Solon says gov't should prioritize PPP over Maharlika fund; here's why

If Deputy Minority Leader and Bagong Henerasyon Party-List Rep. Bernadette Herrera would have her way, she would have government prioritize Public-Private Partnerships (PPP) over the proposed Maharlika Investment Fund (MIF).

Bagong Henerasyon Party-List Rep. Bernadette Herrera

Herrera, in a statement Monday, Jan. 2, said that she is of the belief that the intention of the proposed Philippine sovereign wealth fund can be achieved more effectively through established measures such as the PPP wherein substantial project risks are assumed by the private sector.

“Sana this (I hope this MIF) will not in any way na hindi natin palakasin ang PPP (hinder the strengthening of PPP)," she said.

Herrera said the government should not to lose sight of the benefits of PPP in big-ticket development projects even after the potential enactment of MIF, which is embodied in House Bill (HB) No.6608.

The House of Representatives approved the controversial bill on third and final reading last Dec. 15.

Pushed aggressively by the congressman-allies of President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr., the MIF can be used to finance big-ticket infrastructure projects, high-return green and blue projects and countryside development; have investment gains; and can secure intergenerational benefits such as potential earnings from extracted natural resources.

But President Marcos also mentioned as one of his legislative priorities during his first State of the Nation Address (SONA) the measure strengthening PPP which, just like the MIF Bill, was recently approved by the lower chamber on third and final reading.

The proposed PPP Act is contained in HB No.6527.

As for the House-approved MIF, Herrera had expressed strong reservations against compelling Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) to place into the MIF its profits exceeding its required capitalization of P200 billion, since it could negatively affect the financial health of the country’s central bank.

“It seems that we are putting a constraint on the BSP’s monetary policy especially if after the P200 billion cap we will put all dividends to the Maharlika fund. If the economy is growing, BSP’s balance sheet should be growing as well and not tied to P200 billion,” Herrera pointed out.

Herrera was also not in favor of using Landbank and Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP) funds for the MIF as it is against the mandates of the two government financial institutions.