9 Filipino billionaires wealthier than 55 million Pinoys: Oxfam report


Posted at Jan 16 2023 01:22 PM

MANILA - The nine richest Filipinos have more wealth compared to 55 million or half of the entire Philippine population, according to a report by Oxfam International.

The Survival of the Richest report also said that in the Philippines, the poor are unable to recover from the lingering impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and high prices of commodities such as red onions. 

“Inequality experienced in the Philippines is starker with the 9 richest Filipinos having more wealth than the bottom half or 55 million of the population," said Oxfam Pilipinas Executive Director Erika Geronimo.

“It is quite disheartening to see many are dying due to lack of health care or are experiencing hunger amid high cost of food while the rich increased their wealth during the pandemic,” she added.

The report cited data from Forbes’ Billionaires List and Oxfam data, it said.

The following are the richest in the country according to the Forbes list Philippines' Richest in 2022:

1. Sy siblings (net worth: $12.6 billion)
2. Manuel Villar (net worth: $7.8 billion)
3. Enrique Razon Jr (net worth: $5.6 billion)
4. Lance Gokongwei and siblings (net worth: $3.1 billion)
5. Aboitiz family (net worth: $2.9 billion)
6. Isidro Consunji and siblings (net worth: $2.9 billion)
7. Tony Tan Caktiong and family (net worth: $2.6 billion)
8. Jaime Zobel de Ayala and family (net worth: $2.55 billion)
9. Ramon Ang (net worth: $2.45 billion)

Since 2012, the number of those worth $5 million (P278.24 million) and above has increased by almost half or 43.5 percent, Oxfam said. 

Geronimo said if a wealth tax was imposed on Filipino millionaires, the country could raise some $3.8 billion a year. 

“This amount is enough to increase our health budget by two-fifths," she said.


During the pandemic years, some $26 trillion or 63 percent out of all new wealth worth $42 trillion was captured by the richest 1 percent while $16 trillion or 37 percent went to the rest of the world put together, according to the report which was published during the opening day of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. 

A billionaire gained about $1.7 million for every $1 of new global wealth earned by a person in the bottom 90 percent, the report said, adding that billionaire fortunes have increased by $2.7 billion per day.

Billionaire wealth surged in 2022 "with rising food and energy profits," the report said.

Oxfam said 95 percent of food and energy corporations have more than doubled their profits in 2022, making $306 billion in windfall profits and paid out $257 billion (84 percent) of that to rich shareholders.

Meanwhile, at least 1.7 billion workers now live in countries where inflation is outpacing wages, and over 820 million people, or 1 in 10 people on earth, are going hungry, the report said.

“While ordinary people are making daily sacrifices on essentials like food, the super-rich have outdone even their wildest dreams. Just two years in, this decade is shaping up to be the best yet for billionaires —a roaring ‘20s boom for the world’s richest,” Gabriela Bucher, Executive Director of Oxfam International said.


More taxes must be imposed on the super-rich to mitigate global inequality, Bucher said.

“Taxing the super-rich and big corporations is the door out of today’s overlapping crises," Bucher said.

"Taxing the super-rich is the strategic precondition to reducing inequality and resuscitating democracy. We need to do this for innovation. For stronger public services. For happier and healthier societies. And to tackle the climate crisis, by investing in the solutions that counter the insane emissions of the very richest,” said Bucher.

Oxfam is urging governments to increase taxes on the richest 1 percent to at least 60 percent of their income from labor and capital. 

It is also calling for taxes on wealth of the richest 1 percent "at rates high enough to significantly reduce the numbers and wealth of the richest people, and redistribute these resources."

The World Bank said the biggest increase in global inequality and poverty since World War 2 is likely experienced today.


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