Solons laud signing of MIF into law: Greater fiscal space for PH | Inquirer News

Solons laud signing of MIF into law: Greater fiscal space for PH

/ 07:32 PM July 18, 2023

Various lawmakers from the House of Representatives lauded President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.’s enactment of the Maharlika Investment Fund (MIF) bill, as it would provide the Philippines a great fiscal space to implement projects.

President Ferdinand Marcos Jr., Senate President Juan Miguel “Migz” Zubiri, House Speaker Ferdinand Martin Romualdez with senators and congressmen during the enactment into law of the Maharlika Investment Fund. FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines — Various lawmakers from the House of Representatives lauded President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.’s enactment of the Maharlika Investment Fund (MIF) bill, as it would provide the Philippines a great fiscal space to implement projects.

According to Deputy Speaker and Pampanga 2nd District Rep. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, it is a big milestone for the country.


However, Arroyo — an economist by profession — said that management of the MIF and the corporation that would handle it, along with the implementation, would be equally important.


“It’s a very big milestone for our economy, finally the bill was able to find a form that the President would be willing to sign. And there are many, many sovereign funds all over the world, and that’s what the President said, that they looked at the different models, they looked at the achievements, they looked at the mistakes,” she said in an interview after the bill was signed by the Chief Executive.

“So this is a very good bill and now like all sovereign funds, that key will be in the management and implementation,” she added.

Another economist in Albay 2nd District Rep. Joey Salceda said that the MIF will be a vehicle for investible funds in the Philippine banking system and other conglomerates who are willing to put money in government projects.

“We also have some of the largest conglomerates in Southeast Asia, and they are cash cows. Our total corporate sector generated P9.03 trillion in 2023. They have a gross saving of P5.7 trillion. So, basically, they don’t have anywhere to put 63% of all the money our corporations make,” Salceda said, citing figures from the Philippine Statistics Authority’s Income and Outlay Accounts.

“And, unless we create a vehicle for investable projects, chances are, that’s going to be released in dividends outside the country or used to pay foreign corporate debt, rather than develop our domestic sectors.”

As the country has around a P2 trillion gap for infrastructure projects annually, the MIF may support projects that the government funds can no longer sustain.


“So, MIF, if we can get it right, can bridge the gap between investible funds – which we have trillions of – and the investable projects, which also demand trillions in financing. It’s grand-scale matchmaking for development,” Salceda noted.

Camarines Sur 2nd District Rep. LRay Villafuerte also issued the same sentiments, saying that Republic Act No. 11954 will help the country complete several projects that are in-line with the administration’s agenda — that originally, would have to wait due to funding limitations in the annual budget.

“The MIF, as set up under the newly-signed RA 11954, would help the national prevail over two drawbacks that threaten to handicap the Marcos administration’s agenda to  sustain the robust economic growth path post-pandemic, create jobs and attack poverty, and keep the Philippines on its AmBisyon Natin 2040 path of becoming a prosperous middle-class society in less than two decades,” Villafuerte said.

“The MIF now clears the way to an alternative, potentially huge source of investment funds that would enable the national government to spend much bigger on public infrastructure and its other big-ticket programs to shore up our President’s “Agenda for Peace and Prosperity,’” he added.

Ang Probinsyano Rep. Alfred delos Santos also said that this would allow the Philippine government to stop its reliance on foreign loans.

“The Maharlika Investment Fund is an additional vehicle to optimize the government surplus. This will significantly expand the country’s fiscal space and alleviate pressures in financing public infrastructure projects, as we typically rely on Public-Private Partnership (PPP) or Official Development Assistance (ODA) mechanisms,” delos Santos said.

“We embrace the enactment of the MIF as a significant step towards the progress and strengthening of our key sectors. We extend our gratitude to the leadership of President Ferdinand ‘Bongbong’ Marcos Jr. for his prompt action in making this law a reality, which will pave the way for a brighter future for our nation,” he added.

Earlier, key proponent and House Speaker Ferdinand Martin Romualdez also lauded Marcos for signing the bill.

“As an additional vehicle for financing, the MIF is expected to widen the fiscal space in the near- to medium-term as it reduces heavy reliance on local funds and development assistance as the main financing mechanisms for infrastructure projects,” Romualdez, who was present during the signing of the law.

“It is envisioned to enable the government to execute and sustain high-impact and long-term economic development programs and projects without imposing new or higher taxes,” he added.

READ: Maharlika Investment Fund Act of 2023 to help finance big projects – Romualdez 

READ: Bongbong Marcos signs Maharlika Investment Fund into law 

Marcos signed it into law over a month since both the House and the Senate separately ratified the then-proposed MIF.  However, the bill was not without controversy: when it was filed last November, opposition solons questioned why the proposed MIF would utilize funds from government-owned insurance companies like the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) and the Social Security System (SSS).

READ: Proposed Maharlika fund just needs the President’s signature to become a law 

Eventually, it was announced that GSIS and SSS funds would no longer be included.

READ: Romualdez, other solons call for Maharlika Investment Fund for gov’t investment 

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

TAGS: Bongbong Marcos, House of Representatives, Investment, MIF

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