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PBBM planning to sign bill for Maharlika Investment Fund


The bill established the Maharlika Investment Fund (MIF) would be signed by President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. as soon as he receives it, he announced on Thursday.

The proposed measure needs the signature of the President in order for it to become a law.“I will sign it as soon as I get it,” Marcos said in an interview in Makati City.

Marcos failed to express his satisfaction with the Maharlika bill in particular, but he did highlight that the modifications were made for financial security.

“Am I happy? Well, it is the version that the House and the Senate passed and we will certainly look into all the changes that have been made, and I think most of the changes that were proposed and eventually adopted really had to do with the safety and security of people’s pension funds,” he said.

The President claimed to have followed the MIF debates and recognized that there are reasons to be concerned.

“Certainly, sometimes I have been watching the discussions that have been going on with the Maharlika Fund and that is all true, that’s all true, you must worry about that,” he said.

“Kung corrupt ang ilagay niyo diyan, corrupt talaga ‘yan. Mawawala ang pera. Kung mahusay ang ilalagay mo diyan, ay lalaki at lalaki ‘yan at magagamit natin ‘yung pondo na ‘yan,” Marcos added.

"If you put someone corrupt there, it would really be corrupt. Money will be lost. If you put a good one in there, the fund will grow and we can use that fund." Marcos added.

However, the President emphasized that prudent money management is essential to keeping the funds secure.

“Perhaps we are looking in the wrong direction. The key to the success of any fund, hedge fund, pension fund, sovereign fund, investment fund, is the management. Of course all of these things can happen, we’ve seen them happen before because the management chose for it to happen, these scandals that we see from other places. On the other hand, we see examples of really successful funds and really, the difference is management,” he pointed out in a mix of English and Filipino.

The President emphasized that the MIF must be independent of the government and mentioned that he had urged to the House of Representatives that the government officials who had been originally named to serve on the MIF's board be removed from the bill.

“One of the first changes that even I proposed to the House was to remove the President as part of the Board, to remove the Central Bank chairman, the Department of Finance, because it has to operate as an independent fund, well-managed professionally,” Marcos said.

The Maharlika law had been declared as urgent in both chambers of Congress by Marcos, allowing the proposed measure to easily pass the legislative branch.

In the House of Representatives, 279 voted in favor of the bill while in the Senate, 19 senators approved it.


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