisyon sa Wikang Filipino Chairperson Arthur Casanova had the lowest net worth, with P1.75 million. Following him is Presidential Adviser for Overseas Filipino Workers Abdullah Mama-o, with P2.6 million.

Listed in the table below are the declared net worths of Cabinet and Cabinet-level secretaries, based on the copies of SALNs released to Rappler. Their positions are as of December 2020. The rate of increase or decrease from their 2019 net worth is also indicated.

Office/Position Secretary/Head of Office Net worth, 2020
Versus 2019
DOEAlfonso Cusi1,462,685,899.00
DPWHMark Villar1,402,417,452.00
DOFCarlos Dominguez III369,669,673.00
DOTrArthur Tugade315,185,335.00
Presidential Assistant for the VisayasMichael Lloyd Dino162,647,994.98
DOHFrancisco Duque III140,400,808.00
CFOFrancisco Acosta127,585,148.00
Presidential SpokespersonHarry Roque119,983,140.00
DFATeodoro Locsin Jr.106,621,056.00
TESDAIsidro Lapeña81,990,055.00
Chief Presidential Legal CounselSalvador Panelo79,723,201.43
DAWilliam Dar74,960,000.00
Executive SecretarySalvador Medialdea61,614,887.85
Special Assistant to the PresidentMelchor Quitain59,660,640.00
Governance Comm. for GOCCsSamuel Dagpin Jr.46,024,900.75
DOTBernadette Puyat43,733,322.00
NEDAKarl Kendrick Chua29,628,195.00
OPAPPCarlito Galvez Jr.28,270,849.71
National Security AdviserHermogenes Esperon Jr.27,995,000.00
CHEDProspero de Vera27,042,367.00
Climate Change CommissionEmmanuel de Guzman26,463,000.00
Presidential Adviser for N. LuzonRaul Lambino20,911,087.37
DNDDelfin Lorenzana20,513,000.00
DDBCatalino Cuy20,000,000.00
DOLESilvestre Bello III17,150,000.00
Cabinet SecretaryKarlo Nograles15,356,809.56
DSWDRolando Bautista15,283,099.00
DepEdLeonor Briones13,973,865.24
DBMWendel Avisado13,778,000.00
PLLOAdelino Sitoy9,538,757.33
Presidential Adviser for OFWsAbdullah Mama-o2,602,731.18
KWFArthur Casanova1,750,000.00

* Roque, Chua, and Casanova were appointed to their respective posts only in 2020, thus they do not have 2019 SALNs to compare with.
** Rappler has yet to obtain the 2019 SALNs of Dagpin and Lambino, for comparison purposes.

At least seven Cabinet officials had a net worth between P100 million and P500 million. Among them, only one – Commission on Filipinos Overseas Chairperson Francisco Acosta – saw a lower net worth in 2020 versus 2019.

Among the 32 officials, Briones had the biggest rate of increase in net worth, at 28.64%.

Comparing Briones’ 2019 and 2020 SALNs, her cash on hand went up by P3.09 million, and the value of her home appliances and other personal assets increased by P20,000.

On the other hand, the late Presidential Legislative Liaison Office secretary Adelino Sitoy had the biggest rate of decrease in net worth, at 16.03%. He declared P9,538,757.33 in 2020, down from P11,360,385.61 in 2019. Sitoy died in April 2021.

Public officials’ net worth in their SALN is computed by getting the total costs of their real properties and personal assets – including those acquired prior to government service – then subtracting the total amount of their liabilities like loans.

Unlike for the SALNs of Cabinet members, it has been difficult to get the SALNs of other public officials during the Duterte administration. For instance, the Office of the Ombudsman has restricted the public’s access to SALNs under its jurisdiction.

As for the SALNs of members of the House of Representatives, any request to obtain a copy will have to be voted upon and approved by the plenary.

The Supreme Court in 2021 ruled that custodians of SALNs like the Ombudsman and both chambers of Congress, for the SALNs of their respective members, can regulate public access to the documents. – Rappler.com

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Michael Bueza

Michael is a data curator under Rappler's Tech 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.