Manuel "Manny" B. Villar Jr.
Villar at T'nalak Festival 2009
25th President of the Senate of the Philippines
In office
July 24, 2006 – November 17, 2008
Preceded byFranklin Drilon
Succeeded byJuan Ponce Enrile
Senator of the Philippines
In office
June 30, 2001 – June 30, 2013
20th President pro tempore of the Senate of the Philippines
In office
July 23, 2001 – August 12, 2002
Preceded byBlas Ople
Succeeded byJuan Flavier
18th Speaker of the Philippine House of Representatives
In office
July 27, 1998 – November 13, 2000
Preceded byJose de Venecia Jr.
Succeeded byArnulfo Fuentebella
Member of the
Philippine House of Representatives
from Las Piñas's at-large district
In office
June 30, 1998 – June 30, 2001
Preceded byPosition established
Succeeded byCynthia Villar
Member of the
Philippine House of Representatives
from Las PiñasMuntinlupa's at-large district
In office
June 30, 1992 – June 30, 1998
Preceded byFilemon Aguilar
Succeeded byPosition abolished
Personal details
Manuel Bamba Villar, Jr.

(1949-12-13) December 13, 1949 (age 71)
Tondo, Manila, Philippines
Political partyNacionalista Party
Other political
Independent (2000–2003)
LAMMP (1998–2000)
Lakas-NUCD (1992–1998)
(m. 1975)
ChildrenManuel Paolo Villar
Mark Villar
Camille Villar
ResidenceLas Piñas, Metro Manila
EducationUniversity of the Philippines
Known forChairman of Vista Land & Lifescapes
Chairman of Starmalls, Inc.
Chairman of Golden Bria Holdings, Inc.
Net worthUS$6.8 billion (Jan 2020)[1][2]

Manuel "Manny" Bamba Villar Jr. (Tagalog pronunciation: [ˈviʎar], born December 13, 1949) is a Filipino billionaire businessman and former politician. He was elected senator from 2001 to 2013, and served as the Senate President from 2006 to 2008. Previously, he represented the district of Las PiñasMuntinlupa from 1992 to 1998, and Las Piñas's at-large district from 1998 to 2001. He also became the Speaker of the House of Representatives from 1998 to 2000; in this term, he presided over the impeachment of President Joseph Estrada.

Villar was born to a poor family in Tondo, an impoverished and densely populated district of Manila.[3][4][5][6][7] After graduating from the University of the Philippines, he worked as an accountant and financial analyst, then launched a highly successful business in real estate. Villar's companies have built over 200,000 homes,[5][dead link] and his business career made him the wealthiest person in the Philippines.[2]

He ran for president in the 2010 presidential elections under the Nacionalista Party, but lost to Benigno Aquino III.

Early life and education

Manuel Villar was born on December 13, 1949, in Tondo, an impoverished and densely populated district of Manila.[8] He was the second-born of the nine children of his parents in a poor family.[3][4][5][6][7][9] His father, Manuel "Maning" Montalban Villar, Sr., was a government employee from Cabatuan, Iloilo who worked as an inspector for the Bureau of Fisheries.[4][8] His mother, Curita "Curing" Bamba, was a seafood vendor from a poor family in Orani, Bataan.[4][dead link] The family lived in a small rented apartment in a run down slum area.[6] Villar's father was eventually granted a year-long scholarship for higher education in the United States, which led to a job promotion to a director position in the Department of Agriculture and Natural Resources upon his return.[3] Due to cramped conditions in Tondo, Villar's father obtained a P16,000 loan from the Government Service Insurance System, payable in 20 to 25 years, to build a home in San Rafael Village, Navotas.[7] As a child, Villar initially attended Isabelo delos Reyes Elementary School, a nearby public school in Tondo.[10] He also assisted his mother in selling shrimp and fish at the Divisoria Public Market, as early as age six, in order to help earn the money to support his siblings and himself to school.[4][8] However, accompanying his mother interfered with his education and he was forced to drop out from school during Grade 1.[10] He was then enrolled at Tondo Parochial School (later renamed Holy Child Catholic School), a private school in Tondo run by priests, to complete his elementary education.[10]

