SENATORIAL CANDIDATE
62. VILLAR, MARK
NACIONALISTA PARTY

Mark Villar, 43, is a former Department of Public Works and Highways secretary known for his work as isolation czar amid the pandemic and for facilitating the Duterte administration’s flagship Build, Build, Build campaign.

The ambitious BBB Program, intended to boost infrastructure in the countryside and spur economic growth, has received increased funding over the last five years and continues to be hailed by administration allies. However, a number of projects stamped as part of the effort have been flagged by critics as started and substantially completed prior to being included in the project's umbrella.

Villar was elected representative of the lone district of Las Piñas for three consecutive terms, the last of which was cut short when he was appointed DPWH secretary in 2016. His wife, Emmeline Aglipay-Villar was also serving as Diwa party-list representative in the lower house when she was appointed undersecretary of the Department of Justice in August 2018.

His sister, Camille Villar, won the Las Piñas district seat in 2019 and is seeking reelection in 2022. The same seat was previously occupied by his parents, former Senator Manny Villar and Senator Cynthia Villar. If Villar wins in the 2022 elections, he will join his mother Cynthia and sister Camille in Congress.

Villar’s parents also own Vista Land and Lifescapes, Inc. among other business ventures. In April 2022, Manny Villar was recognized by Forbes Magazine as the richest individual in the Philippines, with an estimated net worth of USD 8.3 billion. Before he entered government, the younger Villar also held posts at his family’s businesses. Questions continue to be raised about conflicts of interest posed by the Villars’ public service careers and their business empire.

He is campaigning on a platform of bringing BBB to the Senate, though he has not yet detailed what kind of legislation he would push to fulfill that pledge.

Villar is included in the senatorial slate of the UniTeam alliance of the late dictator's son Ferdinand Bongbong Marcos and the incumbent president's daughter Sara Duterte. His candidacy has been endorsed by President Rodrigo Duterte.

In January 2022, two frequencies that were previously operated by ABS-CBN – the network shuttered by President Duterte's allies in the House of Representatives – were granted to Manny Villar’s Advanced Media Broadcasting System.

Platform and Policy
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The candidate's top priorities if elected to office, tracked against previous promises and accomplishments, if any

Select a policy profile below to view more details
 
Infrastructure projects and economy
Related Policy Proposal:
  1. Continuation, promotion, and legislative expansion of Build, Build, Build projects under next administration to improve connectivity, facilitate economic growth
  2. Prioritize job generation
Previous Platform:
Track Record / Accomplishment; Date:
  1. Construction and rehabilitation of major highways, farm-to-market roads, bridges, diversion roads under the Build, Build, Build campaign; 14 major projects are identified as completed in the Build, Build, Build official website
  2. DPWH reported that about 6.6 million jobs were created from 2016 to 2020 under the Build, Build, Build campaign
Deviation from Previous Platform:
Major Accomplishments
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The candidate's top five accomplishments and contributions for the last 15 years or so


Public Sector

Throughout two full terms and a few months into his third term as a lawmaker in the lower chamber, Villar filed at least 184 principally authored bills, at least 12 of which were passed into law.


Among these laws are R.A. No. 10909 which prohibits business establishments from shortchanging customers even if the change due is only a small amount and R.A. No. 10644 or the Go Negosyo Act which supports micro, small and medium enterprises.


Villar’s appointment as DPWH secretary was met with objections that pointed to potential conflicts of interest in violation of R.A. No. 6713, or the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees, due to his family’s extensive business holdings like Vista Land and Camella Homes. His allies waved away such concerns since his DPWH work deals with infrastructure projects and not the grant of business permits for housing and construction projects. Additional safeguards also had to be complied with such as divestment of business interests and appropriate disclosures in SALNs. Villar also owed that his family would not participate in the bidding of DPWH-implemented public-private partnership projects.


However, in December 2019, the Villar clan’s wide-ranging influence in business and commerce resurfaced. DOJ undersecretary Aglipay-Villar inhibited herself from the justice department’s review of the water concessionaire contracts between the government and Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System, given her close ties to the Villar family or the owners of Prime Water Infrastructure Corp.


As secretary of DPWH, Villar oversaw the bulk of the Duterte administration’s infrastructure projects under its flagship Build, Build, Build program across the country, with such projects getting massive funding infusions even during the course of the COVID-19 pandemic.


