On Thursday, Senator Cynthia Villar shared how her family became one of the wealthiest in the Philippines and clarified it was due to hard work and perseverance, not political influence.
During the Senate’s session for the corporate income tax reform bill, Senator Richard Gordon praised the Villar family for their business success, saying that many are envious.
Manny Villar, the husband of Senator Cynthia Villar, is the richest man in the Philippines, topping Forbes Billionaire 2020 in the country for the second straight year. He has an estimated net worth of $5.7 billion and ranked 298th out of 2,095 billionaires counted by Forbes.
“Manny and I started when we were 25 years old. Our first business is a gravel and sand business with two trucks, and we went to real estate because we were delivering gravel and sand to real estate companies,” the senator said.
“Manny thought he could build houses. So, he started really from scratch, and we grew not because of our influence, but really it’s hard work and perseverance,” she added.
Villar added that they only entered politics because of her father and her brother, former mayors of Las Piñas City.
Cynthia Villar: Family’s wealth due to hard work, not political influence
“Parang ipinamana sa amin na we cannot resist, or we cannot say no. But we never really used our political influence to make our company. We are used to fighting it out in the free market,” she said.
“Hindi ito product of government influence. It’s really hard work and perseverance. Gusto ko lang i-manifest ‘yun kasi baka akala ng mga tao yumaman si Manny dahil sa political influence,” she added.
Villar said their family business grew when it was opened to public investors from abroad through an initial public offering (IPO).
The Villar family owns the AllHome Corporation, Golden Haven Inc., Starmalls Inc., Vista Land & Lifescapes Inc., and other ventures.
Their daughter Camille is currently the Representative of the Lone District of the City of Las Piñas. At the same time, their son Mark serves as the Secretary of the Department of Public Works and Highways.