Romualdez, other solons call for Maharlika Investment Fund for gov’t investment
MANILA, Philippines — House of Representatives Speaker and Leyte 1st District Rep. Ferdinand Martin Romualdez and other legislators have filed a bill seeking to establish the Maharlika Wealth Fund (MWF) to ensure the government can make smart investments.
The MIF was proposed in House Bill No. 6398 to enable the government to undertake investments to secure the country’s long-term financial health.
The funds for the MIF would come from the government’s investible money at the best banks in the country, and it would be used to buy up state-owned property.
“Sovereign Wealth Funds are state-owned investment funds typically financed by a country’s surplus revenues or reserves. Governments invest these funds in an array of both real and financial assets to stabilize national budgets, create savings for their citizens, or promote economic development,” the bill’s explanatory note read.
“The MIF would give Government Financial Institutions (GFls) […] the opportunity to ensure their respective funds’ optimal asset allocation as well as ensure that resources are efficiently channeled to investments that will provide the most value not only to the participating GFIs, but also to the country,” it added.
The bill also likens the country’s proposed SWF to that of Singapore, as the Singaporean government acquired assets that ensure the proper management of its foreign reserves without affecting domestic supply. It also mentioned the system established by Indonesia, as the investment fund allowed it to put money into infrastructure projects and emerging industries.
“SWFs can also successfully be used as a tool of national strategy, as evidenced by the successful performance of Singapore’s SWFs, such as the GIC Private Limited, which provide the financial means for Singapore to manage its foreign reserves, defend itself and protect its sovereignty without compromising its domestic program,” the bill said.
“SWFs can also be used to attract direct investments, as what the Indonesia Investment Authority (INA) did. By attracting foreign co-investors to capitalize the fund rather than rely on commodity revenues, the INA has been very successful in bringing in much-needed investments in infrastructure and emerging industries, ultimately spurring growth in Indonesia,” it added.
Aside from Romualdez, the bill’s authors are:
- Majority Floor Leader and Zamboanga City 2nd District Rep. Manuel Jose Dalipe
- Senior Deputy Majority Leader and Ilocos Norte 1st District Rep. Ferdinand Alexander Marcos
- Committee on appropriations senior vice chair and Marikina 2nd District Rep. Stella Quimbo
- Tingog party-list Rep. Yedda Marie Romualdez
- Tingog party-list Rep. Jude Acidre
The bill would also create the Maharlika Investments Corporation, an independent corporate body that would be the main body that would do investments using the MIF.
Speaker Romualdez said the bill is necessary to maintain the momentum of the country’s growing economy — especially amid its strong 7.6 percent gross domestic product growth for the third quarter of 2022.
“As the Philippines secures its place not only as the Rising Star of Asia but as a real economic leader in the Asia Pacific, the creation of the MWF becomes imperative,” he said.
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