PHILIPPINE President Rodrigo Duterte’s net worth grew slightly by PHP3 million (US$60,000) in the first six months of his presidency, according to data from the Office of the Ombudsman released Friday.
Local media reports say the latest Statement of Assets, Net Worth and Liabilities (SALN) put Duterte’s total worth at PHP27,428,862.44 (US$550,000) as at Dec 31, 2016, compared to PHP24,080,094.04 (US$483,000) in June 30.
Quoting the statement, Rappler said the president grew slightly richer due to the US$60,000 increase in his “cash on hand/bank”.
The president’s investments, however, decreased over the same period, dropping to PHP3 million from PHP3.9 million.
The report said Duterte’s SALN for Dec 31 also listed “other personal properties” worth some PHP1 million, which was not listed in the June statement.
The December report shows Duterte divested all business interests after taking office. Prior to his presidency, Duterte had listed himself as incorporator of Honda Cars in General Santos City and Poeng Yue Foundation Inc in Davao City.
Other personal assets, such as real estate and cars, remained the same in both the June and December statements.
According to Inquirer, there were no changes in the total declared value of his nine residential properties in Davao City, which have an acquisition cost of PHP1.405 million (US$28,000).
Duterte also declared his ownership of a Volkswagen sedan and a Toyota Rav 4, which have a combined value of PHP840,000 (US$16,900), unchanged since six months ago. He declared the value of his household appliances and furniture at PHP350,000 (US$7,000).
His youngest daughter, 13-year-old Veronica owns PHP3.080 million (US$62,000) worth in real estate properties, reportedly purchased “through the exclusive funds of the mother”, Duterte’s partner, Cielito “Honeylet” Avancena. According to Rappler, this value remained the same over the six-month period.
Inquirer’s report says Duterte’s net worth in previous years were PHP21.97 million in 2014, PHP18.93 million in 2011, PHP16.62 million in 2009, PHP15.32 million in 2008, PHP9.69 million in 2007, PHP8.65 million in 2006, PHP8.43 million in 2005, PHP7.02 million in 2004, PHP2.83 million in 2002, PHP1.77 million in 2000, PHP1.48 million in 1999, PHP1.05 million in 1998, and PHP897,792 in 1997.
Drawing comparisons to the leader’s predecessor, Benigno Aquino III, The Philippine Star noted the latter’s net worth had similarly increased during his first six months in office.
The report said Aquino’s wealth went from PHP15.44 million (US$310,000) in December 2009 to PHP50.19 million (US$1 million) in June 2010. This was attributed to properties he acquired from inheritance following the death of his mother Corazon Aquino.
Duterte is largely known to prefer the frugal lifestyle, often expressing disdain for extravagant displays of pomp and pageantry during public events. Since coming to power, the leader made sure to scale back on budgets for red carpet events and has even urged officials to dress simply.
Immediately upon winning the May 9 elections last year, he famously told a meeting of his Cabinet members to prepare for a frugal administration, saying some perks would be relinquished, such as business class flights, the use of public funds for junkets and expensive cars.
Earlier in 2015 when he announced his presidential bid, Duterte publicly cursed Pope Francis for causing traffic jams during his papal visit in January that year.
According to The Philippine Star, Duterte recounted in a forum how he had been stuck in traffic along Roxas Boulevard as the roads were closed to ensure a smooth flow for the pope’s delegation.
In January this year, Duterte’s government issued strict orders for the Miss Universe 2017 pageant that was held in the Philippines, saying no road should be closed throughout the international event and that street dwellers should not be hidden to portray a false image of the country.
It later told all government departments and agencies, local governments, government-controlled corporations, and state universities and colleges to extend “full support” to the event but not to spend for it.