The 50 richest Filipinos, according to Forbes, include shopping mall mogul Henry Sy (ranked first), former senator Manny Villar (16th), Felipe Gozon of GMA-7 (41st) and business tycoon Manny Pangilinan (50th).

MANILA, AUGUST 4, 2013 (PHILSTAR) By Louis Bacani - The combined wealth of the 50 richest Filipinos and their families is a whopping $65.8 billion or about P2.8 trillion as of July 2013, according to Forbes' list of billionaires in the Philippines.

Topping the list of 50 richest Filipinos is 88-year-old shopping mall mogul Henry Sy, whose net worth is currently pegged at $12 billion or P521 billion.

"The Philippines' richest person Henry Sy saw his fortune swell by $2.9 billion, boosted by the surge in shares of his SM Investments, the country's most valuable company, which reported record profits of over $570 million in 2012," Sy's profile read on Forbes website.

The second richest is Lucio Tan and his family with a net worth of P325 billion. He is followed on the list by Andrew Tan (P199.7 billion), Enrique Razon (P195.3 billion), and John Gonkongwei Jr. (P147.6 billion).

Jaime Zobel de Ayala and his family are ranked as sixth richest with a net worth of P134.6 billion.

The Aboitiz family that controls Cebu-based conglomerate Aboitiz Equity Ventures ranked seventh with a net worth of P130.2 billion.

The country's "father of construction," David Consunji, is the eight richest with a net worth of P117.2 billion.

Former senator Manny Villar has also joined the billionaire ranks for the first time after doubling his stake in listed home builder Starmalls. His net worth is currently pegged at P45.5 billion. He is the 16th richest Filipino.

President Benigno Aquino III's uncle, Eduardo Cojuangco, is the 20th richest in the country. As the chairman of San Miguel Corp., he has a net worth of P35.8 billion.

Billionaires involved in the media industry are also among the country's richest: Manila Bulletin's Emilio Yap, ABS-CBN's Oscar Lopez, and GMA 7's Gilberto Duavit and Felipe Gozon.

The last man on the list, Manny Pangilinan, has a net worth of P4.5 billion. According to Forbes, MVP is the chief executive of Hong Kong-listed First Pacific, which owns big companies such like Philippine Long Distance Telephone, TV 5 and Meralco in the Philippines and Indonesian instant noodles maker Indofood.

An article by Naazneen Karmali posted on the Forbes website said the 50 richest Filipinos are worth a combined $65.8 billion or about P2.8 trillion, more than a quarter of the Philippines' gross domestic product.

Malacaņang: 50 Pinoy billionaires help boost economy By Louis Bacani (philstar.com) | Updated August 1, 2013 - 3:37pm

MANILA, Philippines - The Palace is not worried that the combined wealth of the 50 richest Filipinos is worth more than a quarter of the country's gross domestic product (GDP).

At a televised press briefing, Presidential Spokesperson Edwin Lacierda (photo) said the businesses of these billionaires help the Philippine economy as they provide jobs to the people.

"Yung mga kumpanya naman po for instance nina Ginoong Henry Sy, marami po silang ine-employ na tao," he said.

"One mall would hire so many people... It provides an avenue, an opportunity where businesses can be established because people converge in that particular (area), for instance, a mall," added Lacierda.

He said economic growth can be expected since people patronize these malls.

"In turn, when there is a sale, it generates income for the businesses, which provide employment," said Lacierda.

According to the Forbes' list of billionaires in the Philippines as of July 31, the combined wealth of the 50 richest Filipinos and their families is pegged at $65.8 billion or about P2.8 trillion. A Forbes article noted that this amount is more than a quarter of the country's GDP.

Related story: Richest Pinoys' wealth: P2.8 trillion, more than a fourth of GDP

Shopping mall mogul Henry Sy, whose net worth was estimated at $12 billion or P521 billion, was ranked as the richest Filipino for the sixth consecutive time.

Other billionaires listed on the top 10 were Lucio Tan, Andrew Tan, Enrique Razon, John Gonkongwei Jr., Jaime Zobel de Ayala, the Aboitiz family, and David Consunji.

Several of these billionaires own a number of businesses and have "diversified" sources of wealth, according to Forbes.

"'Pag mas marami 'yung mga negosyo nila, dadami po ang ating mga trabaho," Lacierda said

Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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