That the proposed Maharlika Investment Fund (MIF) took only 18 calendar days to get passed in the House of Representatives rubs Basilan lone district Rep. Mujiv Hataman the wrong way.
Hataman was one of six congressmen who voted against the passage on third and final reading of the MIF measure or House Bill (HB) No.6608 during the chamber's final session day for the year Thursday, Dec. 15.
"All in all, from filing to final approval, it only took members of the House of Representatives 18 calendar days to give final approval to the Maharlika Investment Fund bill...hindi ito sapat na panahon para pagtibayin ang panukala lalo na kung maraming tao at sektor ang nagpahayag ng pagtutol sa maraming probisyon nito (this is not enough time to legislate a proposal especially if there are a lot of people and sectors opposing its many provisions)," the Liberal Party (LP) solon said in a statement.
The MIF Bill, which seeks to institutionalized a Philippine sovereign wealth fund, was first first in the 19th Congress last Nov. 28, mostly by members of the House leadership. It was approved on third reading Thursday, Dec. 15 or just before the solons' holiday break.
In that span of time, the measure breezed through three House committees: the Committee on Banks and Financial Intermediaries (mother committee), Committee on Ways and Means, and Committee on Appropriations.
Hataman noted that Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Governor Felipe Medalla himself, at least at the outset, expressed concerns over the Philippine sovereign wealth fund and said that it could end up like Malaysia's 1Malaysia Development Berhad or 1MDB scandal.
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BSP and other government financial institutions (GFIs) like Land Bank of the Philippines (LBP) and Development Bank of Philippines (DBP) are fund contributors to the MIF, as per HB No.6608.
"Pati na rin si Socio-Economic Planning Secretary Arsenio Balisacan ay nangamba sa pag-invest ng pondo ng Land Bank at DBP sa . Hindi daw ito magandang idea, or kung gagawin daw ito, dapat ay hindi ma-overexpose ang pondo ng dalawang bangko (Even Socio-Economic Planning Secretary Arsenio Balisacan has concerns with investing funds from Land Bank and DBP on the MIF. He said it isn't a good idea and, should the government push through with it, warned that the funds of both banks shouldn't be overexposed)," Hataman said.