Maharlika fund ‘acceptable’ if not funded by BSP, gov’t financial institutions — expert
MANILA, Philippines — The controversial Maharlika Investment Fund (MIF) would be acceptable as long as the seed money does not come from the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) and government financial institutions (GFIs), an economic expert said on Wednesday.
The MIF bill specifies that the initial funding should be sourced from the Land Bank of the Philippines, the Development Bank of the Philippines, and the declared dividends of the BSP.
“First of all, the funding should not come freely from the GFIs or the Central Bank because it will put our banking system at risk,” Federation for Economic Freedom president Calixto Chikiamco said during the Senate committee on banks, financial institutions and currencies deliberations.
Chikiamco said that the initial funding for the MIF could come from the government “and then, there will be co-investment” from multilateral and foreign investors.
He added that the objective of the MIF should be clarified.
“‘Yung conflict of objectives which we raised: will it seek to maximize the return or will it look for public welfare?” the expert said.
Senator Nancy Binay asked if the MIF would be acceptable if his suggestions are heeded.
“Yes, as long as it’s — again — not funded by the GFIs and the BSP, it’s acceptable. I think there is a role for a Maharlika Fund in certain instances,” said Chikiamco.
The committee, chaired by Senator Mark Villar, is conducting its second round of hearing on measures seeking the creation of the MIF.