Marcos assures gov't pension funds will not be part of Maharlika capital

President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. said the government has no intention of using state pension funds as seed fund for the proposed Maharlika Investment Fund (MIF).

President Ferdinand 'Bongbong' Marcos Jr. (Noel B. Pabalate)

Marcos expressed agreement on one of the amendments to the bill that prohibits the use of funds of the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS), Social Security System (SSS), Philippine Health Insurance (PhilHealth) corporation, Pag-IBIG, among others in the Maharlika Fund.

"I totally agree. We have no intention of using...kukuha tayo ng pera ng (getting money from the) pension fund. That's not...We will not use it as a seed fund," Marcos said on Wednesday, May 31, on the sidelines of the 86th anniversary celebration of the GSIS.

The President, however, said that if a state pension fund believes that the controversial Maharlika Fund is a good investment, it is up to them if they opt to invest.

"However, if a pension fund, which is what pension funds do, is they invest. If the pension fund decides that Maharlika fund is a good investment, it's up to them if they want to invest in it," he said.

He further said that like any other corporations, the country's pension funds can invest in the Maharlika Fund to nurture their fund.

"Not only pension funds but corporations, mga fund 'yan lang ang ginagawa nila, pinapapalaki nila yung pera nila para meron silang maibigay (that's what funds have been doing, to nurture their fund so they can continue to provide pensions). Like the GSIS, this is precisely what they have been doing. They are making sure that they are very solid, they very stable," Marcos pointed out.

In the original version of the bill, the GSIS and SSS had to contribute P125 billion and P50 billion, respectively, to the fund.

The revised version would only require seed funding from the Land Bank of the Philippines, Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP), and Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP).

The Senate has approved its final version of the Maharlika bill on third and final reading on Wednesday.

Nineteen senators voted in favor of the bill; while Sen. Risa Hontiveros objected, and Sen. Nancy Binay abstained from voting.

Maharlika Fund is a sovereign wealth fund that would finance national development projects and other assets. It was certified by Marcos as urgent.