THE country’s economic managers said the passage of the Maharlika Investment Fund bill will further boost the Philippines’ economic growth.
“The economic team commends Senate President Senator [Juan Miguel] Migz Zubiri and Senator Mark Villar for their thorough deliberation and prioritization of the proposed Maharlika Investment Fund Act,” Finance Secretary Benjamin Diokno said.
“The Senate leadership has pulled out all the stops to ensure that the bill we bring to the President reflects the administration’s objective of creating a profitable and secure investment fund,” he added.
The Senate approved on third and final Reading, Senate Bill 2020 proposing the establishment of a sovereign wealth fund or the “Maharlika Investment Fund.”
Executive Secretary Lucas Bersamin, Finance Secretary Diokno, Budget Secretary Amenah Pangandaman, Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Arsenio Balisacan, and Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Governor Felipe M. Medalla were all seated during the extended session to support the bill’s swift passage.
“This is a great stride towards our long-term progress and will boost our efforts for economic growth,” Budget Secretary Amenah Pangandaman said.
Pangandaman also said that the Senate’s version of the MIF has “multiple” safeguards against potential misuse.
“This includes multiple safeguards– we have an audit committee, there’s an advisory board, and there’s a congressional oversight committee. It adheres to the internationally-known Santiago principles, there’s CoA (Commission on Audit), and it has [a] procurement law, so I think we have enough safeguards,” Pangandaman said.
“I think we’ve exhausted all our time and effort in making sure that the law that we’re going to pass is something that is more acceptable,” she added.
Pangandaman also mentioned the Landbank of the Philippines, the Development Bank of the Philippines, privatization proceeds, the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation, and dividends from the central bank as financial sources.
“The major change from the first one they filed is the pension. It was already excluded, and then there are much more safeguards now that they have provided. So I think it will be more acceptable to everyone,” Pangandaman said.