MILLIONAIRES’ GAME | How rich are the incumbent governors of Northern Luzon?

By SHERWIN DE VERA
www.nordis.net

BAGUIO CITY — According to the Statement of Assets, Liabilities and Net worth (SALN) filed in 2018 of governors in Northern Luzon, only four of the 15 have seven-digit declared net worth, the rest have at least eight figures in their accounts.

SALN is the key mechanism of individuals holding public office for the “statement and disclosure” of their properties, financial obligations, business interests and relatives who are working for the government. They are obligated to submit the document 30 days after assuming office and every year thereafter on or before April 30, and within 30 days after separation from service under Section 8 of Republic Act 6713 (Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees).

Based on the documents from the Office of the Ombudsman for Luzon, provincial chief executives belong to the elite community of landlords, capitalists and luxury car riders with millions in their bank accounts, the richest of who has a net worth of more than a hundred million.

Their business interests range from transportation, agribusiness, construction, hotel and restaurant services, petroleum retail, and banking and credit. Only three of them have no declared business interests.

Meanwhile, the salary rate of governors under the fourth Salary Standardization Law is Salary Grade 30. This remuneration schedule is further specified in Republic Act Nos. 6758 and 7160 (Local Government Code) and their implementing rules in regulations. At present, their monthly pay ranges from P96,354.00 (1st tranche effective Jan 1, 2016) to P175,184 (4th tranche effective Jan 1, 2019) according to Executive Order No. 201 Series of 2016 modifying salary schedules of civilian government personnel.

Below is a rundown of the financial standing and interest of the richest and the “poorest” governors up North as of December 2017:

Marilou H. Cayco. Call it ironic, but the province with the lowest income in Northern Luzon is led by the richest governor in the region. With a net worth of P167.52 million in her Statement of Assets, Liabilities and Net worth (SALN), Governor Cayco of Batanes is the runaway leader in the list of the richest provincial chief executives.

Her real properties amount to P48.20 million are composed mostly of residential and commercial lots and buildings in the capital town of Basco. The bulk of this value is comprised of a commercial lot and a residence in the National Capital Region with an aggregate acquisition cost of P35.30 million.

Personal properties of Cayco amounts to P102.88 million, P75.99 million of which is invested in Cayco’s General Merchandise. She is a stockholder of Arellano University with shares amounting to P17.89 million. Besides trading and the school, she is also in the shipping business with interests in St. Francis Xavier Shipping Lines and Batanes Merchant Services Cooperative. Cayco has no liabilities based on the document.

Batanes, a fifth income class province with the smallest land area and population in the country. The declared net worth of Cayco is 11.5 times bigger than the locally sourced income of the province and equivalent to 51% of its total revenue in the same year according to the Commission on Audit (COA) report.

Maria Jocelyn V. Bernos. The Abra governor comes next with net worth of P43.84 million. The majority of her asset amounting to P54.31 million are vehicles including a Lexus and deposits amounting to P17.57 million. The governor acquired most of these in the period of 2012 to 2018. Her liabilities are payable loans worth P10.47 million, the bulk of which are bank credits for cars worth P9.12 million. The only business interest declared by the governor is a Petron gasoline station in La Paz town.

Categorized as a third income class province, Abra’s total revenue in 2017 was P994.27 million.

Bernos, started her political career early, leading the Federated Sangguniang Kabataan of the province and an ex-officio member of the provincial board in 1998. She was elected as board member in 2007 and became the representative of its lone district the next election. She served two terms in the House of Representative before taking the gubernatorial seat in 2016.

Faustino “Bodjie” Dy III. Third in the list wields a net worth of P37.23 million and carries the surname that dominated Isabela politics for more than three decades. His total assets is P74.54 million while his financial obligations amounts to P37.23 million.

The governor owns considerable number of agriculture and residential lands in Cauayan City. However, the largest share of his real estate account are the house and lot in the National Capital Region with an acquisition value of P28.98 million. His biggest investment, amounting to P27.50 million, is with Queen Isabela Agriventures, which he acquired in 2016. Besides this, he is also a stockholder in Courbe Facial and Body Specialist, the Gerry’s Grill outlet in Cuayan City and a partner in Love Cakes by Ann & Amp; Gan Co.

Isabela is a first income class province with a revenue of P2.83 billion in 2017.

Francisco Emmanuel “Pacoy” Ortega III. Also member of a political clan, identified to be the oldest dynasty in the country, Governor Pacoy’s net worth is not far behind at P36.91 million.

His total assets stands at P47.68 million. These includes at 11 parcels of agricultural lands, a commercial building and lot, two Toyota land cruisers, a residential lot and house amounting to P14 million, and P12.08 million cash among others. Liabilities declared by the governor are different loans totalling P10.77 million.

