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Maharlika Wealth Fund is backed by Marcos’ economic team.

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The plan to establish the Maharlika Wealth Fund (MWF) has the support of President R. Ferdinand Marcos Jr.’s economic advisers, who claim that it will act as an investment vehicle to advance the administration’s Agenda for Prosperity and accomplish the nation’s economic objectives.

The government fund’s “direct and intergenerational benefits” were emphasized by the finance secretary, the budget secretary, the socioeconomic planning secretary, and the governor of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas in a signed joint statement on Friday.

Direct benefits, according to them, include more funding for and investments in large-scale infrastructure projects, high-return green and blue initiatives, and rural development. Intergenerational benefits, meanwhile, include better access for future generations to income from investments, such as potential profits from extracted natural resources like those from mining.

Without a doubt, the establishment of the MWF will contribute to the accomplishment of the goals for inclusive and sustainable economic growth set forth in the 8-Point Socioeconomic Agenda, the Philippine Development Plan 2023–2028, and the Agenda for Prosperity, they stated.

They claimed that a sovereign wealth fund will increase fiscal room and lessen fiscal pressures in the short and medium term as the fund pursues public infrastructure projects. They also claimed that it will lessen uncertainty in situations where fund resources are directed toward high-yielding financial ventures and assets that are underinvested amid high inflation and the lingering effects of the pandemic.

They expressed their confidence in the effective use and administration of this investible public money under the supervision of professionals.

Given more layers of checks and balances in the use of investible funds, they claimed, “They will be able to ensure the availability of an alternative high return investment platform, obtain the best absolute return for the funds, find additional sources of liquidity as the need arises, and perform better risk management.”

According to the economic team, the measure establishing the MWF should be passed right away since this will spur growth and aid in the nation’s “economic change towards inclusion and sustainability.”

“Do not impede economic development. Please do not deny our people this chance at wealth “they claimed.

They expressed gratitude to President Marcos for recognizing the advantages of a sovereign wealth fund and to the parliamentarians for their “openness” in consistently refining the bill.

By formally eliminating the Social Security System (SSS) and the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) as funding sources, supporters of the MWF bill in the House of Representatives have made further improvements to the legislation.

This was completed when the financial element of the still-unnumbered bill on the MWF was authorized during a public hearing on Friday by the House Committee on Appropriations, which is chaired by Rep. Elizaldy Co of the Ako Bicol Party-list.

To raise the PHP275 billion start-up cash required under House Bill 6398, government financial institutions like the GSIS, SSS, Land Bank of the Philippines (LBP), Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP), and the National Treasurer were initially expected to pool funds.

However, under the unnumbered bill, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas will now join the LBP and DBP as a source of funding for the MIF.

The DBP will contribute PHP25 billion, compared to PHP50 billion from the LBP.

According to the passed unnumbered measure, the secretary of the Department of Finance will take the role of the Philippine president as chairman of the board of governors.

Irwin Tieng, chair of the committee on banks and financial intermediaries, also stated that there will be four independent directors on the 15-person board as opposed to the initial two.

However, he stated that this modification would be fully considered and most likely approved during his committee’s subsequent hearing.

The suggestion of Rep. Stella Quimbo of Marikina City to omit the General Appropriations Act as one of the required sources of money for the MIF was also approved by the Appropriations panel.

Speaker Martin Romualdez, Majority Leader Mannix Dalipe, Chairperson of the Committee on Accounts Yedda Marie Romualdez, Deputy Majority Leader Jude Acidre, Chairman of the Committee on Ways and Means Joey Salceda, Tieng, and Quimbo are the primary writers of the unnumbered measure.

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