Party-list representative still richest congressman

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, June 11) — A multibillionaire representing "marginalized nationals" is still the country's richest congressman in 2018.

Rep. Michael Romero of party-list group 1-Pacman or One Patriotic Coalition of Marginalized Nationals, has a declared a net worth of ₱7.86 billion as of December 31, 2018. This is based on the summary report of congressmen's Statement of Assets and Liabilities and Net worth, released on Wednesday.

This is the third consecutive year that the port tycoon has been declared the richest among 291 members of the House of Representatives. He was worth ₱7.29 billion in 2017 and ₱7 billion in 2016. The reelected lawmaker is also chairman and president of Globalport 900, Inc., which develops and operates various port facilities in the country, including the Manila North Harbor.

Another party-list lawmaker who made it to the chamber's top 10 richest is Manila Teachers Rep. Virgilio Lacson, with a net worth of ₱794 million.

Under the law, the party-list system should enable the representation of "Filipino citizens belonging to the marginalized and underrepresented sectors, organizations and parties."

In a recent TV interview, Romero said party-lists do not only represent the marginalized but also various sectors.

Meanwhile, other party-list representatives dominated the list of poorest lawmakers. Kabataan Rep. Sarah Elago has the lowest net worth of ₱85,400.

Millionaires in Congress

Next to Romero is another businessman, Negros Occidental 3rd District Rep. Alfredo Benitez who declared a ₱1.02-billion net worth.

He is followed by almost 300 millionaires and multimillionaires, including Ilocos Norte 2nd District Rep. Imelda Marcos. The graft convict and former first lady is third richest with ₱924 million.

House Speaker Gloria Macapagal Arroyo is the 10th wealthiest with ₱480 million. Here's the top 10 list:

• 1-Pacman Party-list Rep. Michael Romero (₱7.86 billion)

• Negros Occidental 3rd District Rep. Alfredo Benitez (₱1.02 billion)

• Ilocos Norte 2nd District Rep. Imelda Marcos (₱924 million)

• Quezon City 4th District Rep. Belmonte Feliciano (₱865 million)

• Manila Teachers Party-list Rep. Virgilio Lacson (₱794 million)

• Marikina 1st District Rep. Bayani Fernando (₱748 million)

• Davao del Norte 2nd District Rep. Antonio Floirendo (₱715 million)

• Batangas 6th District Rep. Rosa Vilma Santos-Recto (₱555 million)

• Leyte 1st District Rep. Yedda Romualdez (₱488 million)

• Pampanga 2nd District Rep. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo (₱480 million)

CNN Philippines' Xianne Arcangel contributed to this report.