BILLIONAIRES! Meet the Top 15 Richest Filipinos in 2020

This year 2020, Forbes magazine named 2,095 people around the world as billionaires. Imagine this: in a world with a total population of 7.8 billion people, just 2,095 people have net worths of at least 1 billion US Dollars.

Yes, that’s billion US Dollars with a b — roughly equivalent to PHP 50 billion. How much is 1 billion Dollars (50 billion Pesos)? Simply put, it’s a lot.

It’s equivalent to the entire cash subsidy amounting to PHP 51 Billion that was given to Filipino employees who were affected by the COVID-19 pandemic under the Small Business Wage Subsidy (SBWS) program of the Philippine government last April 2020.

It’s also equivalent to one-half the government’s allotment of PHP 108.8 billion for the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino program (also known as Conditional Cash Transfer or CCT) in 2020 and just a few billions lower compared to the entire 2020 budget of the Department of Agriculture, which stands at PHP 64.7 billion.

For additional context, here are some of the Philippine government’s line-item budgets taken from the press release of the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) on the approved 2020 General Appropriations Act.

  • 2020 Budget for Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program: PHP 108.8 billion
  • 2020 Budget of Department of Agriculture (DA): PHP 64.7 billion
  • 2020 Budget for the Universal Health Care Program: PHP 172.4 billion
  • 2020 Budget of the Department of National Defense (DND): PHP 192.1 billion
  • 2020 Budget of the Philippine National Police (PNP): PHP 187.3 billion
  • 2020 Budget of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM): PHP 70.6 billion

As you can see, 1 billion Dollars or PHP 50 billion Pesos is a lot. And in the Philippines, there are only 15 people — out of 109 million Filipinos — that have this net worth or more.

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Here are the 15 Filipino billionaires — the richest people in the Philippines who have amassed riches of at least $1 billion or PHP 50 billion.

Richest People in the Philippines (2020)

RankNameNet WorthAge
1Manny Villar$4.7 Billion (P233.3 Billion)70
2Enrique Razon Jr.$4.2 Billion (P208.4 Billion)60
3Hans Sy$2.6 Billion (P128.8 Billion)64
4Herbert Sy$2.5 Billion (P123.9 Billion)63
5Henry Sy, Jr.$2.4 Billion (119.1 Billion)67
5Harley Sy$2.4 Billion (119.1 Billion)61
7Teresita Sy-Coson$2.3 Billion (P114.1 Billion)70
8Lucio Tan$2.1 Billion (P104.2 Billion)86
9Tony Tan Caktiong$2.0 Billion (P99.2 Billion)67
9Elizabeth Sy$2.0 Billion (P99.2 Billion)68
11Andrew Tan$1.9 Billion (P94.3 Billion)68
12Roberto Ongpin$1.8 Billion (P89.3 Billion)83
13Ramon Ang$1.7 Billion (P84.3 Billion)66
14Robert Coyiuto Jr.$1.5 Billion (P74.4 Billion)67
15Danding Cojuangco (+)$1.0 Billion (P50 Billion)85

Who are the richest Filipinos?

We’re of course familiar with Manny Villar (of Camella Homes and Vista Land and Lifescapes), the Sy family (of SM Group of Companies), Lucio Tan (of Philippine Airlines and Fortune Tobacco), and Ramon Ang (of San Miguel Corporation). But who else are the country’s richest people?

We identify below the 15 Filipinos included in the Forbes Billionaires 2020 list of 2,095 billionaires areund the world. We’ll also compare their net worth from March 2020, when Forbes magazine released the list, and four months later until the current month of July 2020.

How did these billionaire Filipinos fare during the tumultuous first half of 2020? Did they lose money or even increased their net worth during the COVID-19 pandemic?

Let’s get to know better the richest men and women in the Philippines!

Richest Filipinos in 2020

1. Manny Villar (P233.3 billion)

Manny Villar’s Net Worth: $4.7 billion or P233.3 billion (in July 2020)

Source of Wealth: Camella Homes, Vista Land & Lifescapes (VLL) – Real Estate
Age: 70
Ethnicity: Filipino

“Nakaligo ka na ba sa dagat ng basura?”

