Marcos signs Maharlika Investment Fund into law

The investment fund had drawn widespread criticism due to possible pitfalls of investments.

Jean Mangaluz

Jean Mangaluz

Philippine Daily Inquirer


Photo caption: President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. signs the Maharlika Investment Fund bill into law on Tuesday, July 18, 2023. (Photo from RTV Malacañang.)

July 19, 2023

MANILA — President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. on Tuesday signed the controversial Maharlika Investment Fund (MIF) bill into law.

The President signed the bill at the Kalayaan Hall of the Malacañan Palace, with members from both the Senate and the House of Representatives in attendance.

The MIF had drawn widespread criticism due to possible pitfalls of investments. Senate Minority Leader Aquilino Pimentel III had called for Marcos to veto the measure.

According to Pimentel, the law would divert resources that could be used to solve immediate issues such as education and healthcare gaps.

Senator Francis Escudero had described the MIF as a leap into the unknown.

Marcos has certified the bill as urgent for both chambers of Congress. The controversial MIF breezed through the legislative branch with an overwhelming majority in both chambers. In the House of Representatives, the measure garnered 279 yes votes while the bill got 19 votes in the Senate.

Only seven lawmakers voted against the MIF, namely Sen. Risa Hontiveros in the Senate and Representatives France Castro, Raoul Manuel, Arlene Brosas, Edcel Lagman, Mujiv Hataman, and Gabriel Bordado in the House of Representatives.

MIF has safeguards, viable benefits
Principal author and sponsor of the MIF in the Senate, Senator Mark Villar said there are safeguards to assure that the MIF will be an effective tool for the country’s investments, away from the hands of corruption.

Villar already discussed the checks and balances incorporated in the MIF bill during its series of deliberations.

Even the President himself sees the benefits of the MIF for the nation’s economy.

Marcos Jr. has publicly expressed support for the MIF that seeks to establish a sovereign wealth fund.

The President said the MIF would be needed to provide additional investment for the government.

“For sure. I would not have brought it up otherwise,” he told reporters when asked if the MIF would be “advantageous” for the government.

“It’s very clear that we need added investment. This is another way to get that,” he said.

Senate President Juan Miguel “Migz” Zubiri said there is no doubt that the MIF has benefits, but this can’t be felt immediately.

Zubiri nevertheless stressed that the MIF will help spur “increased economic activity.”

House Speaker Ferdinand Martin Romualdez said MIF is solid enough to safeguard against misappropriations and abuse.

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