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Senate recognizes Palace’s urgency on MIF, but discussions are ongoing.

According to Senator Sonny Angara, the Senate strongly appreciates President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr.’s declaration of the Maharlika Investment Fund (MIF) measure as urgent.

According to a petition, the House of Representatives “swift” passage of its version of the MIF bill last December has been called into doubt. Angara said the Senate awaits the Supreme Court’s ruling on the appeal, but it acknowledges the Palace’s urgency.

“We will have to abide by whatever the Supreme Court decides, but in this case, we take the Palace’s certification of urgency at face value. In an interview with ANC news channel, Angara stated, “If they say it’s urgent, they are the Executive branch, so we have to obey that certification.

Given that senators have priority bills that must be signed into law, Angara claimed that the Senate and Malacaang have a “give and take” relationship.

However, he claimed that because other senators have “strong views” about the MIF measure, the Senate is taking its time to review it.

“Discussions on the measure have started, and I believe the committee’s report—which was presented by Senator Mark Villar, chair of the Committee on Banks—improves upon earlier drafts of the legislation. I believe that our understanding of the purpose, the restrictions, and the capabilities of this is becoming clearer, he said.

Villar’s sponsored Senate Bill No. 2020 was questioned in the plenary on Monday.

Senate and House differences

Angara affirmed that there will be many disagreements between the Senate and House of Representatives versions, including the 25% allocation of the Fund to social services and the membership of the MIF Board as well as its powers, safeguards, accountabilities, penalties, and authorized fees.

“I believe that was one of the factors that could have restricted the managers’ discretion. Even though we have a national budget allocation for this (there is one for this in the national budget), it may not be a good idea to restrict the fund manager’s ability to invest your money when you require some flexibility. But I believe it will be decided in the coming days,” the lawmaker stated.

Safeguards

Angara mentioned protections in the proposal, such as the investor limit, which restricts a single business or person’s ownership to no more than 5% of the Fund.

As a result, he claimed, the Fund won’t be excessively influenced by any particular or isolated parochial interest and would be used to finance a wider range of investments in bonds, equities, equity, and infrastructure projects, among others.

ACCORDING TO ANGARA, the PHP500 billion MIF will have a paid-up capital of PHP110 billion.

Each Land Bank of the Philippines and the national budget will contribute PHP50 billion, while the Development Bank of the Philippines will provide another PHP25 billion.

According to earlier versions of the legislation, the MIF seed fund will be funded by pension funds.

According to Benjamin Diokno, the finance secretary, “The Maharlika Investment Fund, which shall be the nation’s first-ever sovereign investment fund, is designed to promote economic development by making strategic and profitable investments in key sectors.” The Fund is an extra tool that would enable the government to access ineligible surpluses under the laws as they currently stand. To assist the financing of expensive, capital-intensive infrastructure, it will also be accessible to co-financing with international investors and multilateral institutions.

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