Villar finished his high school education at the Mapúa Institute of Technology in Santa Cruz, adjacent to Tondo.[11] He attended the University of the Philippines - Diliman and earned his bachelor's degree in business administration in 1970.[11] He returned to the same school to earn his master's degree in business administration in 1973.[11] He later characterized himself as being impatient with formal schooling, and eager to start working and go into business.[6]

Business career

After obtaining his bachelor's degree, Villar began his professional career working as an accountant for Sycip, Gorres, Velayo & Co. (SGV & Co).[11][dead link] He resigned from SGV & Co. to start his first business, delivering seafood in Makati.[9] However, when his largest customer was unable to pay him, he negotiated a debt restructuring of sorts, selling discounted meal tickets to office workers in exchange for receivables.[5] He then worked briefly as a financial analyst for the Private Development Corporation of the Philippines, where his job was to sell World Bank loans.[4][8] Wanting to start a business of his own again, he quit his job and availed of one of the loans, which offered attractive rates.[4]

In 1975, with an initial capital of ₱10,000, Villar purchased two reconditioned trucks and started a business delivering sand and gravel for construction companies in Las Piñas.[6][9] This eventually segued into building houses, as Villar took out a seven-year loan from a rural bank offering low interest rates.[5][dead link] He initiated mass housing projects through economies of scale, utilizing the cost advantages of developing a large-scale project in order to bring down housing prices.[9][dead link] The number of homes built by Villar's companies totaled to over 200,000 units.[5][dead link]

In the 1980s,[citation needed] Villar established Prime Water to operate and maintain water distribution systems throughout the country.[12] It counts a 25-year partnership with the municipality of Daraga to deliver bulk water,[12] a 25-year joint venture agreement with Lingayen Water District in Pangasinan,[12] and a 25-year joint agreement with the Leyte Metropolitan Water District[13][better source needed] among its 30 water projects with local water districts. The Commission on Audit flagged Prime Water's operations in Guagua, Pampanga due to high levels of arsenic in the commission's 2018 annual report.[14] The company produces over 170 million liters of treated water daily, supplied by more than 250 deep wells and surface water resources, and is directly involved in delivering water to more than 150,000 households across the Philippines.[citation needed] Now under the Villar Group of companies, the water utility firm is led by their eldest son, Paolo.[15]

In 1984, he founded Golden Haven Memorial Park, a chain of cemeteries in the Philippines, started with its first branch in Las Piñas and expanded in Cebu, Cagayan de Oro, Zamboanga, Bulacan, and Iloilo. It will also expanded into the businesses of memorial chapel, crematorium and columbarium.[16][needs update]

In July 1995, Villar's flagship property, C&P Homes, was listed on the Philippine Stock Exchange and grew by more than a third in one day, ballooning Villar's 80% stake in the company to $1.5 billion.[17]

Vista Land and Lifescapes Inc, a family-owned business of Villar, is also listed in the privately owned Philippine Stock Exchange. Their shares of stocks were bought primarily by foreign funds which had given the government, as well as the PSE, good revenues.[18]

Villar has received several awards for his achievements during his professional and business career, including being one of the Ten Outstanding Young Men in 1986, the Agora Award for Marketing Management in 1989, Most Outstanding CPA by the Institute of Certified Public Accountants in 1990, and Most Outstanding UP Alumnus in 1991.[8] In 2004, he was named the Most Distinguished Alumnus, the highest recognition given by the University of the Philippines Alumni Association.[8]

In a report of International Consortium of Investigative Journalists on offshore leaks in April 2013, Villar was listed among the businessmen with offshore accounts. It was revealed that Villar owned an account in the British Virgin Islands.[19]

In 2015, the MB Villar Group formed another company, Vitacare Healthgroup, Inc., a group that will build chain of hospitals nationwide. Its first project Vitacare Unimed Hospital & Medical Center (in partnership with Unimed) will be located in Vista City, Las Piñas will be fully operated in 2018.[20][needs update]

