NEDA wants swift enactment of Maharlika bill

The National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) has called for a swift enactment of the planned sovereign wealth fund to enhance the newly approved blueprint for the socioeconomic development of the country.

Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Arsenio M. Balisacan said the proposed Maharlika Investment Fund (MIF) would boost the government’s investment priorities under President Marcos’ Philippine Development Plan (PDP) 2023-2028.

“The Maharlika Investment Fund is just another source of funds that will support our priorities, particularly investment priorities, and we see the Maharlika as another vehicle for sources of funds and investments,” Balisacan told reporters on Monday, Dec. 19.

Balisacan explained that MIF is a source of financing for major infrastructure projects of the government, just like official development assistance (ODA), public private partnerships (PPPs) and national budget.

“ is just like PPP, which is one vehicle, ODA is also a vehicle, and GAA is another. So, the more vehicles you have, the better,” Balisacan said.

“That will ensure that we can ramp up, not only the infrastructure, but even the other development priorities of the government,” he added.

For this reason, Balisacan has urged the Senate the pass the Maharlika bill “the earlier the better.”

“What it does is it complements, it enhances the available vehicles that we already have,” the NEDA chief pointed out.

Last Friday, President Marcos approved the PDP 2023-2028 that aims to reinvigorate job creation and accelerate poverty reduction by steering the Philippine economy back to its high-growth path.

“More importantly, the Plan seeks to effect economic transformation toward a prosperous, inclusive, and resilient society,” Balisacan said.

He also said the plan is framed by President Marcos’ 8-Point Socioeconomic Agenda, which seeks to address short-term issues confronting the country and medium-term constraints to rapid growth and inclusion.

The plan is also geared toward the realization of the AmBisyon Natin 2040, the Filipino people’s collective vision for the long term.

On Dec. 15, the House of Representative was approved on the third and final reading the bill seeking to establish the MIF, a sovereign wealth fund that the government can use to make investments.

House Bill No. 6608 was approved with 279 lawmakers voting in the affirmative while six voted against. No legislator abstained from the voting.