Marcos can’t veto parts of the Maharlika Investment Fund — Sen. Gatchalian
MANILA, Philippines — Sen. Sherwin Gatchalian on Thursday said that should President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. not approve of the Senate version of the Maharlika Investment Fund (MIF), he could not veto portions of it and would have to return it to Congress.
Gatchalian also said that the final version of the bill “categorically” prohibits pension funds like the Social Security System (SSS), and Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) from investing in the fund, whether in the present or the future.
“This is not a revenue measure. The President can only veto revenue measures and appropriations measures in the General Appropriations Act, they can do line vetoes. But for this particular bill, the President needs to return it to Congress if he doesn’t agree with certain provisions of the bill so we have to redo everything again,” he said on ANC’s Headstart when asked if the President could strike out the measures regarding the pension funds.
Prior to the House of Representatives adopting the Senate version of the MIF bill on Wednesday, President Marcos said that the pension funds might invest in the MIF should they choose to do so.
“The Senate version has categorically prevented SSS, GSIS, and all similar pension funds from investing in the MIF. This is by far the most popular amendment of the Senators,” said Gatchalian, one of the 19 senators who voted for the approval of the bill.
He also added that in the bill’s final version, the pension funds could not invest in the MIF at present or in the future.
“Current and in the future,” Gatchalian stressed.
He pointed out that the GSIS and SSS already invest in profitable ventures. He, however, explained that whether or not the MIF makes a lot of money, these pension funds are banned from investing in the MIF.
The MIF has been met with controversy and criticism, much of which was rooted in the inclusion of the pension funds in earlier versions of the bill, as well as the Philippines operating on a deficit budget.
The bill now only awaits Marcos Jr.’s signature to become law.