President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. cannot veto portions of the proposed Maharlika Investment Fund (MIF) Act that he doesn’t approve of, Sen. Sherwin Gatchalian said on Thursday, June 1.
Gatchalian said the right course would be for the President to remand the bill back to Congress and lawmakers will “redo everything again.”
“This is not a revenue measure. The President can only veto revenue measure and appropriation measures, the General Appropriations Act (GAA), for example. They can do line vetoes, but for this particular bill, no,” Gatchalian said in an interview on ANC's Headstart.
“The President needs to return this to Congress if he doesn’t agree with certain provisions of the bill. So we have to redo everything again. We have to start from scratch if he vetoes the approved version,” said the Senate Committee on Ways and Means chairman.
Congress on Wednesday approved the final version of the controversial measure, with the House of Representatives accepting the Senate’s final version of the MIF bill. The enrolled copy of the bill is now enroute to Malacañang for the President’s signature.
Gatchalian, one of the 19 senators who voted in favor of the bill, cited the “categorical” prohiition of pension funds like the Social Security System, Government Service Insurance System (GSIS), Philippine Health Insurance (PhilHealth) Corporation, Pag-IBIG, Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA), Philippines Veterans Affairs Office (PVAO) in the capitalization and investments in the Maharlika fund, whether in the present or in the future.
“This is by far the most popular amendment of the senators,” the lawmaker pointed out.
“With this particular amendment…they cannot invest in the MIF anymore, whether MIF makes a tons of money or not. They cannot input money in MIF,” he said.
As far as he is concerned, Gatchalian also said the main purpose of the bill creating the MIF is very clear—“for economic development and to reduce poverty.”
“The bill is very clear in terms of the direction…the MIF has a two-fold objective. One is to invest in infrastructure and two, invest in profitable infrastructure so that it wil get returns that can go back to the economy,” he said.
State economic managers have repeatedly defended the need to pass a sovereign wealth fund which the Philippines can tap to improve the economy.
‘We have to start from scratch’: Gatchalian says PBBM can’t veto portions of Maharlika bill
Jun 1, 2023 07:38 AM