GSIS vows transparency, investment protection in proposed Maharlika fund

The GSIS gives assurance that there will be transparency in the proposed Maharlika Investment Fund

The GSIS Complex in Pasay (Photo from the GSIS Facebook account)

MANILA, Philippines — The Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) on Tuesday gave assurance that there will be transparency in the proposed Maharlika Investment Fund (MIF) and that investments that will be made through it would be protected.

GSIS President and General Manager Arnulfo Veloso’s pronouncement came amid public concerns about the establishment of such a wealth fund, raising possible misuse of people’s money.

In a news release from the Office of the Press Secretary (OPS), Veloso explained that the proposed law for the MIF calls for the formation of a Maharlika Board that will manage the fund and make sure investments made will be secured. He also said that “[w]hatever investments we make here are going to accrue to the members of the GSIS.”

The establishment of the MIF is being proposed under House Bill No. 6398 authored by Speaker and Leyte 1st District Rep. Ferdinand Martin Romualdez; Majority Floor Leader and Zamboanga City 2nd District Rep. Manuel Jose Dalipe; Ilocos Norte 1st District Rep. Ferdinand Alexander “Sandro” Marcos; Marikina 2nd District Rep. Stella Quimbo; and Tingog Party-list Reps. Yedda Marie Romualdez and Jude Acidre.

“We would like to let the public know that this is an opportunity for us to be able to push the country to grow,” Veloso said in the OPS-released statement.

“Whatever investments we make here are going to accrue to the members of the Government Service Insurance System and we are there at the Maharlika Board to make sure the investments are protected while at the same time help in nation-building,” he added.

READ: Sovereign wealth funds and PH’s Maharlika Fund

He further assured the public that GSIS officials will make sure the MIF will be invested properly and that there are “various layers of transparency” to ensure that the money are “protected and invested properly.”

“We are going to make sure the public is going to be made aware,” the GSIS chief said.

As part of the safeguards, Veloso said, there will be a representation from the private sector via the participation of independent directors, as well as congressional oversight and an auditing by an internationally accredited firm.

Under House Bill No. 6398, the government would mainly utilize funds from government-owned and controlled corporations to create a pooled budget that the proposed Maharlika Investment Corp. will tap to make investments here and abroad.

READ: Maharlika Investment Fund money must come from ‘wealth tax’ – group

The MIF, according to proponents, will be used to invest in a strategic and commercial basis through a manner designed to promote fiscal stability for economic development and to strengthen the top-performing government financial institutions via additional investment platforms.

House Bill No. 6398 is eyeing to put P275 billion seed money to the MIF which will be derived specifically from the GSIS (P125 billion), Social Security System (P50 billion), Land Bank of the Philippines (P50 billion), Development Bank of the Philippines (P25 billion) and the General Appropriations Act (P25 billion).


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