In his popular campaign jingle when he ran as Philippine President in 2010, Manny Villar claims that he has and now he’s the richest man in the country. If you’re a Filipino, you’d have to be living under a pretty big rock to not hear of him. Aside from being the country’s leading tycoon, he’s had a high-profile political career. Villar was previously the House speaker (1998-2001), the Senate president (2006-2008) and a Presidential candidate (2010).

Villar, who claimed he used to live in a cramped house with his parents and eight siblings, pioneered mass housing in the Philippines when he established Camella Homes in 1977. He made a lot of money selling house-and-lot packages back when the norm was selling only residential lots.

The company is now part of the bigger conglomerate Vista Land & Lifescapes (VLL), a real estate company that develops and manages subdivisions, condominium units, shopping malls, and commercial centers.

How rich is Manny Villar? His net worth stands at $4.7 billion, equivalent to around P233.3 billion, as of July 2020 according to Forbes magazine. This makes Manny Villar the richest person in the Philippines.

2. Enrique Razon, Jr. (P208.4 billion)

Enrique Razon Jr’s Net Worth: $4.2 billion or P208.4 billion (in July 2020)

Source of Wealth: International Container Terminal Services, Inc. (ICT), Bloomberry Resorts (BLOOM), Manila Water Co. (MWC) – Diversified (ports management, water distribution, casino and gaming)
Age: 60
Ethnicity: Spanish

Enrique “Ricky” Razon’s family has been managing ports and harbors decades before he was born, but he transformed the family business into a global giant.

In 1987, he founded International Container Terminal Services, Inc. (ICT), which would grow to become a port developer and operator in 19 countries. Its biggest project is still in the Philippines, operating the country’s premier international gateway: the Manila International Container Terminal (MICT).

He’s called the “ports king” due to his success, but his business interests have expanded in recent years. He is currently the Chairman of Bloomberry Resorts Corporation (BLOOM), developer of Solaire Resorts and Casino and Prime Metroline Infrastructure Holdings Corporation (with 51% shareholder interest in Manila Water Co.). He wears so many hats, his commute is the closest thing to teleportation. Ricky avoids Manila traffic by flying in his sleek orange helicopter.

How rich is Enrique Razon Jr.? He is estimated to be worth around $4.2 billion (P208.4 billion) as of July 2020, making Enrique Razon Jr. the second-richest man in the Philippines.

3. Hans Sy (P128.8 billion)

Hans Sy’s Net Worth: $2.6 billion or P128.8 billion (in July 2020)

Source of Wealth: SM Group of Companies – Diversified (e.g. banking, real estate, mall operations, mining, leisure, and entertainment)
Age: 64
Ethnicity: Chinese

Hans Sy’s father, Henry Sy, Sr. made history when he turned his Shoemart into SM Investments (SM). Today, SM is a conglomerate with interests in retail, real estate, and banking among others.

To fully comprehend how rich Henry Sy, Sr. was before his death in January 2019, you need to know two things: (1) He was the richest man in the Philippines for eleven years, and (2) 40% or 6 out of 15 richest Filipinos in this list are his children. 

Henry’s fourth child, Hans, leads the Sy family in terms of net worth with $2.6 Billion. He’s currently the Chairman of China Banking Corporation (CHIB) and National University (NU). He received an undergraduate degree in Mechanical Engineering from De La Salle University.

How rich is Hans Sy? His net worth is estimated at $2.6 billion or P128.8 billion. As of July 2020, he ranks as the 3rd richest person in the Philippines.

4. Herbert Sy (P123.9 billion)

Herbert Sy’s Net Worth: $2.5 billion or P123.9 billion (in July 2020)

Source of Wealth: SM Group of Companies – Diversified (e.g. banking, real estate, mall operations, mining, leisure and entertainment)
Age: 63
Ethnicity: Chinese

Herbert is the fifth child of Henry Sy, Sr. He is mostly involved in SM companies engaged in food retail. In fact, he’s the Chairman of Super Value, Inc. (Philippines), Super Shopping Market Inc., and Sanford Marketing Corp. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Management from De La Salle University.

