House adopts Senate version of Maharlika bill
MANILA, Philippines — The House of Representatives has accepted the Senate’s version of the controversial Maharlika Investment Fund (MIF) bill.
A bicameral conference committee hearing was held on Wednesday to reconcile conflicting provisions between the chambers’ versions of the contentious proposal.
House committee on banks and financial intermediaries chair and Manila 5th District Representative Irwin Tieng said the chamber has yielded to the MIF bill of the Senate.
“On behalf of the Congress panel, we accept the Senate version in principle. Subject to style,” he said which was confirmed to reporters by the Office of Senator Mark Villar, the main proponent of the MIF bill in the upper chamber.
“Adopted ng Congress ang Senate version (Congress has adopted the Senate version),” Villar’s office said in a message.
In a separate message, Senate Minority Leader Koko Pimentel – who was not present when the chamber voted to approve the measure early Wednesday – also said the House has adopted the Senate’s MIF bill.
The bicameral meeting was held only a few hours after the Senate passed its MIF bill – a version that had veered away from what was approved by the House in December last year.
Among the most crucial amendments to the Senate’s version of the measure is the explicit exclusion of investments from the Social Security System, Government Service Insurance System, Philippine Health Insurance Corp., Home Development Mutual Fund, Overseas Workers Welfare Administration, and Philippine Veterans Affairs Office.
President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. certified the MIF bill in both the Senate and the House as urgent, allowing Congress to pass the measure just a few months after it was filed.
In his certification letter addressed to the Senate, Marcos said global inflation, economic consequences of the Ukraine-Russia conflict, and continuing interest rate hikes across the globe were “compelling” grounds to mark the MIF bill – which he once said was his brainchild – as high priority.
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