Maharlika must be run by 'qualified' people to safeguard limited funds: advocacy group


Posted at May 31 2023 11:35 AM | Updated as of May 31 2023 01:10 PM

MANILA — The Maharlika Investment Fund must be run by qualified people in order to safeguard its limited funds, an advocacy group said on Wednesday.

The controversial Maharlika Investment Fund bill was approved by the Senate on Wednesday, a few days after it was certified as urgent by President Ferdinand Bongbong Marcos Jr. 

The approved bill's major changes include the provision prohibiting state-run pension funds such as the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) and th Social Security Service (SSS) from investing in the fund. 

The fund will also undergo an audit by the Commission on Audit every 5 years. Anomalous transactions will also be penalized. 

But Justice Reform Initiative Chairman Atty. Francis Lim told ANC the best safeguard is to put the best people to run the fund. 

"We should put a very qualified board or investment committee members in the MIF because it is them who will make a final decision as to where to invest the limited resources this Maharlika fund has," Lim said.

"The best safeguard is to put the right people to run the fund because no matter how strong the law is, if you have the wrong people running the fund...things will go wrong. That's the challenge and that's what we should watch out for," he added.

The government must make the fund work for the benefit of the economy and the Filipino people, Lim said, adding that the bill appears to be a "almost a done deal."

The DBM said the bill would be taken up by the bicameral conference committee on May 31 and is up for ratification by the House of Representatives and the Senate in the afternoon on the same day.