Romualdez confident Marcos can use Davos forum to present, explain Maharlika fund
MANILA, Philippines — House of Representatives Speaker Ferdinand Martin Romualdez is confident that President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. can use the World Economic Forum (WEF) to introduce and explain the proposed Maharlika Investment Fund (MIF).
Romualdez said Marcos could articulate to world leaders and businesspeople attending this year’s WEF in Davos, Switzerland, how the Philippines would emerge as an investment hub once the sovereign wealth fund is passed by Congress and eventually enacted.
The House leader, who played a part in arranging the meeting between Marcos and WEF founder Dr. Klauss Schwab on the sidelines of Asean Summits in Cambodia, is also in Switzerland as part of the President’s delegation.
“In his previous participation in various global fora, President Marcos has displayed an excellent ability to articulate the interests of the Philippines as well as the significant gains achieved under his administration and the country’s direction for future growth,” Romualdez said in a statement on Monday.
“I’m confident he would do the same in the WEF, particularly in introducing the Maharlika Wealth Fund to the global stage and helping our local business leaders explore investment opportunities for the Philippines,” he added.
To recall, Romualdez and other House officials filed House Bill No. 6398, which aims to establish the MIF — a sovereign wealth fund that the government can tap for investments locally and abroad.
It initially drew controversy after the bill’s original version included P125 billion worth of funds from the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) and P50 billion from the Social Security System (SSS) — stroking fears that pensioners may lose their money if investments made by the MIF fail.
Eventually, the GSIS and SSS funds — including the funds from the national budget — were removed from the list of fund sources for the MIF. The bill’s final version, approved by the House before the session break last December, also explicitly stated that the MIF would never source funds from both GSIS and SSS.
The changes had prompted some minority lawmakers to vote in favor of the bill, as it was supposedly a much better version than the original proposal.
While the measure is already approved at the lower chamber, the Senate is yet to hold deliberations on a counterpart bill.
In an interview with reporters en route to Davos, President Marcos said he plans to spotlight the country as an investment destination at the WEF.