Villar: “Presidential appointee with ‘impeccable reputation’ should manage Maharlika fund”
MANILA, Philippines — In an apparent attempt to encourage the public to give the Maharlika Investment Fund Act of 2023 a chance, Senator Mark Villar on Wednesday said the MIF should be managed by a presidential appointee with an “impeccable reputation.”
Villar, who guided the MIF bill through the Senate, said the president and chief executive officer of the Maharlika Investment Corporation must have a background in finance and investment.
“Para kapag na-appoint na siya, mabilis. Wala nang learning curve. Pagdating niya doon, pwede na siyang mag-perform kaagad,” he said at the Kapihan sa Manila Bay forum.
(So when he’s appointed, it will just be quick. No more learning curve. He can immediately perform his job when he takes on the role.)
But, Villar stressed, the MIC president and CEO – who will sit as the corporation’s vice chairperson – will need more than experience.
“Tulad ng sinabi ni Presidente kahapon, integrity has to be very firm…impeccable reputation. Importante din iyan. So whoever will manage the fund, I’m sure, will be very capable,” the senator said.
(Like the President said on Tuesday, integrity has to be very firm…impeccable reputation. That’s also important. So whoever will manage the fund, I’m sure, will be very capable.)
According to the MIF law, which President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. signed on Tuesday, the nine-man MIC board are all appointees of the chief of state. These include:
- Finance Secretary – Ex-officio chairman
- MIC President and CEO
- Land Bank of the Philippines President and CEO
- Development Bank of the Philippines President and CEO
- Three independent directors
- Two regular directors
The law also states that an advisory body “shall ensure that the selected members of the Board of Directors are with proven probity, competence, expertise and experience in finance, economics, investments, business management, or law, and are highly capable to contribute to the attainment of the objectives and purposes of the MIF.”
If asked, Villar said he would give his opinion about the shortlist for the MIC board.
‘Give law a chance’
According to Villar, the MIF law’s implementing rules and regulations may be finished “within the year or in the next few months,” as Finance Secretary Benjamin Diokno promised.
He also responded to the plans of MIF critics to challenge the newly signed law before the Supreme Court.
Although Villar said it is their right to question the contentious measure in the high court, he appealed for them to give the law a chance first.
“Let us give this law a chance. It was overwhelmingly approved by the houses of Congress. It was endorsed by the President. It’s a priority bill,” he said.
The then-MIF bill, which Marcos had certified as urgent, was overwhelmingly approved by the Marcos-allied supermajority in both the Senate and the House of Representatives.