How rich is Herbert Sy? His net worth as of July 2020 is $2.5 billion, roughly around P123.9 billion, making him the 4th richest man in the Philippines.

5. Henry Sy, Jr. (P119.1 billion)

Henry Sy Jr’s Net Worth: $2.4 billion or P119.1 billion (in July 2020)

Source of Wealth: SM Group of Companies – Diversified (e.g. banking, real estate, mall operations, mining, leisure and entertainment)
Age: 67
Ethnicity: Chinese

Henry is Henry Sy, Sr’s third out of six children. He is also the eldest son, which is likely why Henry Sy, Sr. named him Junior, being the first boy among his kids.

Henry Sy. Jr. takes care of the real estate side of the business, particularly in acquisition and development. His positions reflect his interests, as he’s the Chairman and CEO of SM Development Corp. (SMDC) and the Vice President and Chairman of SM Land among others. Like his brother Herbert (#3-4 in richest Filipinos), he also graduated from De La Salle University and has a Bachelor’s degree in Management.

How rich is Henry Sy, Jr.? As of July 2020, Forbes magazine says his net worth is $2.4 billion or around P119.1 billion.

6. Harley Sy (P119.1 billion)

Harley Sy’s Net Worth: $2.4 billion or P119.1 billion (in July 2020)

Source of Wealth: SM Group of Companies – Diversified (e.g. banking, real estate, mall operations, mining, leisure and entertainment)
Age: 61
Ethnicity: Chinese

Harley, the youngest of Henry Sy’s children, is the executive director of SM Investments Corporation (SM).

His other siblings are part of the board. This means that, while day-to-day operations are outsourced, the siblings decide the overall direction of the company. Like his older brothers, Harley attended De La Salle University. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Commerce, major in Finance.

How rich is Harley Sy? According to Forbes magazine, his net worth is $2.4 billion or around P119.1 billion, as of July 2020.

7. Teresita Sy-Coson (P114.1 billion)

Teresita Sy Coson’s Net Worth: $2.3 billion or P114.1 billion (in July 2020)

Source of Wealth: SM Group of Companies – Diversified (e.g. banking, real estate, mall operations, mining, leisure and entertainment)
Age: 70
Ethnicity: Chinese

Who is the richest woman in the Philippines? It’s Teresita Sy-Coson. With net worth of $2.3 billion or P114.1 billion as of July 2020, she is the 7th richest Filipino and the richest woman in the country.

Teresita is the eldest child of Henry Sy. She graduated from Assumption College and joined the family business right after. In an interview with CNBC, she said it wasn’t a choice: it was an obligation. The same goes for her siblings.

At just 22 years old, she was tasked to open SM Quiapo, the family’s first department store.

She is instrumental in transforming Banco de Oro (BDO) to become the number one bank in the Philippines by employing a mass-market strategy at a time when banks used to target the elite.

8. Lucio Tan (P104.2 billion)

Lucio Tan’s Net Worth: $2.1 billion or P104.2 billion (in July 2020)

Source of Wealth: Philippine Airlines (PAL), MacroAsia Corp. (MAC), LT Group Inc. (LTG), Philippine National Bank (PNB) – Diversified (e.g. tobacco, spirits, banking and property development)
Age: 86
Ethnicity: Chinese

Lucio Tan was born in Fujian, China and moved to Cebu when he was a child. He mopped floors at Far Eastern University, where he studied to become a chemical engineer. He has certainly come a long way from these humble beginnings.

At present, he’s the Chairman & CEO of LT Group, Inc. (LTG), a publicly listed company in the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE). The group has holdings in Tanduay Distillers, Inc., Fortune Tobacco Corporation, and Philippine National Bank (PNB) among others.

