Econ managers hope for Maharlika bill enactment before SONA

By Anna Leah Gonzales

May 16, 2023, 1:54 pm

MANILA – The country's economic managers are hoping for the approval of Senate Bill No. 2020 establishing the Maharlika Investment Fund (MIF) before the session adjourns on June 2.

“The Maharlika Investment Fund bill is making significant progress in the Senate, and we hope to see it signed into law before the President’s second State of the Nation Address on July 24,” Department of Finance (DOF) Secretary Benjamin Diokno said in a statement issued Monday evening.

Diokno, Department of Budget and Management (DBM) Secretary Amenah F. Pangandaman and National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Secretary Arsenio M. Balisacan, attended the Senate plenary session on May 15, 2023 to show their support during the period of interpellation and debate on the measure.

The period of interpellation and debate for the said measure will resume Tuesday.

Diokno earlier said the MIF is a tool to diversify the country’s financial portfolio, which includes existing institutions pursuing investment activities.

The Fund will specifically be used for investments with high returns, and infrastructure development.

In his sponsorship speech, Senator Mark Villar explained the MIF will be able to generate bigger returns for the government.

He said returns from the Fund will maximize the government’s assets and generate robust returns that will be used to invest in flagship projects.

The House of Representatives has already approved its version of the Maharlika Investment Fund bill on December 15, 2022 with about 90 percent of its members officially named as co-authors of the measure.

Voting 279 against six, House Bill No. 6608 was approved on final reading after President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. certified the MIF bill as urgent.

Once the Senate approves its version of the measure, a Bicameral Conference Committee will be constituted to settle, reconcile or thresh out differences or disagreements on any provision of the bill. (PNA)