The Philippines should “take advantage” of its newfound tag as “rising star of the Association of Southeast Asian Nation (ASEAN) region” by institutionalizing a sovereign wealth fund. Thus, said Ilocos Norte 1st district Rep. Sandro Marcos, one of the authors of House Bill (HB) No.6398 or the proposed P275-billion Maharlika Wealth Fund (MWF).
Speaking to House reporters on the sidelines of the second and final Bicameral Conference Committee meeting in Makati City Monday, Dec. 5, Marcos made his case as to why now is the time for the Philippines to pursue its very own sovereign wealth fund.
“If you ask when will it be the right time, or it’s not the right time now, kung ganun ang mindset it will never be the right time. So we have to make sure in the interest of national development that we are doing everything we can,” he said.
“Ang tawag na nga sa amin (They’re already calling us), the rising star of the ASEAN region eh. So let’s use that to our advantage,” underscored the presidential son and House senior deputy majority leader.
“Let’s make sure that, if we are the rising star of the ASEAN region, that the proper investments come in from the proper people and I think the sovereign wealth fund is a conduit to be able to do that,” noted Marcos.
The neophyte solon pointed to the case of Indonesia, which according to him has generated huge profits within the first year of its sovereign wealth fund.
Marcos also assured the public that proposed MWF would be run like a corporation and thus be free from politics.
“Like I said, I think part of the reason was that, of course, it’s been politicized, but the whole point of this exercise is that this corporation will be free from politics. That’s why it needs to be run by technocrats; wala silang interes sa pulitika (They have no interest in politics),” he said.