Romualdez sees Senate OK of MIF

February 12, 2023 Jester P. Manalastas 154 views

THERE are chances that the proposed Maharlika Investment Fund (MIF) bill could be approved by the Senate at least after Easter Sunday or April 9.

This is according to Speaker Ferdinand Martin Romualdez as he expressed hope that the Senators will listen to the clamor and request of the Filipino people.

“And I have a funny feeling in the Senate it will pass soon. Maybe after Easter tapos na yan,” he told media at the sidelines of the working visit of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. to Japan, to which is part of the delegation.

With several revisions, the House of Representatives has passed on third and final reading the MIF last December 2022. It was also certified as urgent by the Marcos.

“Nakita naman natin na sa umpisa maraming mga tanong, maraming mga batikos pa, pero hinarap natin lahat tapos sinagot natin lahat tapos yung mga suggestions, amendments, tinanggap nating lahat kaya imbes na maraming tutol, 92 percent of the House signed it, sila ang co-author kasi there’s ownership eh, very participative yan eh. So you listen, that’s what we’re there for, that’s why may hearing — nakikinig tayo,” Romualdez said.

“So that’s why we’re able to pass it very, very quickly because we accepted all the amendments that we could and there’s ownership by most, not all, the Congressmen and that’s how it passed,” he added.

The House leader also said that Senators saw the House-approved version of the bill (HB 6608) and they liked it.

“Because they saw na the draft. The draft went from a draft to the one that we passed…and they …uy maganda na to. There are a few questions din and that’s what we’re asking the Senate to do. If they can still perfect it, pagandahin pa, pagandahin niyo,” Romualdez said.

“At the end of the day, because we know that the sovereign wealth fund will be a magnet for foreign investments. It will attract a lot of people overseas because they usually say — oh, we’ve been hearing a lot of good things about the Philippines — usually a sovereign wealth fund attracts a lot of foreign capital because those running the sovereign wealth fund are experts in the field of finance, trade, and banking, known for their probity and their integrity,” he added.

Authors of the MIF bill said it seeks to maximize the investible funds of state-run financial institutions and ultimately increase public funds for nation-building.

The measure provides that the MIF would be funded by the investible resources of the Landbank of the Philippines (P50 billion), the Development Bank of the Philippines (P25 billion), and the dividends/profits of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas.

The authors originally planned for the investible funds of the GSIS and the SSS to be included as sources for the proposed sovereign wealth fund’s capital as well but eventually dropped.