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Sen. Imee Marcos, Raissa Robles, Agot Isidro, and netizens express worry about Maharlika Wealth Fund

The House is working overtime to pass legislation that would establish a sovereign wealth fund for the country.

The House is working overtime to pass legislation that would establish a sovereign wealth fund for the country.

On Tuesday, the House banks and financial intermediaries committee gave its preliminary approval to House Bill 6398, also known as the Maharlika Investments Fund Act. This had been proposed the day before by Speaker Martin Romualdez and six other legislators. The bill will be further refined by a technical working group (TWG) that will propose amendments to the bill.

The proposed wealth fund will be the subject of a public consultation on December 5. The House Banking and Financial Intermediaries Committee announced on Thursday that it had approved inputs and amendments from the TWG, which had basically worked overtime on the bill’s details.

Rep. Joey Salceda reassured the public that adequate safeguards would be put in place to prevent a repeat of the 1MDB scandal, in which billions of dollars were stolen from Malaysia’s sovereign wealth fund.

He predicted that plenary discussions on HB 6398 would begin on Monday. He promised that the committee on ways and means, which he chairs, would approve the bill that day as well.

“Second reading by Wednesday. That’s our commitment,” the Albay lawmaker pointed out.

The largest business group in the country has also endorsed the government’s plan to establish a sovereign wealth fund. This lends credibility to the initiative from a segment of the population many believe will be instrumental to the plan’s ultimate success.

In an interview with the Inquirer, George Barcelon, president of the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI), stated that the organization would back the establishment of the Maharlika sovereign wealth fund because of the significant aid it would provide in financing government activities to stimulate the economy.

According to Barcelon, “I think this is something we should do. I’m sure the government will put all the safeguards to this Maharlika fund. We have the freedom of information (law), and any individual or organization can request access to information about it.”

The PCCI representative also mentioned the success of using government-owned investment funds in other countries, particularly Singapore.

During his speech, Barcelon promised the Philippine government the PCCI’s assistance in promoting the fund internationally.

However, many Filipinos are wondering why the proposal is such a priority at this time.

Sen. Imee Marcos was also surprised by the importance of the bill.

In the eyes of netizens, there appears to be a miscommunication between Pres. Bongbong Marcos and his sister.


On the other hand, a finance expert doesn’t see the bill benefiting the Filipinos.

Pres. Bongbong Marcos has been announced as the chair of the wealth fund which many think isn’t a good idea given his family’s history of plunder and graft.

A number of international organizations have responded to the proposal for a sovereign wealth fund in various ways, with many emphasizing the lack of sufficient information to take a position at this time.

Written by Charles Teves

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