Petroleum retail, real estate manufacturing, agribusiness, trading, and fastfoods and restaurants are among his business and financial involvement. These include his interest in Vitallis Villas owned and operated by Stern Real Estate & Development Corp (of Rep. Eric Singson), a gasoline station in the City of San Fernando, Yumi Century City Corp, Yumi Concepts, Corp., Munchtown Food Strip Concepts, Inc., Pacoy Ortega Farm Resort, Inc., and Northpoint La union Corporation.

Most of his properties and business interests were acquired from 2010 to the year covered by the SALN.

Ortega started in the political arena in 1992 at the age of 25, occupying a seat in the provincial board. He served in the House of Representatives from 2007 to 2016 as Abono Partylist representative before taking over the gubernatorial post left by his father.

In 2017, the total revenue La Union, a first income class province, reached P1.41 billion.

Junie E. Cua. The governor of Quirino province has a net worth of P31.22 million declared in his SALN. His total assets amounts to P32.41 million and liabilities of P1.19 million. Except for two parcel of lands in Quirino, his real properties are comprised of residential lots, houses and related improvements in Quirino, Manila, Pasig and Muntinlupa amounting to a total value of P12.36 million. While his personal properties is at P20.04 million. His businesses include rental of condominium units in the National Capital Region, outsourcing services under Silver Ling Interactive Solutions and with Primeland Proventus Philippines, Inc., a real estate company.

A third class province, Quirino’s total revenue in 2017 is P1.02 billion.

Ma. Imelda “Imee” R. Marcos. Ilocos Norte Governor Imee’s net worth is P24.49 million, an increase of P1.3 million from her prior declared net worth. She has a total assets of P35.39 million and P11 million payable loans to private individuals as liabilities.

Her business interests include her membership in the Marcos Presidential Center Inc. and Creative Media and Film Society of the Philippines, Inc. She is also a stockholder with IPROD, Inc. and The Imelda R. Marcos Collection, Inc..

Ryan Luis V. Singson. Net worth of Ilocos Sur governor Singson is P24.22 million. Valued at 42.32 million, the greater part of his assets is comprised of his residence in the province (P10 million), assorted vehicles (P14.75 million) and various investments (P6.34 million). He declared a P18.10 million financial obligation for his personal loans.

His business and financial interests are mostly stocks from different service establishments in Vigan City and the National Capital Region like hotels, restaurants, transportation among others.

Carlos M. Padilla. The governor of Nueva Vizcaya has a net worth of P23.46, out of his total assets amounting to P23.96 million. His real estate properties are valued at P8.40 million comprised mainly of 18 parcels of agriculture and pasture lands and another 12 residential lots in at least four towns in the province. Included in his personal properties amounting to P15.56 million is a P12 million bank deposit. He has three declared business interests that includes stocks in the Rural Bank of Dupax.

Manuel N. Mamba. With a net worth of P20.69 million, Governor Mamba of Cagayan is ninth on the list. He has business interest in a gasoline station in Tuao town which he acquired in January 2013. The amount of his assets is P21.78 million. The value includes two condominium units in the National Capital Region with a total worth of P6.77 million. His P1.09 million liabilities are both payments for car loans.

Elias C. Bulut, Jr. The governor of Apayao settled on the tenth spot with P20.06 million. Bulut’s total assets is P21.35 million comprised of real properties worth P6.10 million and personal belongings amounting to P15.25 million. His total liabilities for loans is P1.29 million. He is owns Ymallod Enterprises in the town of Luna and is a shareholder in Ymandaya Company in Calanasan municipality.

Jocel C. Baac. Real properties comprised the bulk of the P12.08 million net worth of Kalinga governor Baac. These are agricultural and residential lots, and residence in the different parts of the province and in the city of Tugegarao. His key business interest is the Beny Rose Baac/JCBAAC Construction Corp based in Tabuk City.

Amado I. Espino III. Governor Espino’s net worth is P7.07 million. His assets amounts to P16.47 million while his liabilities is P9.40 million. He owns stocks in Jumel Aqua Culture Dev’t Co. Inc., Jumel Construction Corp., ASeso Pangasinan Credit Corp., and Asenso Rural Bank. Espino’s real properties are mainly agricultural lands in Bautista and Bayambang towns.

Cresencio C. Pacalso. Despite sitting on several goldmines, the governor of Benguet is included in the bottom of the list. With no declared fiscal obligations, his net worth and assets are worth P3.93 million. This amount is from his real and personal properties amounting to P1.58 million and P2.35 million respectively. The governor is among the three chief executives with no declared business interest.

Bonifacio Lacwasan, Jr. A cash in the bank amounting to P3.20 million consists the main part of Mountain Province governor Lacwasan’s P3.80 million. His other assets include inherited residential and agricultural lands, and personal belongings. He has no declared liability and business interests.

Pedro G. Mayam-o. He might be at the bottom of the list but governor Mayam-o of Ifugao is still a millionaire. As of December 2017, his net worth is P2.36 million. His total assets amount to P6.03 million with payable loans totalling P3.66 million in his declared liabilities. He is one of the three governors who have no declared business and financial interests. # nordis.net

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