GSIS: Maharlika Wealth Fund will use investible funds, not members’ pensions
MANILA, Philippines — The proposed Maharlika Wealth Fund will use investible funds of the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) and not its members’ pensions, the agency’s top official said Wednesday.
GSIS president and general manager Arnulfo Veloso said the proposed Maharlika Fund is only to benefit the members of the GSIS.
“Investible funds. Hindi natin gagamitin ang pera ng ating mga pensiyonado, ang gagamitin natin ay iyong perang mai-invest natin,” he said in a public briefing.
“Masama na ba kaming makahingi ng kahit na buntot ng manok galing sa ating gross international reserves or pera galing sa BSP na lahat po ay kanilang nai-invest overseas at ang kumikita ay ang US government out of our investment?” Veloso added.
(Is it bad of us to ask for the chicken’s tail from our gross international reserves or money from the BSP, all of which were invested overseas with only the US government to benefit?)
“Masama ho bang makahingi ng buntot ng manok at maipakain natin to improve the benefits of the Filipino people?” he further said.
(Is it bad of us to ask for the tail of a chicken for it to be used to improve the benefits of the Filipino people?)
He said the contribution rate payable by a GSIS member and the government agency should be 9% and 12%, respectively, based on the member’s actual monthly salary.
Upon a member’s retirement, the GSIS will give 90% of the average of the member’s overall contribution. The state pension fund accounts for 69%.
He added that the investible funds come from the money left after the GSIS pays all costs associated with maintaining members’ pensions and benefits.
“We would like to start small. We would like to start small and be able to make everyone understand and know that this is an organization, the Maharlika is an organization that will ensure that the country’s economic development will be managed properly,” Veloso said.
Under House Bill No. 6398, the government would tap into funds from government-owned and controlled corporations — P125 billion from the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS), P50 billion from the Social Security System (SSS), P50 billion from the Land Bank of the Philippines, and P25 billion from the Development Bank of the Philippines.
Another P25 billion would be sourced from the General Appropriations Act or the annual national budget — for a total of P275 billion.
The said funds will be used to invest on a strategic and commercial basis in a manner designed to promote fiscal stability for economic development and strengthen the top-performing government financial institutions (GFIs) through additional investment platforms.
GSIS chief assures public of transparency
Veloso assured the public that funds under the Maharlika Fund will be properly accounted for and invested, saying there are enough safeguards in place, including layers of auditing.
He said that aside from internal auditing, he suggested having “independent directors” who can protect minority shareholders and address their concerns.
Veloso said he recommended that the president of the Bankers Association of the Philippines and the president of the Philippine Stock Exchange be independent directors, saying they can ensure that investments will be made properly and that investors and the retail market are protected.
He added that internationally renowned and known accounting firms should also be hired to audit the Maharlika Fund.
There will also be an oversight from the Commission and Audit and Congress, and the publication of annual reports will be done “to make sure that everybody is aware.”
Let technocrats run Maharlika wealth fund to avert politics – Sandro Marcos
Sovereign wealth funds and PH’s Maharlika Fund
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.