Herbosa Emmanuel G. Herbosa, who heads the Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP) as president and chief executive officer, said it is imperative to broaden investments in critical areas such as food, water, green energy, agro-industrial ventures, telecommunications, public infrastructure, and road networks toll-ways, which can offer better rates of return and greater socio-economic impact. “From my personal standpoint, the creation of a SWF is a superb opportunity to address the dearth in sources of long-term capital which is integral to support these capital intensive investments,” he added.

Veteran banker boosts Maharlika

December 22, 2022 Ryan Ponce Pacpaco 235 views

DBP chief bats for swift passage of Sovereign Wealth Fund Bill

A SEASONED banker who currently heads one of the country’s oldest and biggest banks, has expressed full support for the establishment of the Philippines’ pioneering sovereign wealth fund (SWF), sharing the sentiments of business leaders and leading economists on the need to boost investments in high-growth sectors to sustain the country’s growth momentum.

Emmanuel G. Herbosa, who heads Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP) as president and chief executive officer, said it is imperative to broaden investments in critical areas such as food, water, green energy, agro-industrial ventures, telecommunications, public infrastructure, and road networks toll-ways, which can offer better rates of return and greater socio-economic impact.

“From my personal standpoint, the creation of an SWF is a superb opportunity to address the dearth in sources of long-term capital which is integral to support these capital intensive investments,” Herbosa said. “As head of a government bank, the SWF is closely aligned with our operating principle of bolstering economic additionality through timely and meaningful support of critical industries and sectors.”

The establishment of a SWF through the enactment of a law creating the Maharlika Investment Fund (MIF) has been passed on third and final reading in the House of Representatives, garnering the solid support of 90 percent of Congressmen. It has undergone several refinements and has hurdled grueling and extensive interpellations by the opposition block in the lower house.

Herbosa said the introduction of additional safeguards in the proposed measure such as heavy scrutiny by the Commission on Audit apart from regular examinations by both an internal and external auditor has assuaged concerns of various sectors and ensures that the fund will be adequately shielded from fraud, abuse and undue political interference.

He said the provision of sovereign guarantees for specific contributions adds another layer of confidence in the sustainability, reliability and integrity of the SWF especially in funding projects with long-gestation periods while attracting private sector and even foreign funders that would ensure transparency and greater accountability in managing the fund.

“At this juncture it’s best that we allow the bill to take its proper course in the legislative mill as I believe this would lead to a solid and watertight law in view of the purification and purging process that it underwent,” Herbosa said.

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