House ‘accepts’ Senate version of Maharlika bill
Updated @ 5:55 a.m., June 1, 2023
MANILA, Philippines — The House of Representatives has accepted the Senate’s version of the controversial Maharlika Investment Fund (MIF) bill.
A pre-bicameral conference committee hearing was held on Wednesday to discuss the two chambers’ versions of the proposal.
Manila Rep. Irwin Tieng, chair of the House Committee on Banks and Financial Intermediaries, said the House would yield to the MIF bill of the Senate.
“On behalf of the Congress (House) panel, we accept the Senate version in principle — subject to style,” he said, which was confirmed to reporters by the office of Sen. Mark Villar.
Villar is the main proponent of the MIF bill in the Senate.
“Adopted ng Congress ang Senate version (Congress has adopted the Senate version),” his office confirmed in a message.
In a separate message, Senate Minority Leader Aquilino Pimentel III — who was not present when the chamber voted to approve the measure early Wednesday — also said the House had decided to adopt the Senate’s MIF bill.
The pre-bicameral meeting was held only a few hours after the Senate passed its MIF bill – a version that had veered away from what was approved by the House in December last year.
Among the most crucial amendments to the version of the Senate is the explicit exclusion of investments from the Social Security System, Government Service Insurance System, Philippine Health Insurance Corporation, Home Development Mutual Fund, Overseas Workers Welfare Administration, and Philippine Veterans Affairs Office.
President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. had certified the MIF bill in both Senate and House as urgent.
In his certification letter addressed to Senate, Marcos said global inflation, economic consequences of the Ukraine-Russia conflict, and continuing interest rate hikes across the globe were “compelling” grounds to mark as urgent the MIF bill – which he once said was his brainchild.