THE country’s most prominent sports leader-turned-lawmaker, Representative Michael “Mikee” Romero of 1-Pacman party-list, has landed as the 49th richest Filipino in Forbes’ list of 50 Richest People in the Philippines, making him the lone billionaire among the 300 members of the House of Representatives.
Rep. Romero’s net worth is $150 million or roughly 7 billion pesos in Philippine currency.
The 43-year old lawmaker was twice featured in Forbes Magazine in 2013 and 2014 as one of the youngest billionaires in the country, with more than P23.75 billion in net worth. Romero is the first nominee of the 1-Pacman which placed third in the May 9 party-list race.
In the 2013 Forbes list of rich Filipinos, Romero, then only 40, ranked 26th with an estimated $490 million. His estimated net worth was placed AT P17.81 billion, higher than the combined net worth of then Rep. Manny Pacquiao and Cynthia Villar.
As a lawmaker, Romero’s priorities are measures related to the improvement of sports development, education and job creation.
According to Forbes 2016 list, Romero boasts being “the third highest vote-getter in the country for the House of Representatives. The bulk of Romero’s fortune stems from real estate and various stock investments.”
Romero’s other interests include mining, hotels, and a 20 percent stake in Air Asia Philippines. He and wife Sheila collect rare Philippine and Southeast Asian art.
A staunch supporter of several sports disciplines, including basketball, Romero aims to fulfill his promise of giving back to the sporting community which helped raised him as a successful sports and business leader.
Romero has been supporting sports through his Globalport Batang Pier team in the Philippine Basketball Association and Manila Sharks polo team.
He was also involved in shooting, a sport he practiced among other disciplines.
“I’ve always loved and supported sports development in the country. What we need is a comprehensive grassroots plan to tap the youth in sports starting in schools and barangays,” he said.
Romero was a former varsity player at De La Salle University where he earned his Management degree. He has a masters degree in Business Management from the Asian Institute of Management, and two doctorate degrees in Business Administration and Political Economics from the International Academy of Management and Economics-Philippines and De La Salle University.
Romero is convinced the Philippines can produce more world-class athletes like Manny Pacquiao, Lydia de Vega, Paeng Nepomuceno and Arianne Cerdena if more funds will be allotted for sports development and training.
“What we need is for the government to focus on developing young athletes and providing them venues to compete like the Palarong Pambansa. Many of our youth have the talent and skills but what they need is extensive training and opportunities to compete in high level tournaments” Romero said.