The 22+ Billionaires in the Philippines 2021
ILLUSTRATOR RAPHAEL QUIASON
The latest Forbes Philippines rich list is out, and once again, the Sy siblings top the rankings as the wealthiest entry on the list.
According to Forbes, the Philippines' richest collectively grew their wealth by roughly 30 percent to $79 billion in total, fueled by the economy’s comeback and double-digit GDP growth after a brief recession. As stocks improved from their dips in 2020, so did the net worth of the 50+ individuals on the rich list.
Of all the individuals in the Philippines’ 50 Richest List, only 22+ are dollar billionaires, but all are peso billionaires. Before we get started, here are a few important things to note.
How are rich lists made?
Data gatherers at Forbes and Bloomberg compile the world’s rich list using shareholding and financial information obtained from the featured individuals, stock exchanges, analysts, etc. Wealth is also based on stock holdings, stock prices, and exchange rates.
Why are Indonesians included in the Philippines rich list?
Forbes’ lists can include persons who are not citizens of the country being featured, but have notable or significant business ties to the country. In the case of the Indonesians included in the list, they all hold notable positions in Monde Nissin and are related by family to its Filipino co-founder, Betty Ang.
Why are some individuals counted as a group?
As most Filipino conglomerates are family businesses, Forbes treats the recipients of family fortunes as one entity. For example: Henry Sy. Sr.’s heirs, the Sy siblings of SM Group and John Gokongwei Jr.’s heirs, the Gokongwei siblings of JG Summit Holdings.
Here are the 22+ billionaires in the Philippines.
1| The Sy Siblings
The Sy siblings increased their collective wealth by $2.7 billion in 2021 to a total of $16.6 billion, making them one of the wealthiest families in all of Southeast Asia. The six Sy siblings are the children and heirs of Filipino-Chinese industrialist Henry Sy Sr., who passed away in 2019. They are (from eldest to youngest): Teresita, Elizabeth, Henry Jr., Hans, Herbert, and Harley. All hold top management positions in the diversified conglomerate.
2| Manuel Villar
The wealth of 71-year-old Manuel Villar grew by $1.7 billion in 2021, totaling to $6.7 billion as of September. A former politician (he was a congressman and senator), Villar is a real estate tycoon whose subdivisions span the country. He currently chairs Vista Land & Lifescapes, Gold MV Holdings, Vistamalls, and AllHome. His wife is senator Cynthia Villar.
3| Enrique Razon Jr.
Razon heads International Container Terminal Services, the country’s biggest ports operator, and Bloomberry Resorts, which operates the popular Solaire Resort and Casino. He is currently worth $5.8 billion. Razon inherited ICTSI from his father and grew the moderate-sized cargo-loading family business into a global ports conglomerate.
4| Lance Gokongwei & Siblings
The Gokongwei siblings (Lance, Robina, Lisa, Faith, Hope, and Marcia) are the children of the late industrialist John Gokongwei Jr., who passed away in 2019. The siblings now run JG Summit, which has interests in airlines, retail, property, food, power, and more. As the only son, Lance took the mantle as chairman and CEO of JG Summit while his sisters head the different divisions under the conglomerate. The six siblings have a combined wealth of $4 billion.
5| Jaime Zobel de Ayala
Jaime Zobel de Ayala, not to be confused with Jaime Augusto (JAZA) and Fernando (FZA), is the patriarch of the Zobel de Ayala family of Ayala Corporation. The elder Zobel is currently retired and leaves the management of Ayala Corp. to his two sons, chairman JAZA and CEO Fernando. The family patriarch’s net worth is $3.3 billion.
6| Dennis Anthony & Maria Grace Anthony Uy
The Uys are the newest addition to the top 10 billionaire bracket after their telco Converge ICT Solutions went public in 2020, raising their net worth by billions. The Kapampangan couple now share a wealth of $2.8 billion. Despite going public, the couple still has a majority stake in the company and are among the newest self-made billionaires in the Philippines.
7| Tony Tan Caktiong
Tan Caktiong’s wealth is currently pegged at $2.7 billion. He is the founder and chairman of Jollibee Food Corp, one of the world’s fastest-growing restaurant chains that has ambitions of being one of the world’s top food companies. Jollibee is becoming known for its aggressive expansion plan as it focuses on opening new shops in North America, Europe, and China.
8| Andrew Tan
Andrew Tan is the chairman of Alliance Global, which has businesses in the real estate food and beverage industries. Alliance Global is most known for its property development business Megaworld and its world-renowned brandy company Emperador. Megaworld’s properties include its townships: Eastwood City, Uptown Bonifacio, and McKinley Hill. Tan has a net worth of $2.6 billion.
9| Ramon S. Ang
RSA is the president and CEO of San Miguel Corporation, one of the oldest companies in the Philippines that dates back to the Spanish colonial era. San Miguel is most known for its beer brand, but is also involved in infrastructure projects such as the Bulacan airport. Most known for his philanthropy and infrastructure projects, RSA is worth $2.3 billion.
