MANILA – Speaker Martin G. Romualdez and other leaders of the House of Representatives on Wednesday decided to remove the Social Security System (SSS) and Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) as contributors to the proposed Maharlika Investment Fund (MIF).

Marikina City Rep. Stella Quimbo, a co-author of Romualdez of the MIF bill, said they made the decision after meeting with the administration’s economic managers, who drafted the measure.

“Based on our assessment of the proposed changes put forward by the economic team, we are amending the bill to change the fund sources, removing GSIS and SSS as fund contributors and instead utilize profits of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas,” Quimbo said in a press conference Wednesday night.

Upon the Speaker’s instructions, Quimbo said the changes would be introduced into the bill by the House Committee on Appropriations in a meeting on Friday.

“Maganda na nagsagawa tayo ng series of consultations ukol sa panukala; na-validate ang mga agam-agam ng ating mga kababayan, lalo na ang masisipag na manggagawang Pilipino, na buwan-buwang naghuhulog ng (It was god that we undertook a series of consultations regarding the proposal. We validated the qualms of our countrymen, especially our hard-working Filipino workers who contribute to) GSIS and SSS,” she said.

Quimbo pointed out that the purpose of the proposed Philippine sovereign wealth fund “is to become an investment vehicle where existing surplus capital of the government can grow and reap benefits.”

“Anuman ang sobrang kapital ng gobyerno ay mabuting ipuhunan sa mga proyekto na may (It would be better for any excess capital of the government to be invested in projects with) high returns. Sa taumbayan din ang balik ng kita ng investments ng Maharlika na mararamdaman sa mas mataas na budget para sa mga programa ng gobyerno na tutugon sa pangangailangan ng bawat Pilipino (The profits of Maharlika would be returned to the people that would be felt through higher budget for government programs that will address the needs of every Filipino),” Quimbo said.

As the bill goes through the deliberation and approval process, Quimbo assured the House “will put in place safety nets to ensure the success of the project.”

“Dapat masiguro na ang batas na maglilikha ng (It must be ensured that the law that will create the) Maharlika Fund ay mayroong katapat na probisyon na magtatakda sa pangangalaga ng pondo ng bayan (should have corresponding provisions that will ensure the protection of public funds,” Quimbo said. (PNA)