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Daring donor



What do American business magnate Warren Edward Buffett and Narvacan, Ilocos Sur Mayor Luis “Chavit” Singson have in common? Both are old billionaires who continue to get richer every year.

Forbes estimates the current net worth of the 91-year-old Berkshire Hathaway chairman and CEO at $115 billion. The amount of 80-year-old Singson’s wealth is unknown but the reported $15 million he spent for the holding of the 2016 Miss Universe beauty pageant in the Philippines is one indication of the amount of his wealth.

Another common denominator between the two businessmen is their generosity.

Buffet has been donating 99 percent of his wealth to charity organizations since 2006, but because of the sheer amount of his money, he is only halfway through the task after 16 years, according to His total donations to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation alone are $33 billion as of 2021.

For his part, Singson revealed in an interview with the Daily Tribune last week that he is donating at least P15 billion of his wealth to Filipinos.

Singson said his promise is not driven by politics; he already withdrew in October his candidacy for vice mayor of his town in the upcoming national elections.

“This is why I did not enter politics anymore so they cannot say that I’ll be donating my wealth because of politics,” the former provincial governor said in Ilocano.

“I cannot bring my wealth to Heaven once I die, so I’ll just donate it to the people,” Singson said.

The mayor added that he has had more than enough in his life.

The former congressman recently sold his Metro Walk lot in the central business district of San Juan, just beside the Ortigas business center, for several billions of pesos. He owns a bank and other businesses in Las Vegas, USA. In the Philippines, Singson is into mining, transportation, and construction.

Singson said all his companies are successful and making money.

The P15 billion he is donating should make his countrymen excited. In the interview at his home in Sulvec, the mayor said the donation will fund the building of hotels, shopping malls, convention centers, entertainment facilities, high-rise condominiums, and a global television network. This means thousands of people getting jobs.

Fellow countrymen will surely welcome Singson’s philanthropic gesture. Two words that can best describe their affirmative reaction is the famous Ilocano line of the late TV show host Joe Quirino: Okay ngarud (indeed)!