MANILA - Finance Secretary Benjamin Diokno said on Friday he opposed the proposal to get funding for the Maharlika Investment Fund from the dividends of government-owned and controlled corporations.
Albay Rep. Joey Salceda earlier said he "re-engineered" the proposal so that the initial seed funding would come from GOCC dividends. This was thumbed down by President Ferdinand Marcos Jr upon consultation with economic managers.
Diokno said including GOCCs would mean amending their chapters.
“The more sources the better. Except, meron lang akong objection (I have an objection), there is a proposal to tap dividends from some corporations, but it will require changing their charter. Mas madugo yon eh, diba? (That's more difficult)," Diokno said during a meeting with the Makati Business Club.
He said the funding has already been identified and would come from the Landbank of the Philippines, the Development Bank of the Philippines as well as the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas.
"Gov. [Felipe] Medalla is willing, diba? He is willing to give up 100 percent for 2 years. To me that is easily P100 billion." Diokno said.
"Tapos meron pa tayong proceeds from privatization, easily another P100 billion (we also have proceeds from privatization). So we don’t have to amend the charters of existing corporations to be able to fund the Maharlika Fund," he added.
Senator Chiz Escudero, meanwhile, critized the inclusion of Landbank and DBP as funding source for Maharlika. He said it would be better for those banks to lend to the agriculture sector instead.
The Senate is currently deliberating on the measure seeking to create a sovereign wealth fund.
-- with a report from Warren De Guzman, ABS-CBN News