GSIS, SSS dropped as mandatory sources of capital for Maharlika Fund

Authors of the proposed Maharlika Wealth Fund (MWF) have dropped state pension funds Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) and Social Security System (SSS) as mandatory contributors to the proposed sovereign wealth fund, House appropriations panel senior vice chairperson Stella Quimbo of Marikina City said Wednesday.

Quimbo, one of the authors of the bill proposing the fund, said the decision was reached after they met with economic managers on Wednesday morning, including Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Governor Felipe Medalla who earlier expressed opposition to the measure.

“Na-validate iyong agam-agam of our pensioners, lalo na ang masisipag na manggagawang Pilipino na buwang-buwang naghuhulog [sa GSIS and SSS],” Quimbo said in a news conference.

(The fears of our pensioners were validated, especially the hardworking Filipinos who make contributions to GSIS and SSS every month.)

“That is why we decided that we won’t compel the GSIS and SSS to contribute. After all, the goal of this fund is to look for a surplus fund to be an investment vehicle for higher returns that will yield a higher budget for government programs,” Quimbo added.

Aside from GSIS and SSS, also removed from mandatory contributors to MWF is the General Appropriations Act or the national budget law.

As a result, Quimbo said, the seed money will now come from the state-run banks LandBank of the Philippines (P50 billion), the Development Bank of the Philippines (P25 billion), and the dividends/profits of the BSP.

“We will know the amount on Friday. It will not be considerably smaller. The amount [left] will still be big enough to start an investment fund,” Quimbo added, referring to the committee deliberations on the measure on Friday.

Aside from Quimbo, other authors of the measure are Speaker Martin Romualdez of Leyte, Ilocos Norte Representative Sandro Marcos, Tingog party-list Representative and House accounts panel chairperson Yedda Romualdez, Marikina City Representative and House appropriations panel senior vice chairperson Stella Quimbo, Zamboanga City Representative Mannix Dalipe, and Tingog Sinirangan Representative Jude Acidre.

The National Treasury earlier said the MWF has enough safeguards. — BM, GMA Integrated News

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