In 2017, he was accused of tax evasion by President Duterte. The president “forgave” Tan the next year after PAL settled and paid P6 billion and after the airline provided planes for OFWs in Kuwait.

In 2019, Lucio Tan’s other company, MacroAsia Corp. (MAC), successfully bagged the P208.5 billion contract to construct and develop the Sangley Point International Airport (Cavite Airport) in Cavite City, together with its partner Chinese state-owned firm China Communications Construction Corp. (CCCC).

How rich is Lucio Tan? His net worth, as of July 2020, is $2.1 billion or P104.2 billion, making him the 8th richest man in the Philippines.

9. Tony Tan-Caktiong & Family (P99.2 billion)

Tony Tan Caktiong’s Net Worth: $2.0 billion or P99.2 billion (in July 2020)

Source of Wealth: Food & Beverage (Jollibee Foods Corp.)
Age: 67
Ethnicity: Chinese

Tony was born to a poor family in China and is the third of seven children. His family migrated from Fujian, China to Davao City, Philippines and started a restaurant. This enabled him to study Civil Engineering at the University of Santo Tomas (UST). 

While in school, they had a field trip to a Magnolia ice cream factory and after graduation, he decided to invest P350,000 in a franchise business of Magnolia ice cream store. After customers clamored for hot meals and not just ice cream, he later expanded the menu and the business evolved into what we now know as Jollibee.

Jollibee Foods Corporation (JFC) is currently one of the largest multinational food companies based in the Philippines. Their popular fast-food chains include Jollibee, Greenwich, Red Ribbon, Chowking, and Mang Inasal.

Recently they acquired and became 100% owners of the American hamburger chain Smashburger and American coffee chain The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf.

How rich is Tony Tan Caktiong? Forbes magazine estimates his net worth at $2.0 billion or P99.2 billion as of July 2020.

10. Elizabeth Sy (P99.2 billion)

Elizabeth Sy’s Net Worth: $2.0 billion or P99.2 billion (in July 2020)

Source of Wealth: SM Group of Companies – Diversified (e.g. banking, real estate, mall operations, mining, leisure and entertainment)
Age: 68
Ethnicity: Chinese

Elizabeth is Henry Sy, Sr.’s second child and youngest daughter. From working as an assistant in her father’s first hotel business, Elizabeth is now the chairperson and president of SM Hotels and Conventions.

She attended Maryknoll College (now Miriam College) and has a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration.

How rich is Elizabeth Sy? According to Forbes magazine, she is estimated to have a net worth of $2.0 billion or P99.2 billion as of July 2020.

11. Andrew Tan (P94.3 billion)

Andrew Tan’s Net Worth: $1.9 billion or P94.3 billion (in July 2020)

Source of Wealth: Megaworld Corp., Emperador, Alliance Global Inc. , McDonald’s Philipines – Diversified (e.g. food & beverage, gaming, real estate)
Age: 68
Ethnicity: Chinese

Andrew Tan didn’t have the easiest childhood. He was born to poor Chinese immigrants and grew up and lived in a shared tenement apartment in Hong Kong with four other families. The space was so small all tenants had to share one bathroom and one concrete table. His family would later emigrate to Manila, where he studied Accounting at the University of the East.

He now chairs Alliance Global, Inc. (AGI). Among AGI’s most recognizable holdings are Emperador Brandy, The Bar Vodka, Mcdonald’s Philippines, and Megaworld Corporation.

How rich is Andrew Tan? His net worth is estimated to be $1.9 billion or P94.3 billion as of July 2020 — making him the 11th richest person in the Philippines.

12. Roberto Ongpin (P89.3 billion)

Roberto Ongpin’s Net Worth: $1.8 billion or P89.3 billion (in July 2020)

Source of Wealth: Alphaland, Atok-Big Wedge Co., PhilWeb – Diversified (e.g. real estate, mining, leisure and entertainment)
Age: 83
Ethnicity: Mixed

Roberto Ongpin is yet another billionaire who got on President Duterte’s bad side. In 2016, the president named Ongpin as one of the oligarchs he vowed to destroy. In the past, Ongpin was associated with a different president: he was the trade minister for the late dictator, Ferdinand Marcos. Ongpin denies being a crony, claiming he made his wealth before the appointment.

