The economic managers, led by Finance Secretary Benjamin Diokno, are seeking the approval of Senate Bill No. 2020 establishing the Maharlika Investment Fund (MIF) on third reading before the session adjourns on June 2, 2023.
Diokno says "We hope to see it signed into law before the President’s second State of the Nation Address on July 24."
Lat May 15, President Marcos' economic managers attended the Senate plenary session to show their full support during the period of interpellation and debate on the measure.
Economic team wants Maharlika bill enacted before SONA
At a glance
The economic team wants the enactment into law the proposed Maharlika Investment Fund (MIF) bill before President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr.'s second State of the Nation Address (SONA), the Department of Finance (DOF) said.
In a statement, Finance Secretary Benjamin E. Diokno said the economic managers are seeking the approval of Senate Bill No. 2020, or the MIF Act of 2023, on third and final reading before the session adjourns on June 2.
“The Maharlika Investment Fund bill is making significant progress in the Senate, and we hope to see it signed into law before the President’s second State of the Nation Address on July 24,” Diokno said.
Diokno, along with Budget Secretary Amenah F. Pangandaman and National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Secretary Arsenio M. Balisacan, attended the Senate plenary session last May 15 to show their full support during the period of interpellation and debate on the measure.
Senator Mark Villar, the sponsor of the bill, explained that the MIF will be able to generate bigger returns for the government, setting it apart from other Government-Owned or -Controlled Corporations (GOCCs).
In response to the interpellation of Senator Ronald Dela Rosa, Villar further clarified that the returns from the Fund will maximize the government’s assets and generate robust returns that will be used to invest in flagship projects.
Villar cited his previous experience as Secretary of Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH).
“I came from the infrastructure sector when I was the Secretary of the DPWH. I saw that there were a lot of infrastructure projects that needed additional funding when the GAA or General Appropriations Act cannot fund these projects anymore,” Villar said.
“This is why we need to have other fund sources,” he added. “This is an additional source of funding that we do not have now.”
The government’s funding sources for big-ticket projects usually come from foreign loans and internal funds through the National Budget.
Villar also said that the MIF can collect equity investments from foreign and institutional investors.
On managing the Fund, Senator Grace Poe sought clarification on the qualifications and standards for the nine Board of Directors, which will be further elaborated in the implementing rules and regulations (IRR).
Under the current bill, the Advisory Board, composed of the Department of Budget and Management, NEDA, and Bureau of the Treasury, shall recommend to the President the appointment of members of the Board of Directors.
The period of interpellation and debate resumed on Tuesday, May 16.