Marcos suspends Maharlika fund implementation
MANILA, Philippines — President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. has stopped the rapid push to bring to life the Maharlika Investment Fund (MIF) this year, directing the key people concerned to stand down and further study the plan.
In a memorandum dated Oct. 12 and addressed to the heads of the Bureau of the Treasury, Land Bank of the Philippines, and Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP), Executive Secretary Lucas Bersamin said that “upon the directive of the president, the Treasurer of the Philippines, in coordination with [Landbank] and DBP, is hereby directed to suspend the implementation of the IRR (implementing rules and regulations)” of the law that created the MIF.
According to Bersamin, the suspension stands “pending the further study” of the IRR.
The national treasurer and the chief executive officers of Landbank and DBP were also told to notify “all concerned heads of departments, bureaus, offices and other agencies.” Bersamin did not elaborate.
Enacted on July 18, Republic Act No. 11954 mandated the national treasurer to develop the IRR for the MIF law within 90 days. The Treasury issued the IRR 41 days later, on Aug. 28.
When sought for confirmation, DBP president and chief executive Michael de Jesus told the Inquirer on Tuesday evening: “Yes. I received the letter [from the executive secretary].“
Finance Secretary Benjamin Diokno, mandated to serve as chair of the Maharlika Investment Corp. (MIC), which will manage the MIF, had earlier reiterated that MIC was expected to be operational before 2023 ends.
The MIF law provides that, along with the finance secretary, the CEOs of Landbank and DBP would each have seats in the MIC board.
Soon after, both state-run banks sought relief from compliance with the rules of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas on capital requirements.
De Jesus said the request for relief was preemptive, considering that the contribution — if not considered part of DBP’s capital—would undermine DBP’s ability to comply with BSP regulations.
The MIF advisory body, composed of the budget secretary, the head of the National Economic and Development Authority, and the national treasurer, has been processing applications for the six remaining seats of the MIC board.
These include the president and CEO of MIC, two regular board members, and three independent board members.