Cebu solon: Selecting ‘quality fund managers’ key to Maharlika’s success; militant group wants it junked
CEBU CITY, Philippines – A lawmaker from Cebu said that having ‘quality fund managers’ for the controversial Maharlika Investment Fund (MIF) would help it become an effective vehicle for investment.
But militant groups here continue their calls to junk the country’s proposed sovereign wealth fund, saying it puts people’s money at risk of corruption.
Cebu solon: qualified fund managers
Cebu 5th District Rep. Duke Frasco backed the passage of House Bill (HB) 6608, which seeks to establish the controversial Maharlika Investment Fund (MIF).
He was among the 11 House representatives from Cebu who approved for the passage of HB 6608 and joined as one of its co-authors.
“As a co-author of this measure, I believe the creation of this fund and the Maharlika Investment Corporation, through its sound financial investments, will help promote economic growth, provide job opportunities and uplift the lives of the Filipino people,” Frasco said in a statement.
The Cebu solon, however, stressed that selecting the right fund managers is crucial to ensure the sovereign wealth fund’s success.
He added that such fund managers must have the ‘caliber and merit to properly manage’ it.
“(The goal of having quality fund managers is) to achieve maximum return on investments,” said the Cebu solon.
The lower chamber of Congress passed on third and final reading HB 6608 last December 15 despite criticisms and concerns, particularly in terms of governance.
Bayan opposes MIF
Except for Cebu 3rd District Rep. Pablo John Garcia, all congressmen from Cebu supported the proposed MIF by joining as the co-author of HB 6608.
But a militant group here, meanwhile, joined the movement seeking to scrap MIF.
The Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan) in Central Visayas opposed the creation of the MIF, saying it would make public funds vulnerable to graft and corruption.
“It is merely a ploy to funnel funds into the pockets of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. and his cronies and will cause the Filipino people to incur greater debt for the benefit of the ruling elite,” said Jaime Paglinawan, chair of Bayan-Central Visayas, in a separate statement.
Paglinawan pointed out that the MIF is excluded from regulatory restrictions on government financial institutions, making it easy for corrupt officials to steal money.
“The MIF comes amid the country’s worst economic crisis so far, with soaring prices and continued inaccessibility of basic social services. Filipinos in the country and elsewhere in the world are suffering from the non-responsiveness and lack of proactiveness from the Philippine government in addressing the economic crisis,” he added.
Sovereign wealth fund
A sovereign wealth fund (SWF) is a state-owned investment fund that consists of money generated by the government, often derived from a country’s surplus reserves. SWFs provide benefits to a country’s economy and its citizens.
The funding for an SWF can come from a variety of sources.
Popular sources are surplus reserves from state-owned natural resource revenues, trade surpluses, bank reserves that may accumulate from budgeting excesses, foreign currency operations, money from privatizations, and governmental transfer payments.
In general, sovereign wealth funds usually have a targeted purpose. Some countries have sovereign wealth funds that can be similar to venture capital for the private sector. / with reports from INQUIRER.net
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