MANILA — The Maharlika Investment Fund (MIF) will be operational before yearend, President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. said before leaving for Saudi Arabia on Thursday.
Marcos issued the clarification a week after Malacañang issued a memorandum, for the deferment of the implementing rules and regulations (IRR) of Republic Act (RA) 11954 or the MIF Act of 2023.
In a pre-departure speech before flying to Saudi Arabia for the Association of Southeast Asian Nations Summit (ASEAN)-Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Summit, Marcos said the concept of the MIF as a sovereign fund or an investment fund “remains a good one.”
This, as Marcos said he was a “bit alarmed” by news reports that the MIF was put on hold instead of temporary deferment of its implementing rules to review and improve its implementation.
“Quite the contrary. The organization of the Maharlika fund proceeds at pace. And what I have done though is that we have found more improvements that we can make specifically to the organizational structure of the Maharlika Fund,” he said in a speech delivered at Villamor Air Base in Pasay City.
“We are still committed to having it operational before the end of the year. So, we should not misinterpret what we have done as somehow a judgment on the rightness or wrongness of the Maharlika Fund,” Marcos added.
In an Oct. 12 memorandum signed by Executive Secretary Lucas Bersamin by authority of the President, the Bureau of Treasury (BTr), in coordination with the Land Bank of the Philippines (LBP) and the Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP), is directed to defer the implementation of the IRR of RA 11954, “pending further study thereof.”
Marcos said the directive was issued to enable the government to find ways to make the MIF “as close to perfect and ideal as possible.”
He said consultations with his economic team, as well as with other stakeholders, are underway.
“One of the important aspects of this trip will be for us to introduce the Maharlika Investment Fund to the rest of the world and certainly, more specifically, to the Middle Eastern countries,” Marcos said. “And with that in mind, we are encouraged by the reaction of our friends in the Middle East and for that matter, around the world to the fund. And we're very encouraged that we are going down the right path.”
Under RA 11954 inked by Marcos on July 18, the MIF will be used to invest in a wide range of assets, including foreign currencies, fixed-income instruments, domestic and foreign corporate bonds, joint ventures, mergers and acquisitions, real estate and high-impact infrastructure projects that contribute to the attainment of sustainable development. (PNA)