Romualdez: Speedy passage of Maharlika Fund bill justified as it attracts interest at WEF | Inquirer News

Romualdez: Speedy passage of Maharlika Fund bill justified as it attracts interest at WEF

/ 07:00 PM January 18, 2023

Speaker Ferdinand Martin Romualdez is confident that Bongbong Marcos can use the 2023 WEF in Davos to present and explain the Maharlika Investment Fund

FILE PHOTO: Speaker Martin Romualdez. INQUIRER FILES

MANILA, Philippines — There is good wisdom in the speedy passage of House Bill (HB) No. 6608 seeking to establish the country’s first sovereign wealth fund (SWF), according to House Speaker Ferdinand Martin Romualdez, as it now attracts attention at the World Economic Forum (WEF).

Romualdez said on Wednesday that the passage of the proposed Maharlika Investment Fund (MIF) allowed President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr., who is in Davos, Switzerland, for the WEF, to showcase to the world how the said SWF would work.


“The swift passage of House Bill No. 6608, creating the Maharlika Investment Fund, enabled the President and the Philippine delegation to take advantage of the enormous opportunity to showcase the positive developments in our country and creative strategies to gain growth momentum,” the House Speaker, who accompanied Marcos as part of the Philippine delegation, said.


Romualdez said that House Bill No. 6608 is not only a product of its supporters but also of the opposition bloc, who introduced several changes and safeguards against corruption to the proposed measure.

HB No. 6608 — the revised version of HB No. 6398, which initially drew flak due to several issues — was passed on the third and final reading on the last session day, on December 15, 2022.

The House approved the measure on second and third readings on the same day, thanks to President Marcos’ move to certify the legislation as urgent. Originally, measures approved on the second reading would need three session days before they are placed back into the plenary for the third reading.

READ: House passes Maharlika Investment Fund bill 

READ: Maharlika fund bill passage by Thursday possible if certified as urgent – lawmaker 

“We could not have accomplished this challenging task without the cooperation and sacrifice of our members who exerted tremendous effort and diligence so we can conduct exhaustive debates and introduce necessary refinements to the Maharlika Investment Fund bill before our Christmas break,” Romualdez said.

Before the talks about the MIF at Davos were started, Romualdez said he was confident that Marcos could use the WEF to introduce to the world how the system would operate.

According to the House Speaker, Marcos can articulate to world leaders and business people attending the 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.


Marcos said he intends to soft launch the MIF at the WEF.

READ: Romualdez confident Marcos can use Davos forum to present, explain Maharlika fund 

READ: Marcos to drum up global investor interest in PH at Davos meet

Earlier, Romualdez said that the supposed good start for Marcos at Davos would boost the Philippines’ position as an investment hub.

It could be remembered that Romualdez and other House officials filed HB No. 6398 — a sovereign wealth fund which the government can tap for investments both local and abroad.

It initially drew controversy after the original version of the bill 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 funds if investments made by the MIF fail.

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Eventually, the GSIS and SSS funds — including the funds from the national budget — were removed from the list of fund sources of the MIF. The final version of the bill which was 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.


Marcos Jr draws ‘very positive response’ from CEOs, Palace says

Marcos off to ‘auspicious start’ at WEF, bodes well for PH — Romualdez

Proposed Maharlika Fund would no longer include SSS, GSIS funds — Quimbo 

TAGS: Davos, Switzerland

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