Salary & Compensation of top CEOs in the Philippines

James Ryan Jonas

Most of us know Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala, Danding Cojuangco, Tony Tan Caktiong, Manny Pangilinan, Andrew Tan and various others who head the largest corporations in the Philippines. We know how daunting their task is of managing their companies on a daily basis striving to achieve profitability and to maximize their shareholders’ wealth.
Given the enormity of their roles, we are curious: How much are they paid as President or Chief Executive Officers of these companies?
Of course, getting that specific information is close to impossible because they wouldn’t divulge their salaries in public, in the same way that most Filipinos evade the question when asked how much they make. Fortunately for us, the annual reports their companies submit to the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE) contain pieces of information from which we can extrapolate their compensation.
Public companies are required to show, as a lump sum figure, the total annual compensation of the highest executives of the firm. What we did was divide this figure with the total number of top executives identified to yield the average annual compensation of each top officer. Of course, the CEO’s compensation is sure to be higher than the average figures in the table below because, as highest officers of the company, CEOs generally earn the most among all members of top management.
Monthly Salary and Total Compensation
The executives are ranked in the table below based on their monthly salaries, although the total compensation earned in 2011 is also identified. Monthly Salary refers only to the basic pay they receive every month, while Total Compensation includes bonuses such as thirteenth-month pay and other non-recurring pay items such as performance incentives and stock options.
Since there are thousands of corporations in the Philippines, we limited our analysis to the 30 public companies that comprise the Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi). The results are summarized below.
Highest Paid CEOs in the Philippines (2011)
(in Philippine Pesos; only for the 30 PSEi companies)
* Andrew Tan does not receive any compensation as Chairman and CEO of the holding company AGI. The company’s policy is that executives earn fixed salaries per month from the respective subsidiaries or businesses they handle.
Highest Earners: Lopez, Ayala, Pangilinan
Data show that 49-year-old Federico Lopez earns the most both in terms of monthly salary and total compensation in 2011. In the 30-company PSEi list, Lopez is head of two firms: First Gen Corporation (FGEN) and Energy Development Corporation (EDC). As Chairman and CEO of FGEN, his basic monthly salary is around P1.79 million. Yup, that’s P1.79 million basic salary per month. He receives another P1.19 million per month as bonus and additional compensation. All in all, he gets more than P3 million every month as FGEN’s chief executive. The same position in EDC gives him an additional P1.4 million every month. Considering only these two companies, Lopez earns roughly P4.4 million monthly — more than any other CEO on the list.
The sixth richest Filipino, Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala, is the second-highest paid CEO on the list. As Chairman and CEO of the conglomerate Ayala Corporation, he earns more than P2.42 million total compensation every month, inclusive of a monthly basic salary of P1.66 million.
Manny Pangilinan or MVP is Chairman and CEO of three companies on the list, making him the third-highest paid CEO with a combined total compensation of P2.65 million per month. This is inclusive of his monthly basic salary of P1.76 million in those companies. His basic salary is P950,000 per month as head of Meralco; more than P588,000 per month as chair of Metro Pacific Investments Corp. (MPI); and around P230,000 every month as CEO of Philex Mining Corporation.
Another highest-paid chief executive is Danding Cojuangco of San Miguel Corporation. As CEO of the diversified conglomerate SMC, he gets P1.58 million salary per month plus P746,000 additional compensation monthly, for a total of P2.33 million every month.
Other CEOs holding multiple positions on the list and their compensation are:

  • James Go, Chairman and CEO of JG Summit Holdings (JGS), Universal Robina Corp. (URC) and Robinsons Land (RLC) — total compensation of P1.82 million per month, roughly the same as his basic monthly salary;
  • Isidro Consunji, CEO of DMCI and Semirara Mining Corporation (SCC) — total compensation of P1.4 million per month, inclusive of basic monthly salary of around P490,000;
  • Erramon Aboitiz, CEO of Aboitiz Power (AP) and Aboitiz Equity Ventures (AEV) — total compensation of P806,000 per month, inclusive of basic salary of P630,000 monthly

There are many ways to become rich. Our data above showing each CEO’s monthly salary and total compensation are proof that heading a company is one of them.
Poll: How much do you earn per month?
How about you? How much do you earn as basic salary per month? Answer the poll below so we can compare.
[poll id=”6″]

James Ryan Jonas teaches business management, investments, and entrepreneurship at the University of the Philippines (UP). He is also the Executive Director of UP Provident Fund Inc., managing and investing P3.2 Billion ($56.4 Million) worth of retirement funds on behalf of thousands of UP employees.