10| The Ty Siblings
The four Ty siblings are the children of the late George Ty, the tycoon who founded Metrobank and GT Capital, the family conglomerate that has interests in banking, insurance, and property development. Arthur is currently the chairman of GT Capital Holdings, and is also the chair of Metrobank. The four siblings (Arthur, Alfred, Alesandra, and Anjanette) share a wealth worth $2.2 billion.
11| Hartono Kweefanus
A new addition to the billionaire list, Kweefanus is the chairman of Monde Nissin, which recently launched its IPO earlier this year. The Monde Nissin IPO raised $1.1 billion, making it the biggest IPO in the Philippines to date. Kweefanus, who was born in Indonesia, is the brother-in-law of Betty Ang, the company president who co-founded Monde Nissin in the Philippines alongside Kweefanus’ father (and her father-in-law). As a result of Monde Nissin going public, Kweefanus’ net worth is now estimated to be $1.95 billion.
12| Lucio Tan
The last tycoon of his generation, Lucio Tan is the founder and chairman of LT Group and is best known for being the chairman and CEO of Philippine Airlines, which recently filed for bankruptcy. Tan’s net worth dipped in 2021, settling at $1.9 billion.
13| Isidro Consunji & Siblings
The Consunji siblings (Isidro, Josefa, Jorge, Luz, Maria Cristina, and Maria Edwina) are among the top property developing families in the country. They are the children of the late David Consuji, who founded DMCI Holdings, which also has interests in mining, power, and water services. Isidro is currently the CEO and chairman of the family business, and the siblings share a net worth of $1.8 billion.
14| Lucio and Susan Co
After the Uys, the Cos are the second business couple to appear on the list. The duo are the owners of Puregold Price Club, a supermarket chain that has grown in popularity over the last two decades. Outside of Puregold, the couple also operates S&R and Lawson in the Philippines. The two have a shared wealth of $1.7 billion.
15| Vivian Que Azcona & Siblings
The Que siblings are the children of the late Mariano Que, who founded Mercury Drugs in 1945 before passing away in 2017. Vivian Que Azcona currently heads the family business as president and is also the largest shareholder in the nationwide pharmaceutical chain. The Que siblings are the only Filipino dollar billionaires who derive their wealth from a privately held company. Together, they have a net worth of $1.65 billion.
16| Ricardo Po Sr.
The chairman emeritus of Century Pacific is currently 90 years old and leaves the management of the company to his sons Christopher and Teodoro Alexander. Po Sr. founded the company in 1978 and expanded it into the household canned food brand it is today. A former journalist and advertising professional, Po Sr. has a net worth of $1.5 billion.
17| Soledad Oppen-Cojuangco & Family
The Cojuangcos recently inherited the estate of Eduardo “Danding” Cojuangco, the former San Miguel Corp. CEO who passed away in 2020. Danding left the company, and his position, to his protege Ramon Ang, who is currently number nine on this list. Danding’s widow, Soledad, and their four children (Mark, Carlos, Luisa, and Margarita), were the recipients of his $1.42 billion estate.
18| Betty Ang
Betty Ang co-founded Monde Nissin in 1979 alongside her Indonesian father-in-law Hidajat Darmono. Her husband, Hoediono Kweefanus, is currently the company’s vice chairman, and her brother-in-law, Hartono Kweefanus, is currently the company’s chairman and number 11 on this list. Ang herself is the president of Monde Nissin, which recently made history as the country’s biggest IPO. She now has a net worth of $1.4 billion.
19| William Belo
Belo is the founder of the country’s biggest homegrown home improvement retailer, Wilcon Depot. Belo is currently the chairman emeritus and leaves the day-to-day operation to his daughter, Lorraine Belo-Cinocochan, the current president and CEO of Wilcon. Aside from Wilcon, William is on the boards of Designo Atelier, Inc., Anstay Realty & Development Corp. and Lomarkeen Realty, Inc. His wealth is estimated to be $1.3 billion.
20| Mercedes Gotianun
The matriarch of the Gotianun family, Mercedes is currently the “chairperson emerita” of Filinvest Development, one of the biggest developers in the country. At 93, Mercedes leaves the day-to-day operation of Filinvest to her four children led by daughter Josephine, the president and CEO of Filinvest. The family matriarch is also on the board of directors at East West Bank and Pacific Sugar Holdings. Mercedes’ wealth is estimated to be $1.25 billion.
21| Inigo Zobel
A member of the Zobel family and cousin to Jaime Zobel de Ayala (#5), Inigo Zobel’s wealth is derived from his stakes in San Miguel Corporation and Ayala Corp. He is currently the chairman of Top Frontier Investment Holdings, the controlling shareholder of San Miguel Corp. Top Frontier’s president and CEO is Ramon S. Ang (#9). Zobel’s wealth is pegged at $1.15 billion.
22| Roberto Ongpin
With a wealth of $1.1 billion, Ongpin closes the Philippines’ dollar billionaire club. He is the chairman and CEO of Alphaland Corp., which he leads with his daughter, Anna Ongpin, who is vice chair. He also chairs Alphaland Marina Club. Ongpin was previously on the board of directors of San Miguel Corporation, PAL Holdings, and Petron Corp.