As of September 2018, Forbes magazine ranks him as the 2nd-wealthiest person in the Philippines, with his net worth of US$5 billion or ₱269 billion.[21] However, his statements of assets and liabilities (SALN) filed for the year 2012 states his net worth at P1.453 billion.[22]

In 2019, Forbes Magazine named Villar as the new richest individual in the Philippines, with an estimated net worth of $5.5 billion, surpassing Henry Sy, Sr.[23] In 2021, his net worth surged to approximately $6.7 billion despite being overtaken by the Sy syblings in Forbes' annual Philippines rich list.[24]

Political career

House of Representatives

Villar entered politics when he was elected as the representative of Las Piñas-Muntinlupa's at-large district.[8] Due to congressional redistricting, he later represented the district of Las Piñas.[8]

Villar became the Speaker of the House of Representatives in 1998, during his third term in congress.[8] As speaker, he presided over the impeachment of President Joseph Estrada over corruption allegations in November 2000.[25] Along with a large group of lawmakers which include the Senate President, Villar defected from Estrada's Laban ng Makabayang Masang Pilipino (LAMMP) coalition in order to hasten the process of impeachment.[26] However, he was ousted as speaker by Estrada's allies, replacing him with Camarines Sur representative Arnulfo Fuentebella.[25]


Villar ran and won a seat as a senator in the 2001 elections. He ran as an independent candidate, but campaigned as a member of the People Power Coalition.[27] He was later reelected in 2007, running as a member of the Genuine Opposition coalition.[8]

In July 2006, Villar became the Senate President, making him the first post-World War II public official to head both the House of Representatives and the Senate.[8]

In November 2008, due to issues regarding the construction of a road extension in C5, Villar lost support and resigned as President of the Senate. His successor, Juan Ponce Enrile, launched an inquiry regarding the project.[28]

2010 presidential campaign

Main article: 2010 Philippine presidential election

Villar ran as president in the 2010 presidential elections under the Nacionalista Party, with senator Loren Legarda as his running mate.[29]

During the campaign period, columnist William Esposo claimed that Villar lied in his TV ads and could not have been poor because his younger brother was admitted to FEU Hospital, which he claims was a top hospital at the time and, in 1962, there was no bone marrow transplantation and chemotherapy in the country yet.[30] Villar clarified that his brother was admitted as a charity patient, because the family was unable to afford treatment.[7]

Villar eventually lost the elections, which was won by Aquino III.

Personal life

In his third year of college at the University of the Philippines, Villar became friends with Cynthia Aguilar, his classmate in the UP College of Business Administration.[5] They married at the age of 25.[5] They have three children: Manuel Paolo, Mark, and Camille.[17][31]

