Group greets SSS, GSIS dropping as sources of Maharlika fund with cries of ‘victory’
MANILA, Philippines — Akbayan Party has called the removal of the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) and the Social Security System (SSS) as sources for the Maharlika Investment Fund (MIF) an “important first victory” against the administration of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.
The proposed MIF drew widespread criticism and sparked a Change.org petition to block the bill’s passage, which has so far gained 48,000 signatures. Such a groundswell of public outcry clearly indicates that the public is strongly opposed to the controversial investment trust.
“This is an important first victory for the Filipino working class against the Marcos administration and a resounding rebuke of a measure that would have endangered the future of millions,” the group said in a statement Thursday.
According to Akbayan, “[p]ushing back exposes abuse,” as the decision to drop SSS and GSIS as sources for MIF showed the importance of criticism in a democracy.
“Pushing back exposes abuse. It punishes selfish egos, and ensures that the decisions of those in power are directed towards the interests of the public,” it said.
But Akbayan stressed there is still much to be done, claiming that authors of House Bill No. 6398 will continue to assert the creation of the MIF or “even reintroduce the vile provisions in some other form.”
“Despite the ongoing economic crisis, proponents of the fund will persist in pushing for its creation and may even reintroduce the vile provisions in some other form. Much work still needs to be done, and there will be more battles that need to be won, especially with another Marcos in power,” it noted.
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.
House Bill No. 6398 is eyeing to put P275 billion seed money to the Maharlika Investment Fund, which will be derived specifically from the GSIS (P125 billion), SSS (P50 billion), Land Bank of the Philippines (P50 billion), Development Bank of the Philippines (P25 billion), and the General Appropriations Act (P25 billion).
House Bill No. 6398 is 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.
President Marcos is a cousin of Speaker Romualdez and the father of Rep. Sandro Marcos. Tingog Party-list Rep. Yedda Marie Romualdez is the wife of the Speaker.
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