PRESIDENT Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. will bring up discussions on the proposed Maharlika Wealth Fund during his attendance at the 2023 World Economic Forum (WEF) next week in Davos, Switzerland, Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) Undersecretary Carlos Sorreta said on Thursday, January 12, 2023.

During a meeting in relation to Marcos’ participation at the said forum, Sorreta said the President had told them that he will introduce the controversial wealth fund in the event, which will be held from January 16 to 20.

Sorreta said the WEF is a great venue “to do a sort of soft launch” of the proposed sovereign fund, which is still being fine-tuned before the House of Representatives.

“At the briefing this morning, the President said that we have developed excellent fundamentals, there’s much that we can offer to investors and he said ‘you know let’s talk about the sovereign wealth fund that’s being set up. And I agree completely with the President… given the prominence of the forum itself and global and business leaders will be there,” he said in a press briefing.

“It’s really more of a soft launch, to introduce it. I understand it’s evolving. We have full respect for the congressional process and the open hearings that they’re having to work out the details,” he added.

The forum is expected to be attended by business leaders from all over the world, which may also mean more possible investments for the Philippines.

House Bill No. 6398, which seeks the establishment of the Maharlika Wealth Fund, was introduced by House speaker Martin Romualdez, Marcos’ cousin, in November 2022.

Initially, under the proposed measure, the funds that will be invested in real estate and financial assets will be sourced primarily from contributions from the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS), Social Security System (SSS), Land Bank of the Philippines (Land Bank) and Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP).

It was later decided to no longer compel GSIS and SSS to serve as mandatory contributors to the funds amid concerns raised by pensioners.

Marcos certified the bill as urgent in December as he admitted being the one who brought it up in order for the country to have additional sources of investment. (SunStar Philippines)