FERDINAND MARTIN G. ROMUALDEZ
Speaker Ferdinand Martin Romualdez today is the second most powerful man in the Philippines. Charismatic and genial, he is a good bet for a higher position in 2028.By WIKIPEDIA
He is the third child of Benjamin Romualdez and Juliette Gomez-Romualdez. The Romualdezes are an influential and affluent family. His father, Benjamin, served as Governor of Leyte and Ambassador to the United States, and one of the most accomplished and powerful men of the Philippines.
Martin’s paternal aunt is Imelda Romualdez Marcos, the former First Lady of the Philippines. This makes former President Ferdinand Marcos his uncle, while President Bongbong and Senator Imee Marcos are his cousins.
Romualdez attended Cornell University in the United States from 1981 to 1985, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts degree in government. In 1988, he earned a Certificate of Special Studies in Administration and Management from Harvard University.
He later enrolled at the University of the Philippines College of Law in 1988, where he became a brother of the Upsilon Sigma Phi fraternity. He earned his Bachelor of Laws degree in 1992. He was admitted to the bar in 1993.
Also in 1992, Romualdez started to serve as concurrent trustee and president of Doña Remedios Trinidad Romualdez Medical and Dr. Vicente Orestes Romualdez Educational Foundation. In 1995, meanwhile, he started work as director and legal counsel for the CARPA Realty Development Corporation, and as trustee for Remedios Trinidad Romualdez Medical Foundation.
He still holds both offices. Before his work in his family’s foundations, he spent a considerable time in the banking field. He was chairman of the board for Equitable PCI Bank, as well as Director for several companies, among them Philippine Commercial International Bank, Equitable Card Network, EBC Investments, Inc., Equitable Savings Bank, PCI Leasing Corporation, and PCI Capital Corporation.
As early as April 2014, Romualdez expressed his interest to run as Senator in the 2016 elections. He filed his certificate of candidacy for Senator on October 13, 2015. He ran under the Lakas–CMD party. He lost.
He is the author of the House Bill No. 1039, which was enacted into law by President Benigno Aquino III as Republic Act No. 10754 or an act on expanding the benefits and privileges of people with disabilities.
Martin Romualdez is married to Yedda Marie M. Kittilstvedt, a former beauty pageant contestant who competed in Miss International 1996 and won. She is known as a staunch advocate of women’s and children’s rights issues. They have four children: Andrew Julian (2000), Ferdinand Martin, Jr. (2001), Mariabella Gabrielle “Minxie” (2007), and Yedda Marie Danielle “Maddey” (2015). The family is currently living in Makati City, Philippines.
On July 10, 2020, Martin and his wife Yedda Romualdez were among the 70 congressmen who voted “yes” to reject the franchise renewal of ABS-CBN.
In late November 2022, Rep. Sandro Marcos, together with House Speaker Martin Romualdez, filed the House Bill 6398, also known as the Maharlika Investment Fund (MIF). The aim is to create a sovereign wealth fund for the Philippines. The bill draws inspiration from South Korea’s Korea Investment Corporation.