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Senate panel ends hearing on Maharlika Fund bills

The Senate committee on banks, financial institutions and currencies on Monday ended the hearings on the bills creating the Maharlika Investment Fund (MIF).

Senator Mark Villar, chairperson of the committee, referred the bills to a technical working group (TWG) to thresh out the details and harmonize the concerns raised during the three hearings.

The TWG will be begin its work on March 1.

Among the details that Senator Nancy Binay wanted to clarify in the bill was the composition of the board of directors that will manage the MIF.

This, after Binay asked if foreign investors could get a seat in the Maharlika Investment Corporation.

National Treasurer Rosalia de Leon explained that there is a cap on how much can be invested in the MIC because foreign investors might hold the majority of the boards' position.

De Leon said they are planning to put this rule in the implementing rules and regulations (IRR).

"Eh di lagay na lang natin don sa board na no foreign entity can be part of the board regardless of investment. 'Pag sinabi mong six regular members, Filipino lang ang pwedeng umupo don," Binay suggested.

"Kasi parang sinabi mo yung six regular members, will be coming from Landbank and DBP. I-state na natin na [Development Bank of the Philippines and [Landbank of the Philippines] will get three seats...di 'ba? Kasi vague yung six regular members e parang pwede niyong ilagay sa IRR na makakapasok din ang foreign entity," she added.

Villar said the Department of  Finance already indicated that they are open to changes to the board composition.

The composition of the board of directors that will manage the MIF was earier  questioned by Senator Francis Escudero during the first hearing.

Both the House and Senate versions of the MIF bill proposed that the board of directors of the Maharlika Investment Corporation (MIC) be composed of:

  • Secretary of Finance as chairperson;
  • Chief Executive Officer of the Maharlika Investment Corporation;
  • President of the LBP;
  • President of the DBP;
  • Six regular members representing the contributors to the fund, with the seats distributed in proportion to their corresponding investments; and
  • Five independent directors from the private sector, the academe, business sector and investment sector

Under the proposed MIF bills, P50 billion of the capitalization of the sovereign wealth fund will come from LBP and P25 billion from the DBP. — RSJ, GMA Integrated News