ULAP backs creation of Maharlika Investment Fund

The Union of Local Authorities of the Philippines (ULAP) has supported the establishment of the Maharlika Investment Fund which, the group said, adheres to "good governance, transparency and accountability" and "will genuinely achieve inclusive and sustainable development" for the country, especially at the local level.

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In a statement on Friday, Dec, 23, ULAP noted that the creation of the Philippine sovereign wealth fund may help accelerate the growth and development of the provinces, cities, municipalities and barangays nationwide.

“It is a strategy that could unleash needed investments in sectors that support local economies and finance long-overdue infrastructure projects such as modern agriculture technologies, renewable energy facilities, low-cost housing, reliable and efficient transportation systems, and stable highspeed internet connectivity, among others,’’ ULAP said.

“As we recover from the pandemic, the government must be steadfast in seeking resources and undertaking long-term sustainable efforts towards national recovery and the creation of wealth at all levels,’’ it added.

Further, ULAP stated that the Maharlika Investment Fund is a "key strategy" for economic progress that "unlocks the untapped capital" from the Philippine economy and serves as a "key accelerator for growth and development" of local government units.

“Nations such as Singapore, Norway, Abu Dhabi and China have set the example on how to leverage on their respective state sovereign wealth funds in order to drive capital into much needed investments thus unlocking their nation’s economic acceleration.’’ ULAP maintained.

ULAP said that the proposed Maharlika Investment Fund promises “to reap optimal returns on investments (ROIs), while contributing to the overall goal of reinvigorating job creation and poverty reduction by steering the economy back to its high-growth path."

“All of its transactions shall abide by the arm’s length principle and the prudent person rule,” it explained.

The group emphasized that the fund shall adhere to internationally-accepted standards of transparency and accountability as it vowed support to the passage of House Bill No. 6608 which seeks to establish the Maharlika Investment Fund.

ULAP is the umbrella organization of all leagues of LGUs and locally elected government officials in the country.