The House of Representatives passed a resolution that sought to establish a sovereign wealth fund…
One of the Maharlika Fund’s main protections is transparency.
According to House Speaker Martin Romualdez, one of the safeguards included in the Maharlika Investment Fund (MIF) bill to ensure proper use and prevent misuse by any administration is openness.
This comes after House Bill (HB) No. 6608, one of President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr.’s top priorities, was decisively adopted on the third and final reading by the House of Representatives on December 15.
“We have introduced many safeguards to ensure we can meet the objectives of the Maharlika Investment Fund,” Romualdez said. “One of these is a clause to ensure transparency on pertinent financial concerns connected to the MIF.”
He said that HB 6608 had a provision that expressly allowed the public to exercise their right to information regarding MIF financial matters.
During the session of individual amendments in the plenary discussion of the proposal, a member of the opposition, Rep. France Castro of the ACT Teachers Party list, presented the clause.
Although such a safeguard is actually included in Section 29 of the bill being considered, Albay 2nd District Rep. Joey Sarte Salceda, chairman of the technical working group (TWG) on HB 6608, agreed to accept the Makabayan bloc member’s change.
“Compared to the committee report, the third reading version now creates a MIF that is substantially more open and accountable. Salceda remarked, “I am proud of the work done by the Technical Working Group, which includes suggestions from the minority.
All papers of the MIF and the Maharlika Investment Corporation—the independent entity established to manage the fund—must be transparent, accessible, and available to the public under Section 43 of HB 6608 that was adopted.
These documents include, but are not limited to: (a) Statements of Assets and Liabilities (SALNs) of the Board of Directors, Risk Management Unit, and Advisory Board Members; (b) Statements of Assets and Liabilities (SALNs) of those who appointed and designated the said Members; (c) Statements of Assets and Liabilities (SALNs) of those who appointed and designated the said Members; (d) Audit documents from the Internal Auditor, External Audit
The law also mandates that documents relevant to the MIC’s investment activities be protected and stored in accordance with the National Archives of the Philippines’ regulations.
Additionally, the MIC shall be subject to the disclosure requirements of Republic Act (RA) No. 8799, also known as the Securities Regulation Code, Republic Act No. 11232, also known as the Revised Corporation Code, as well as any other applicable laws, rules, and regulations.
The MIF is covered by Executive Order (EO) No. 2, s. 2016, which operationalizes in the Executive Branch the people’s constitutional right to information and State policy.
The creation of the MIF was mandated by HB 6608 in order to encourage economic growth by making profitable and strategic investments in important industries. Additionally, it designated at least 25% of the MIC’s net income towards social welfare initiatives.
Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III, the minority senator in the Philippine Senate, stated he would like to know more about the contentious Maharlika Investment Funds’ new name (MIF).
Pimentel claimed in a radio broadcast that Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri had guaranteed him that the proposed legislation in the Senate will be treated equitably, go through hearings, and follow Senate norms.
“We will focus on the form and substance, names, and legislative history, including the form., and change of title, from a concept of the sovereign fund to now Maharlika Investment Fund (MIF) na, we will look into the final copy and compare it with the original,” Pimentel said. “Everything is being taught, including the name, legislative history, and pagbabago ng anyo, pati titulo.”
According to Pimentel, sovereign funds are a nation’s excess funds that can be put to other uses.
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