No studies on sources of funding for Maharlika — Escudero
Senator Francis "Chiz" Escudero said there are no studies on the sources of funding for the proposed Maharlika Investment Fund (MIF).
“Kada araw nagbabago depende kung sino ang kausap mo, nagbabago depende kung sinong congressman at senador ang kausap mo na nagsusulong nito. May kanya kanyang opinion sila, ang pinagbabatayan ko lamang ay ang nakasulat sa mga panukalang batas na pending sa Senado at yung inaprubahan ng Kamara,” Escudero said in The Mangahas Interviews when asked if there are sufficient funds to create the MIF.
(Every day, it changes depending on who you talk to. It changes depending on which congressman and senator you talk to. They have their own opinion; I only rely on what was written in the bill pending in the Senate and the one approved by the House.)
“Walang pag-aaral na sumusuporta kung saan kukunin. Kung maalala mo unang kukunin ‘yan sa GSIS at SSS, ang daming pumalag,” he said.
(There is no study to support where it will be sourced. If you remember, it was first proposed to be sourced from the GSIS and SSS; however, many opposed the idea.)
Last December, the House of Representatives passed House Bill 6608, or the Maharlika Investment Fund Act, providing for an independent fund that shall be sourced from the investible funds of select government financial institutions (GFIs), from contributions of the national government, declared dividends of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), and other fund sources.
The authors originally planned for the investible funds of the Government Service Insurance System and the Social Security System to be included as sources for the proposed sovereign wealth fund's capital, an idea they later dropped after pensioners expressed their concerns, said co-author Marikina City Representative Stella Quimbo.
Under the proposed measure, the fund shall be used to invest on a strategic and commercial basis in a manner designed to promote fiscal stability for economic development and strengthen the top-performing GFIs through additional investment platforms that will help attain the national government’s priority plans.
Meanwhile, the Senate is currently deliberating on its own version of the MIF bill.
Last month, Albay Representative Joey Salceda, who chairs the chamber’s ways and means panel, disclosed that the MIF bill underwent a revision during the Christmas break.
In particular, dividends from government-owned and controlled corporations (GOCCs) will initially support the MIF, removing dividends from the BSP and state-run banks from the pool of fund sources.
Finance Secretary Benjamin Diokno has expressed opposition to the proposal to make the dividends from GOCCs the initial funding source of the MIF, saying this would be tedious and would require changing the state corporations’ charters. — VBL, GMA Integrated News