What surplus funds? GOCCs don't have any, says MIF critic Lagman

Liberal Party (LP) President and Albay 1st district Rep. Edcel Lagman is disputing his fellow congressman's claim that the country’s government-owned and controlled corporations (GOCCs) has surplus earnings for the proposed Maharlika Investment Fund (MIF).

Albay 1st district Rep. Edcel Lagman (Screenshot from Facebook)

Lagman highlighted the GOCC's supposed lack of extra funds in a Facebook post Tuesday, Jan. 24, even as he reminded the public about the Philippines' huge debt.

"The Philippines has a current fiscal deficit of no less than P1.1 trillion. The GOCCs have not officially reported any surplus. It is only Rep. Salceda who is saying this," said the independent minority solon.

Last Friday, Albay 2nd district Rep. Joey Salceda, a member of the House majority bloc and supporter of President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr., revealed that he recently helped craft a "reengineered" MIF that would use GOCC surplus funds as capital.

Salceda even suggested that this new feature was made to shut up critics who contend that MIF seed money must only be drawn from surplus of the government, since the MIF is supposed to act the Philippine sovereign wealth fund.

"Fifty percent of the annual net earnings of GOCCs are mandated to be remitted to the national government under the Dividends Law of 1993. The remaining 50 percent is flowed back to the GOCCs for their operational and programmed activities expenditures," Lagman noted.

"Consequently, there is no GOCC surplus. A surplus occurs when all the requirements for remittance and expenditures are met and there is a balance which is not encumbered," pointed out.


The House of Representatives has already passed the MIF, as contained in House Bill (HB) No.6608, on third and final reading last Dec. 15.

Salceda's revelation that the proposed MIF was tweaked after the fact, specifically after Christmas (Dec. 25), has raised a lot of eyebrows, including Lagman's.

But Salceda, chairman of the House Committee on Ways and Means and a Lakas-Christian Muslim Democrats (Lakas-CMD), has since clarified that the reengineered MIF wasn't a correction of the House-approved version.