Bongbong Marcos pushed for independence of Maharlika fund board – Palace
MANILA, Philippines — President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. sought to ensure the independence of the Maharlika Investment Corp. (MIC) Board.
In a meeting early this week, the President stressed that the Board of Directors of the MIC should be able to discharge its function “free from any undue political interference.”
The Palace said the President met with officials from the Office of the President, Office of the Executive Secretary, Presidential Management Staff, Bureau of Treasury, and Government Service Insurance System on Monday. The group was reviewing and finalizing the implementing rules and regulations (IRR) of Republic Act (RA) No. 11954, or the law establishing the Maharlika Investment Fund.
“To carry out such functions as provided for under the law, the President instructed to strengthen and guarantee some powers that are inherently vested in the Board,” the Presidential Communications Office (PCO) said in a statement Saturday.
“These include, among others, the manner by which government contributions shall be deposited, creation of corporate officers, imposition of additional qualifications and/or disqualifications of regular and independent directors, and creation of committees and their functions,” it added.
The PCO explained that what Marcos wants is “to give the body more latitude in managing the fund, thus promoting good corporate governance.”
According to the PCO, the Office of the Executive Secretary (OES) welcomed the President’s suggestions as they “serve to clarify, while simultaneously buttressing, the exercise of the discretionary powers of the Board of Directors to maintain its independence.”
The PCO also said that the OES considered Marcos’ proposed revisions to the IRR as a a way to “ensure that the MIC has a free hand to explore gainful investment opportunities, while adhering faithfully to the letter of the law; and, ensure that investments are of high impact and are in line with the socioeconomic development program of the government.”
Under Section 21 of RA No. 11954, the main function of the MIC Board of Directors is to govern and manage the corporation, its assets, and investments in accordance with the law.
The PCO said that the MIC Board of Directors shall consist of nine members: the Secretary of Finance sitting as the Chairperson in an ex-officio capacity, the President and the Chief Executive Officer (PCEO) as the MIC Vice Chairperson, President and CEO of the LandBank of the Philippines, President and CEO of the Development Bank of the Philippines, and three more Independent Directors from the private sector.
Based on the law, the PCEO shall “direct and supervise the operations and internal administration of the MIC, and shall be charged with the risk management, financial performance, human resources, accounting and legal affairs of the MIC.”
Once the IRR of the Maharlika Investment Fund (MIF) is approved, Marcos said the corporate structure will immediately be established to run the fund, ensuring transparency and accountability.
Marcos earlier gave the assurance that the operationalization of the MIF will push through before the end of 2023.