Ongpin is the Chairman & CEO of the real estate company, Alphaland, and mining company, Atok Big Wedge Co., Inc. He used to chair PhilWeb Corp., a gaming technology provider that also hosts online gambling.

After the public spat with Pres. Duterte, Ongpin sold his 53.76% share Philweb Corp. to Gregorio “Greggy” Araneta, husband of Irene Marcos, for P2 billion.

How rich is Roberto Ongpin? His net worth, as of July 2020, is $1.8 billion or P89.3 billion according to Forbes magazine.

13. Ramon Ang (P84.3 billion)

Ramon Ang’s Net Worth: $1.7 billion or P84.3 billion (in July 2020)

Source of Wealth: San Miguel Corp. – Diversified (food & beverage, power & infrastructure)
Age: 66
Ethnicity: Chinese

Ramon Ang initially sold and repaired used Japanese trucks and car engines. Due to this business, he met Danding Cojuangco (#15 in the list of richest Filipinos). They bonded over a shared love of vintage cars.

In 2012, Ramon bought Danding’s stake in San Miguel Corporation (SMC), giving him control of the company. He is currently the Vice-Chairman, President & COO of SMC. He earned a degree in Mechanical Engineering from Far Eastern University.

How rich is Ramon Ang? As of July 2020, Forbes magazine estimates his net worth to be $1.7 billion or P84.3 billion, landing him the 13th spot in the list of 15 richest Filipinos.

14. Robert Coyiuto, Jr. (P74.4 billion)

Robert Coyiuto Jr’s Net Worth: $1.5 billion or P74.4 billion (in July 2020)

Source of Wealth: National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP), PGA Cars, Prudential Guarantee – Diversified (Power, Automobiles, Insurance)
Age: 67
Ethnicity: Chinese

Born into a family of insurance giants, Robert Coyuito, Jr. makes most of his earnings from his stake in the privately held National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP), which operates and maintains the country’s power grid. The NGCP was under fire in previous years because several members of its Board of Directors and executive consultants are Chinese, in supposed violation of the Philippine Constitution and raising fears that China can turn off the Philippines’ electricity grid which the company denied.

Coyiuto also has an interest in automobiles.  His company, PGA Cars, is the sole distributor of Audi, Porsche, Lamborghini, and Bentley in the Philippines.

He hasn’t strayed far from the family business. Currently, he’s the Chairman & CEO of Prudential Guarantee & Assurance, a non-life insurance company founded by his father. He earned his undergraduate degree from San Beda College.

How rich is Robert Coyiuto Jr.? He is currently the 14th richest man in the Philippines, with net worth of $1.5 billion or P74.4 billion, according to Forbes magazine.

15. Eduardo “Danding” Cojuangco

Danding Cojuangco’s Net Worth: N/A (deceased as of June 2020)

Source of Wealth: San Miguel Corp. – Diversified (food & beverage, power & infrastructure)
Age: 85
Ethnicity: Mixed

Up until his death in June 2020, Danding Cojuangco was the Chairman & CEO of San Miguel Corporation (SMC).

He was the first cousin of former President Cory Aquino. Despite their relation, Danding was part of Ferdinand Marcos’s Rolex 12, a group of 12 military officers personally handpicked by then President Ferdinand Marcos to implement Martial Law in the Philippines. The group was called “Rolex 12” because Pres. Marcos purportedly gave each one of them an expensive, million pesos worth of Rolex watch, based on a US State Department memo which was leaked to the public via Wikileaks.

Danding ran for President of the Philippines in 1992 but lost to Fidel V. Ramos, another member of the Rolex 12.

How rich was Danding Cojuangco? His net worth stood at $1 Billion or PHP 50 Billion as of March 2020 prior to his death, according to Forbes magazine. He died on June 17, 2020.

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