There is transparency in Maharlika Investment Fund, says Romualdez
MANILA, Philippines — Amid doubts from the public, Speaker Martin Romualdez on Sunday gave an assurance that the Maharlika Investment Fund has a provision that ensures transparency regarding financial matters to prevent its misuse.
The lawmaker said this as the House of Representatives approved the controversial bill after President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, Jr. certified the measure as urgent.
READ: Marcos Jr. certifies as urgent Maharlika Investment Fund bill
“During the lengthy and exhaustive plenary deliberations on House Bill 6608, we have adopted various safeguards to ensure we can achieve the objectives of the Maharlika Investment Fund, and one of such is a provision to ensure transparency on relevant financial matters pertaining to the MIF,” Romualdez said in a statement.
According to him, a provision within the bill specifically states that the public can exercise the right to freedom of information regarding MIF financial matters.
ACT Teachers Party-list Rep. France Castro, one of the only six lawmakers who voted against the bill, also proposed the provision during the period of individual amendments in the plenary deliberation on the measure.
Albay 2nd District Rep. Joey Sarte, chairman of the technical working group on the said bill, then agreed to accept the amendment proposed by Castro.
“The 3rd reading version now creates an MIF that is significantly more transparent and accountable than the committee report. I am proud of the work of the Technical Working Group, which included recommendations from the minority,” Salceda said.
Under Section 43 of the said bill, all documents of the MIF and the Maharlika Investment Corporation — the independent body created to manage the fund — shall be open, available, and accessible to the public.
These documents include the following:
- All investments thereof, whether planned or under negotiation by the MIC and on the portfolio of the MIF;
- The statements of assets and liabilities (SALNs) of the members and officials of the board of directors, risk management unit, and advisory board;
- The SALNs of those who appointed and designated the said members and officials;
- Audit documents from the internal auditor, external auditor, and the COA; and
- Similar documents and information.
Furthermore, the measure also provides that the records on the MIF’s investment activities shall be secured and maintained pursuant to the rules of the National Archives of the Philippines.
In addition, the disclosure rules under Republic Act (RA) No. 8799 or the Securities Regulation Code, Republic Act No. 11232, or the Revised Corporation Code, and other relevant laws, rules, and regulations shall apply to the MIC.
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