Revised Maharlika fund rules have enough safeguards vs abuse – 2 solons
MANILA, Philippines — The revised implementing rules and regulations (IRR) of the Maharlika Investment Fund (MIF) have enough significant safeguards against abuse, according to Senior Deputy Speaker Aurelio Gonzales Jr. and Manila 5th District Rep. Irwin Tieng.
“The IRRs, approved by no less than President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr., are a testament to the commitment to reinforce the governance structure of the MIC, ensuring that the board of directors possesses the necessary freedom to administer the fund without external interference, thus bolstering its effectiveness and credibility in the financial landscape,” Gonzales, who represents the Third District of Pampanga, said in a statement on Monday.
“This step ensures that the board of directors can operate in a manner that best serves the interests of the corporation and its stakeholders, free from any undue political pressures. This independence will enable the MIC to perform its crucial role in investment activities, contributing significantly to the economic growth and stability of the nation,” he added.
The revised IRR, Gonzales said, showed a “commitment to transparent, efficient, and impartial financial management, setting a precedent for enhanced governance in financial institutions.”
Tieng shared Gonzales’ views, saying that the enhanced provisions in the IRR would bolster the independence of the corporation’s governing body.
Tieng head of the House Committee on Banks and Financial Intermediaries, one of the panels that checked the MIF when it was still a bill at the House.
“We are delighted to witness the culmination of efforts to fortify the MIC through enacting comprehensive and empowering rules. The strengthened independence of the Board of Directors is fundamental in ensuring prudent and effective decision-making, safeguarding the corporation’s integrity, and promoting financial stability,” he said.
“This move aligns with the ongoing commitment to foster a resilient and progressive financial environment, reinforcing trust and confidence among stakeholders and investors,” he added.
Expanded presidential power to choose
Among the changes placed in the IRR of the MIF was to expand the presidential power in choosing members of the MIC board.
The amended IRR now gives Marcos the authority to “either accept or reject” nominees to the board of directors which is composed of the national treasurer, the socioeconomic planning secretary, and the budget secretary.
Earlier on Monday, the Presidential Communications Office announced that Marcos had picked Rafael Consing Jr., president and chief executive officer (CEO) of the MIC.
Consing is the presidential adviser for investment and economic affairs.
But while Gonzales and Tieng hailed the new IRR, ACT Teachers Rep. France Castro warned that the current setup lessens the specific responsibilities of the audit and risk management committees and decreases the educational and professional experience requirements for top positions within the fund company.
“The President’s increased authority to select the board of directors further raises questions about the independence and integrity of the fund and poses a danger to people’s funds,” Castro said.