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NEDA chief guarantees Maharlika Investment Fund won't affect national budget

A day after the Maharlika Investment Fund was signed into law, National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Secretary Arsenio Balisacan ensured that the fund will not affect the national budget for fiscal year 2024.

"To begin with, the total budget is going P5.3 trillion, we are talking only about P135 billion but even that is not part of the budget – these are funds that are not you know used either in Land Bank and DBP [Development Bank of the Philippines] and also remittance of the Central Bank or BSP [Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas] to the national government ‘no," Balisacan said at a Palace press briefing.

"So, relatively it should not have affected the national budget," he added.

The proposed budget for next year is P5.768 trillion, which is 9.5% higher compared to this year's P5.268 trillion budget.

Balisacan also guaranteed the public that the fund will not incur more debts for the Philippines. He noted that the MIF could serve as a tool for the Philippine government to acquire more funds that can be used to finance projects.

"No, it will not happen by design because the fund that we are putting in there are quite, you know, idle funds not funds that being utilized. And what the fund is trying to do is to put those into more productive, higher yielding instruments so that you can earn more from those funds," Balisacan said.

President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. on Tuesday signed into law the MIF, which will tap state assets for investment ventures to generate additional public funds.

Republic Act No. 11954 was signed despite apprehensions and concerns on the measure, with some lawmakers pointing out the MIF bill's glaring errors and discrepancies as well as its ambiguous provisions.

A Maharlika Investment Corporation will be established to act as the sole vehicle for the utilization of the MIF. —KG, GMA Integrated News