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Maharlika Fund is essential for increasing PH investments, according to DBP head

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According to Emmanuel Herbosa, president and chief executive officer of the Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP), the passage of the nation’s trailblazing Maharlika Investment Fund (MIF) is essential for boosting investments in the country and maintaining its growth momentum. Herbosa is a seasoned banker.

In a statement on Thursday, he claimed that the creation of a sovereign wealth fund (SWF) could aid the nation in expanding its investments, particularly in vital sectors like telecommunications, public infrastructure, food, water, green energy, agro-industrial ventures, and tollways for road networks.

According to Herbosa, “the establishment of an SWF provides a fantastic chance to address the lack of long-term financial sources that are essential to sustain these capital-intensive enterprises.”

He went on to say that the SWF closely adheres to the DBP’s working premise of promoting economic additionality through the prompt and significant support of vital industries and sectors.

Additionally, he added, the SWF can provide superior rates of return, which will have a bigger socioeconomic impact.

House Bill 6608, which had 282 out of the 312 congressmen formally recognized as co-authors, garnered strong support from 90% of House of Representatives members after President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. declared the passage of the MIF as urgent.

On December 15, with 279 votes in favor, six against, and no abstentions, the law was passed on its third and final reading.

The law was approved following lengthy floor discussions during which it underwent a number of revisions.

“The addition of additional safeguards in the proposed measure, such as rigorous examinations by the Commission on Audit in addition to routine examinations by both an internal and external auditor, has allayed concerns of various sectors and ensures that the fund will be adequately shielded from fraud, abuse, and undue political interference,” Herbosa said.

In particular, when funding projects with long gestation periods, the availability of sovereign guarantees for specific contributions “adds another layer of confidence in the sustainability, reliability, and integrity of the SWF while attracting private sector and even foreign funders that would ensure transparency and greater accountability in managing the fund,” the official continued.

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