The richest PNoy cabinet members

James Ryan Jonas

Does wealth come with power or is power the source of wealth?
Whatever the case may be, if President Noynoy Aquino’s cabinet members are an indication, those in power are also the rich people in the in the Philippines.
Based on the 2010 Statement of Assets, Liabilities and Net Worth (SALN) submitted by PNoy’s Cabinet secretaries, all but one Cabinet member is a millionaire.
How rich is rich in the Philippines?
Millionaires are rare in a country where more than half of the population consider themselves poor, as per the April 2011 Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey. According to the National Statical Coordination Board (NSCB), rich people in the Philippines, described as those earning an average of P2.4 million per year, represents only 0.1% of total Filipino families.
Those belonging in the middle-income class, on the other hand, earn an average of P444,000 per year while poor families on average earn only P108,000 per year.
Purisima richest, Luistro poorest Cabinet member
Among all Cabinet secretaries, Department of Finance (DoF) Secretary Cesar Purisima is the richest with a total net worth of P252 million. His assets include real properties in Ayala Alabang, Wack Wack Tower in Mandaluyong and in Tagaytay. He and his wife are also major shareholders in several companies such as Filhouse Gem Inc., MHC Commercial Corp., Zurcaled Realty and Development, and Archimedes Realty and Development Corp.
The second richest Cabinet member is Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Secretary Gregory Domingo whose net worth is around P151 million. Department of Energy (DoE) Secretary Jose Rene Almendras is third with a net worth of more than P129 million.
Department of Justice (DOJ) secretary Leila de Lima joins several Cabinet members at the bottom of the list with a net worth of more than P3.29 million. Department of Social Welfare and Development (DWSD) secretary Dinky Soliman has a net worth of P2.1 million. The “poorest” Cabinet member is Department of Education (DepEd) secretary Armin Luistro whose net worth is only P89,000.
Here’s to hoping that these people with money and power find ways to uplift the lives of the majority of the Filipino people who, until now, remain poor.
Net Worth of Pres. Noynoy Aquino’s Cabinet Members

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.