PRESIDENT Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. said the proposed measure for the establishment of Maharlika Investment Fund (MIF) is among the country’s efforts to diversify its financial portfolio.

In his opening remarks during the Philippines Country Strategy Dialog in the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland, Marcos mentioned that the process of establishing the country’s first-ever sovereign wealth fund is already underway.

“Such a fund is one tool among many in our efforts to diversify our financial portfolio, which includes our existing institutions pursuing investment that will generate stable returns, but also welfare effects spanning employment creation, improvement of public service, and a decrease in costs of economic activities,” he said.

Marcos brought up the MIF to the business forum with hopes to attract more investors for the country.

In a separate interview in Davos, Finance Secretary Benjamin Diokno said MIF will be beneficial for the country especially in funding its infrastructure projects.

“Kasi marami tayong proyekto na nangangailangan ng funding, infrastructure projects, pinanghihiram pa natin ng pera ‘yun from Japan, China, sa World Bank, ADB (Asian Development Bank). Eh ngayon, kung mayroon tayong ganung fund pwede natin gamitin ‘yun para mapondohan ‘yun. ‘Yun ang purpose nun,” Diokno said.

(We have many projects that need funding like infrastructure projects, we even borrowed money from Japan, China, the World Bank and Asian Development Bank. Now, if we have such a fund, we can use it to fund projects. That’s the purpose of it.)

“So there are many projects. Talagang very important projects, priority projects. So ang nire-require namin bago kami mapunta sa isang project, kailangan maaprubahan ng Neda (National Economic and Development Authority) so mayroong prior approval ng Neda. E, ‘yung Neda may mga requirements ‘yun na dapat talaga profitable, ‘tsaka it’s good for the economy,” he added.

(There are many projects, very important projects, priority projects. What we require before we implement a project is we must first secure an approval from Neda. The Neda has requirements that a project must really be profitable. Besides, it’s also good for the economy.)

Senator Mark Villar, son of real-estate businessman and former politician Manny Villar, said many businessmen showed interest in the MIF.

House Bill (HB) No. 6608, or the Maharlika Investment Fund Act (MIF), is an independent fund that adheres to the principles of good governance, transparency and accountability and shall be sourced from the investible funds of select government financial institutions (GFIs), from contributions of the national government, declared dividends of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) and other sources of funds.

The fund shall be used to invest on a strategic and commercial basis in a manner designed to promote fiscal stability for economic development and strengthen the top-performing GFIs through additional investment platforms that will help attain the national government’s priority plans.

The bill, which was introduced by Marcos’ cousin House Speaker Martin Romualdez in November 2022, was approved on third and final reading by the House of Representatives on December 15, 2022 and was transmitted to the Senate on December 19, 2022. (SunStar Philippines)