Through its five-year implementation, the program has constructed over 30,000 kilometers of road, over 150,000 classrooms, over 5,000 bridges, over 11,000 flood control structures, and other major infrastructure projects as of mid-2021. The DPWH also claims it generated an estimated 6.6 million jobs for Filipinos from 2016 to 2020, with another 1.6 million jobs to be generated from the department's 2021 budget.


In 2017, the National Economic and Development Authority identified 75 priority projects to be undertaken under the ambitious projections of the Build, Build, Build program but several revisions were made such as the removal of about half of the original list, the addition of 71 other – some of which were already ongoing – projects and other adjustments in 2021.


Only 14 major projects out of the expanded target of 119 projects have been completed as of February 2022, according to the BBB official website. Another 10 projects were targeted for completion by year-end.


In 2020, the DPWH received a P581.7 billion budget; it was increased to P667.3 billion out of the P4.506 trillion budget for 2021. This increase came despite the P135.8 billion worth of “reappropriations” and “lump sum appropriations” involving 5,913 DPWH infrastructure projects questioned during the 2020 budget deliberations. Senator Panfilo Lacson, in particular, questioned the realignment of funds to the COVID-19 response and said appropriating such sums may be unconstitutional because lump sums are expressly prohibited and the P135 billion (initially pegged at P73.5 billion) in items rehashed from the 2020 national budget should have been discontinued completely if they are to qualify for fresh funding. Instead, the 2021 NEP proposes only fractions of their original allocations. Villar insisted that the DPWH complied with line-item budgeting and that no lump sum allocations were made.


Also in the last quarter of 2020, President Duterte during his public addresses railed against the DPWH for supposed rampant corruption. Although the president cleared Villar of wrongdoing, the latter ordered the creation of an anti-corruption task force composed of five officials to probe fellow officers and employees within the department. Some doubted the effectiveness of an internal investigative body rather than an independent probe. The Task-Force Against Corruption later took over the Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission’s investigation into cases of alleged corruption involving certain lawmakers and at least 14 DPWH district engineers.



Executive Branch Accomplishments

Build, Build, Build road projects
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Claims to have built more than 30,000 kilometers of roads that led to economic zones and tourism destinations
However, a number of projects were conceptualized and began during the Aquino administration. Villar drew the ire of critics via social media after supposedly attempting to grab credit for some projects
Position/Date
DPWH secretary, August 2016-October 2021
Status
Several candidates have vowed to continue the initiatives under the Build, Build, Build campaign
Build, Build, Build airport projects
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Completion of over 230 airport projects since 2016, including Bicol International Airport, General Santos International Airport, and Zamboanga International Airport
Build, Build, Build completed projects
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Marked as completed as of December 2021:
  1. Runway Manila (modern pedestrian link bridge that connects the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 3and the Newport City
  2. R-10 road (from Delpan Bridge, Tondo, Manila to the mouth of the Malabon River at Bangkulasi Bridge; started six administrations ago)
  3. Mandaluyong Main Drainage (Maysilo) Project
  4. NAIA Expressway Project Phase
  5. Bonifacio Global City
  6. Newport City
  7. Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway (project started in 2005)
  8. Clark Freeport and Special Economic Zone
  9. Passenger Terminal Building at the Port of Cagayan de Oro
  10. Mactan-Cebu International Airport Terminal 2
  11. Bohol-Panglao International Airport
  12. Cavite Gateway Terminal
  13. Parañaque Integrated Terminal Exchange
  14. Communications, Navigation, Surveillance/Air Traffic Management
Job generation
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Claims to have generated about 6.6 million jobs from 2016 to 2020


Legislative Accomplishments

R.A. No. 11210 or the 105-Day Expanded Maternity Leave Law
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Position/Date
Among the principal authors, 2019
Status
Approved by the president on Feb. 20, 2019
R.A. No. 10845 or the Anti-Agricultural Smuggling Act of 2016
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Position/Date
Principal author, 2015
Status
Approved by the president on May 23, 2016
R.A. No. 10644 or the Go Negosyo Act
Read More
Position/Date
Among the principal authors, 2013
Status
Approved by the president on July 15, 2014
R.A. No. 10909 or the No Shortchanging Act of 2016
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Position/Date
Principal author of bill substituted by final house bill, 2013
Status
Lapsed into law on July 21, 2016
R.A. No. 10747 or the Rare Diseases Act of the Philippines
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Position/Date
Among the principal authors, 2015
Status
Approved by the president on Mar. 3, 2016
Job generation
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Claims to have generated about 6.6 million jobs from 2016 to 2020
Actions and/or Proceedings
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Actions and/or proceedings pending against or resolved in courts or tribunals involving the candidate, based on publicly available information

