These already wealthy Filipinos earned billions more despite the pandemic

September 18, 2020 - 6:09 PM
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Injap Sia of DoubleDragon
Edgar “Injap” Sia II, 43, founded Mang Inasal when he was 26 years old. (The STAR/Ernie Peñaredondo)

The coronavirus pandemic affected nearly every aspect of business and the economy, shedding a large part of the fortunes of many of the Philippines’ wealthiest individuals, such as the heirs of the late mogul Henry Sy and real estate tycoon Manuel Villar.

The losses of most of the country’s 50 wealthiest, however, did not affect the top two rankings retained by the Sy family and Villar on Forbes Magazine’s list released Thursday, September 17.

“The collective wealth of the Philippines’ 50 Richest dropped to $60.6 billion from $78 billion a year earlier,” Grace Chung of Forbes writes.

While a few dropped out of the top 10 and 20, some individuals on the Forbes 50 list managed to still earn billions of pesos in wealth despite a recession and widespread unemployment.

Here is a shortlist of the biggest gainers in the past year.

Billionaire gainers2020 fortuneSource of wealthBrand associationsGains attributed to
Edgar “Injap” Sia II $700 millionFast food; Real estateMang Inasal; Double Dragon PropertiesSuccessful IPO of MerryMart in June.
Felipe Gozon Jr. $170 million MediaGMA NetworkJump of GMA Network’s shares following rival ABS-CBN’s shutdown.
Soledad Oppen-Cojuangco and children$1.2 billionFood and beverageSan MiguelInheritance from late husband Eduardo Cojuangco, who chaired San Miguel Corp.
Lance Gokongwei and siblings$4.1 billionAirlines; Telecom; Banking; Food; Power; PropertyCebu Pacific; Universal Robina; Robinsons RetailInheritance from late father John Gokongwei Jr.
Vivian Que Azcona and siblings$1.34 bilionDrugstoresMercury DrugContinued operations of the drugstore chain as an essential service during monthslong quarantine.
Betty Ang$185 millionFood and beverageMonde Nissin
PJ Lhuillier$230 millionPawn shopsCebuana Lhuillier
William Belo$900 millionHome improvement storesWilcon Depot