Marcos: 3 commitments to invest ‘substantial amount’ in Maharlika fund fetched in Japan

TOKYO — The proposed Maharlika Investment Fund (MIF) has attracted at least three investment commitments from both Japanese government-run and private financial institutions, President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. said Sunday.

“We have some commitments but I don’t think it’s appropriate for me to name who they are,” Marcos told reporters in an interview aboard PR001 flight back to Manila.

“But they have—there are already three commitments, substantial amounts that they are willing to invest in the fund. So we can begin there,” he added.

The chief executive said the commitments were from public and private financial institutions in Japan.

“Iba-iba. Mayroon mga government, pero mayroon ding private,” Marcos said.

Speaker Martin Romualdez earlier said that a high-ranking Japanese financial executive, who played a key role in setting up Indonesia’s sovereign wealth fund INA, has expressed “strong interest” in the proposed MIF. 

The House of Representatives has passed House Bill (HB) No. 6608 or the Maharlik Investment Fund Act, providing for an independent fund that shall be sourced from the investible funds of select government financial institutions (GFIs), from contributions of the national government, declared dividends of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), and other funds sources.

Under the proposed measure, the fund shall be used to invest on a strategic and commercial basis in a manner designed to promote fiscal stability for economic development and strengthen the top-performing GFIs through additional investment platforms that will help attain the national government’s priority plans.

Meanwhile, the Senate is currently deliberating on its own version of the MIF bill.

Last month, Albay Representative Joey Salceda, who chairs the chamber’s ways and means panel, disclosed that the MIF bill underwent a revision during the Christmas break.

In particular, dividends from government-owned and controlled corporations (GOCCs) will initially support the MIF, removing dividends from the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas and state-run banks from the pool of fund sources.

President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. has clarified that he had no hand in the revision of the MIF bill.

Finance Secretary Benjamin Diokno has, likewise, expressed opposition to the proposal to make the dividends from GOCCs the initial funding source of the MIF, saying this would be tedious and would require state corporation’s charters. — BM, GMA Integrated News