There is no publicly available information on this matter at this time. Requested information from the candidate was not provided.
Statement of Assets, Liabilities and Net Worth
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Also known as SALN, this document is a declaration of one's personal finances. Philippine Law requires the SALN to be submitted by all public officials and employees to the Ombudsman. Public officials and employees may opt to voluntarily disclose their SALN to the public.

Assets
P1.4 billion
Liabilities
Net Worth
P1.4 billion

* As of December 31, 2020

Campaign Details
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Key details about the candidate's campaign

Alliances and Endorsements: Included in the senatorial slate of the UniTeam alliance of the Ferdinand Marcos Jr.–Sara Duterte
Party History:
Nacionalista Party
2021-present
Major Donors
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Candidate's major donors and campaign funding sources

There is no publicly available information on this matter at this time. Requested information from the candidate was not provided.
Major Advocacies
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The candidate's top advocacies in the last 15 years or so

 
Infrastructure
Promotion of securitization
As a senatorial candidate in the 2022 elections, he is campaigning on “bringing” Build, Build, Build to the Senate, although no details of specific legislative proposals have been provided
Personal Details
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Basic information on the candidate's family, background and work experience

Name to appear on the ballot: VILLAR, MARK
Full Name: Mark Aguilar Villar
Birthdate: Aug. 14, 1978, (43 years old on election day)
Birthplace: Las Piñas, Metro Manila
Residence: Las Piñas, Metro Manila
Religion: Catholic
Languages Spoken: Filipino, English
Parents:
Manny Villar, father, businessman and former Senate President
Cynthia Villar, mother, senator
Siblings:
Manuel Paolo Villar, president and chief executive officer of Vista Land & Lifescapes, Inc.
Camille Villar, Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives and Las Piñas representative

Marital Status: Married, Emmeline Aglipay-Villar, lawyer; elected for three terms as Democratic Independent Workers’ Association or DIWA Party-list representative and served as interim representative of the lone District of Las Piñas from 2016 to 2018 to replace Villar when he became DPWH secretary in August 2016; resigned from the House of Representatives when she was appointed undersecretary of the, Department of Justice in August 2018

Youngest daughter of former Philippine National Police Chief Edgar Aglipay; granddaughter of former ambassador and Armed Forces Chief of Staff Manuel Yan


Children: Emma Therese Villar
Education:

• Master’s Degree in Business Administration, University of Chicago Booth School of Business

• Bachelor’s Degree in Economics, Political Science and Philosophy, Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania

Work Experience:

• Isolation Czar, Inter-Agency Task Force for Emerging Infectious Diseases (Mar. 16, 2020 – Oct. 6, 2021)

• Secretary, Department of Public Works and Highways (Aug. 1, 2016 – Oct. 6, 2021)

• Vice-President, Global Interphase Security Services Provider

• Representative of the lone District o fLas Piñas, House of Representatives (June 30, 2010 – Aug. 1, 2016)

• President, Crown Asia Corp.

• Managing Director, Vista Land & Lifescapes

Appendix
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Learn more about this candidate

Major Accomplishments

Other Legislative and Executive Accomplishments

R.A. No. 10870 or the Philippine Credit Card Industry Regulation Act
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Position/Date
Principal author, 2014
Status
Approved by the president on July 17, 2016
R.A. No. 10928 or An Act Extending the Validity of Philippine Passports
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Position/Date
Among the principal authors, 2017
Status
Approved by the president on Aug. 2, 2017
R.A. No. 10679 or the Youth Entrepreneurship Act
Read More

Position/Date
Principal author, 2014
Status
Approved by the president on Aug. 27, 2015
R.A. No. 10693 of the Microfinance NGOs Act
Read More
Position/Date
Principal author, 2014
Status
Approved by the president on Nov. 3, 2015