PH debt too large to have Maharlika Investment Fund — Makabayan bloc
MANILA, Philippines — The Makabayan bloc on Wednesday said that the country’s debt is too large to have a Maharlika Investment Fund (MIF).
During a press briefing in the House of Representatives, ACT Teachers Rep. France Castro said that the budget is too tight.
“Tayo ay malaki ang utang natin malapit na maging P14 trillion and we are working on a deficit budget. Wala tayong extra na pera. Kung meron mang extra galing sa Landbank, galing sa [Development Bank of the Philippines], galing sa Central Bank dapat ito ay itulong na lang directa sa ating mga mamamayan,” said Castro.
(We have a large debt nearing P14 trillion and we are working on a deficit budget. We don’t have extra money. If there is extra from the Landbank, from the Development Bank of the Philippines, from the Central Bank, this should be used to directly help citizens.)
Kabataan Rep. Raoul Manuel said that the money earmarked for the MIF is roughly equivalent to a tenth of the national budget.
While the House version of the MIF already hurdled the final reading in December 2022, the Senate has only recently approved its version in May 2023.
The Senate had removed the Social Security System, Government Service Insurance System, Philippine Health Insurance Corp., Home Development Mutual Fund, Overseas Workers Welfare Administration, and Philippine Veterans Affairs Office from its MIF bill.
Castro also said that while safeguards have been established in the senate version of the MIF, this may not be enough, as the bicameral conference to amend the differences between the bills from both chambers of Congress is ongoing.