See also


  1. ^ "Manuel Villar". Forbes.
  2. ^ a b Abadilla, Doris Dumlao (March 6, 2019). "Manny Villar is richest of 17 Filipino billionaires on Forbes list". Philippine Daily Inquirer. Retrieved October 21, 2019.
  3. ^ a b c Margie Quimpo-Espino (2007-05-06). "Nanay Curing won't let age get in the way of business". Philippine Daily Inquirer. Archived from the original on 2013-02-21. Retrieved 2 April 2010.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g Millet M. Mananquil (2009-05-10). "Fish be with Nanay Curing Villar". The Philippine Star. Retrieved 2 April 2010.
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h Tanya T. Lara (2009-11-15). "Cynthia Villar on Manny, the presidency & what her father taught her". Philippine Star. Retrieved 3 February 2010.
  6. ^ a b c d e "Mr. Billion: How Cheap Homes Made a Filipino Rich". Asiaweek. 1995-08-18. Archived from the original on 2006-10-18. Retrieved 3 February 2010.
  7. ^ a b c d Maila Ager (2010-03-29). "My brother died poor, Villar insists". Philippine Daily Inquirer. Archived from the original on 1 April 2010. Retrieved 3 April 2010.
  8. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k "Senator Manny Villar". Senate of the Philippines. Retrieved 3 February 2010.
  9. ^ a b c d "Manny Villar". Manny Villar official website. Retrieved 8 February 2010.
  10. ^ a b c Amita Legaspi (2010-03-01). "Villar offers Noynoy a tour in Tondo". GMA News and Public Affairs. Retrieved 2 April 2010.
  11. ^ a b c d "Villar, Manuel Jr. - Personal Information". Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism. Retrieved 3 February 2010.
  12. ^ a b c "Villar joins Bulacan water auction". Manila Standard. Retrieved 2021-02-27.
  13. ^ "Villar-owned Prime Water now manages LMWD". Retrieved 2021-05-07.
  14. ^ "Unreasonable! Inquiry sought on Prime Water-Villar's 78% water rate hike |". 2019-10-30. Retrieved 2021-06-28.
  15. ^[dead link]
  16. ^ "Villar seeks to expand memorial parks". BusinessWorld. 22 November 2015. Retrieved 23 November 2015.
  17. ^ a b "Getting Rich By Really Trying". Asiaweek. 1995-08-18. Archived from the original on 18 October 2006. Retrieved 3 February 2010.
  18. ^ "Transcript of Sen. Manny Villar's Press Conference". (in Filipino). Senate of the Philippines. 2010-04-23. Retrieved 14 February 2011.
  19. ^ "BIR chief ready to investigate Pinoys with offshore accounts".
  20. ^ "Villar group launches entry into hospital business". Manila Bulletin. Retrieved 1 December 2015.
  21. ^ Nam, Suzy (June 22, 2011). "Philippines' 50 Richest:#2 Manuel Villar". Forbes.
  22. ^ Mendez, Christina. "Villars richest, Chiz poorest senator". Retrieved 2021-06-28.
  23. ^ "Manny Villar is now PH's richest man". ABS-CBN News. Retrieved 6 March 2019.
  24. ^ "Manuel Villar". Forbes. Retrieved 2021-09-10.
  25. ^ a b Thomas Fuller (2000-11-14). "The Impeachment of Estrada : Day of Political Tumult in Manila". New York Times. Archived from the original on July 29, 2009. Retrieved 3 February 2010.
  26. ^ Thomas Fuller (2000-11-04). "Impeachment Of Estrada Is Certainty, Rival Asserts". New York Times. Archived from the original on March 30, 2014. Retrieved 3 February 2010.
  27. ^ "Senatorial Canvass Report No. 24". Commission on Elections. 2001-08-30. Archived from the original on 7 February 2012. Retrieved 16 February 2010.
  28. ^ Winnie Monsod (2008-11-18). "Monsod: C-5 road extension unnecessary, wasteful". ABS-CBN Corporation. Retrieved 8 March 2010.
  29. ^ "Candidate Profiles - Philippines Election 2010". Archived from the original on 12 April 2010. Retrieved 2 April 2010.
  30. ^ William M. Esposo (2010-03-28). "How Manny Villar lied and used the death of his brother Danny Titi be like". Philippine Star. Retrieved 30 March 2010.[dead link]
  31. ^ Kristine Servando (2010-02-15). "The lifestyle of Rep. Cynthia Villar". ABS-CBN News and Current Affairs. Retrieved 16 February 2010.
House of Representatives of the Philippines Preceded byFilemon Aguilar Representative, Las Piñas–Muntinlupa's at-large district1992–1998 District dissolved New district Representative, Las Piñas's at-large district1998–2001 Succeeded byCynthia Villar Political offices Preceded byJose De Venecia Speaker of the Philippine House of Representatives1998–2000 Succeeded byArnulfo Fuentebella Preceded byBlas Ople President pro tempore of the Senate of the Philippines2001–2002 Succeeded byJuan Flavier Preceded byFranklin Drilon President of the Senate of the Philippines2006–2008 Succeeded byJuan Ponce Enrile Party political offices Preceded bySalvador Laurel President of the Nacionalista Party2003–present Incumbent VacantTitle last held bySalvador Laurel Nacionalista Party nominee for President of the Philippines2010 Most recent