Marcos: Maharlika fund IRR finalized

by Nov 7, 2023Featured Article, News

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippines is a step closer to having its first ever sovereign wealth fund as the implementing rules and regulations (IRR) for the Maharlika Investment Fund (MIF) have been completed and are now awaiting President Marcos’ approval.

“The implementing rules and regulations of Maharlika Investment Fund have been finalized,” Marcos said in a Facebook post yesterday.

“Upon our approval, we’ll swiftly establish the corporate structure, getting the MIF up and running,” he added.

A pet measure of the Marcos administration, the law establishing the MIF was enacted on July 18. The law allows the establishment of the Maharlika Investment Corp. (MIC) to act as the vehicle for mobilizing and using the investment fund, which officials said would encourage investments in vital sectors and key state infrastructure projects.

The wealth fund will also promote fiscal stability and support the government’s priorities, according to economic managers.

But critics, including some economists, claim a wealth fund is unnecessary and even risky to the economy. A petition questioning the legality of the Maharlika law is pending before the Supreme Court but Malacañang has expressed optimism that the measure would withstand legal challenges.

The IRR for the Maharlika law was issued last Aug. 28, but Executive Secretary Lucas Bersamin ordered the national treasurer to suspend it in October, saying Marcos wanted to study it first to ensure that safeguards are in place.

Before leaving for Saudi Arabia last Oct. 19, Marcos gave assurance that the establishment of a sovereign wealth fund is “proceeding apace” and is being fine-tuned to make it “as close to perfect and ideal as possible.”

He said the government was committed to having the wealth fund operational by yearend. The government is also working to improve the organizational structure of the MIF, the President added.

Based on the law, MIC will be governed by a nine-person board of directors. The finance secretary will serve as the chairperson in an ex officio capacity. Other members of the board are the president and chief executive officer of the MIC, who will sit as the vice chairperson; the president and chief executive officer of Land Bank of the Philippines, the president and CEO of the Development Bank of the Philippines, two regular directors and three independent directors from the private sector.

The corporation will have an authorized capital stock of P500 billion.

Senior Undersecretary Elaine Masukat and Undersecretary Rodolfo John Robert Palattao IV of the Presidential Management Staff and Undersecretary Leonardo Roy Cervantes of the Office of the Executive Secretary were present when the implementing rules for the Maharlika law were finalized, according to a statement by the Presidential Communications Office.

Government Service Insurance System general manager Jose Arnulfo Veloso, Office of the Presidential Adviser for Investment and Economic Affairs Raphael DC Consing Jr., representatives from the Bureau of the Treasury, Office of the Deputy Executive Secretary for General Administration and the Office of the Deputy Executive Secretary for Legal Affairs were also present during the completion of the IRR.