House move on MWF was meant to 'diffuse issue on pension funds'--Tolentino

Senator Francis Tolentino thinks he knows why the House of Representatives suddenly balked at plans to tap the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) and Social Security System (SSS) as contributors to the proposed P275-billion Maharlika Wealth Fund (MWF).

Senator Francis Tolentino (Contributed photo)

Tolentino was asked about this development on the MWF in a chance interview Thursday, Dec. 8.

"We leave that to the lower house kasi sila naman yung nag-initiate yung move na yun, sovereign fund (because they're the ones who initiated that move, the sovereign fund)," he said.

"So antayin ko lang, antayin lang namin. I understand second reading pa lang sila (So I'll just wait for it, we'll wait for it. I understand it's only up for second reading), noted Tolentino.

"So siguro (I guess) that was meant to diffuse certain issues concerning the said pension funds. And it took into consideration the sentiments of some economic managers, lalung lalo na yung Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (especially the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas)," he further said.

On Wednesday night, Marikina City 2nd district Rep. Stella Quimbo and Ilocos Norte 1st district Rep. Sandro Marcos--two of the authors of House Bill (HB) No.6398--announced separately that the measure would be revised to exclude the GSIS and SSS as contributors.

The House measure sets up the MWF, which is essentially a sovereign wealth fund. It will supposedly generate funds for big-ticket projects.

But the use of money from the GSIS and SSS--both generated by member premiums--have become a major sticking point.

"Pero dahil nga hindi sa amin galing yun, hands-off muna ako doon sa ganun issue (But since it didn't originate from us, I'll be hands-off on the issue for now)," Tolentino said.