Don't close Landbank accounts amid Maharlika fund fears: Treasury, DBM

Job Manahan, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jun 03 2023 05:51 PM | Updated as of Jun 04 2023 01:36 PM

 Landbank in Makati on January 19, 2021. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News/file 
Landbank in Makati on January 19, 2021. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News/file 

MANILA (UPDATE) — The public should not pull out their money from Landbank amid fears these will be gone should the Maharlika Investment Fund (MIF) fail, the national treasurer and the budget department said Saturday. 

National Treasurer Rosalia de Leon said the Landbank and Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP) are “stable,” given that they are state-owned banks. 

Based on the Senate version of the bill, the Maharlika Investment Corporation would have a capital stock of P500 billion, of which P50 billion would be sourced from Landbank and P25 billion from the Development Bank of the Philippines. 

The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, for its part, will contribute 100 percent of its total dividends for the first 2 years only “in the amount not exceeding the P50 billion initial subscription of the national government to the capitalization.” 

Some netizens said they might pull out their money from Landbank, fearing the financial institution will go belly-up if he Maharlika fund fails. 

Reacting to this, De Leon said, “Ang i-invest ng Landbank sa Maharlika, again, let’s say P1.3 trillion from investible funds nila and they’re only investing P50 billion so wala pa pong 3 percent so that means napakaliit lang po ng kanilang investment.”

“Hindi makakaapekto sa prudential ratios na ini-impose ni Bangko Sentral,” she added during the media forum in Quezon City. 

“Ito rin po, magiging isang vehicle po ito para makapag-attract po tayo ng mga other funds from offshore, from the international funding community dahil they can invest into this fund na mapupunta naman po sa mga priority projects ng ating administrasyon,” she said. 

Landbank, the national treasurer said, would not put funds in the Maharlika or any agency where they stand to lose earnings. 

"Dumaan naman iyan sa proseso in terms of being able to see whether such as investment would—ano pa ang magiging kita sa capital ng Landbank and nakita naman po na wala pa pong magiging impact," she said. 

"Ang Landbank naman po hindi maglalagay ng pera doon po sa MIC/agency na mas kikita, mas malaki po ang kanilang magiging return from what they’re just currently earning now from their investment in government securities or in other forms of investment."

Budget Undersecretary Joselito Basilio said people should be encouraged to put their money in Landbank and DBP, as their deposits would be safe. 

"Their deposits will be put in a fund that has more safeguards, more risk management mechanisms na magpuprotekta sa deposito nila," he said. 

"And of course, who knows, 20 years from now baka ang investment will not only be 8 or 10 percent if investments will be put in toll road like what we know, Skyway and other types of toll roads, malalaki po ang returns nila," he added. 

"Sana, mas ma-encourage pa ang mga depositors mag-invest or magdeposito ng kanilang savings sa Landbank and DBP."


Meanwhile, De Leon said the Maharlika Investment Fund has enough safeguards and measures to prevent its funds from being used in graft and corruption. 

“Unang-una, meron diyan mga audits. Alam natin magiging under po ito ng [Commission on Audit] at mayroon pa po doon sa internal auditor na dapat po, that would be looking over and conducting regular audits on MIF,” the national treasurer said.

An external editor would also counter check how the funds are being used, she said, and would have an oversight committee in Congress to monitor the sovereign investment fund. 

“Bawat section po dito sa ating (panukalang) batas, it all pertains sa mga safeguards to make sure na pinoprotektahan nga po ang mga pondo ng bayan para nang sa gayon, it would be directed towards the objectives why the fund was also setup,” she said. 

Finance Secretary Benjamin Diokno earlier allayed fears the proposed Maharlika Investment Fund would bankrupt banking institutions.

Diokno said the premise "is just panic." 

The 19th Congress passed the measure before adjourning its First Regular Session after President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. certified it as urgent. The bill now only needs the President’s signature to become a law.

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