Romualdez briefs diplomats on Cha-cha, Maharlika fund

RG Cruz, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 21 2023 04:33 PM

MANILA -- House Speaker Martin Romualdez on Tuesday pitched the proposed Maharlika Investment Fund (MIF) and the proposed changes to the 1987 Constitution during the luncheon meeting for Ambassadors and consuls of member countries of the Asia Pacific Parliamentarians Forum.

Also present in the meeting was Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri, who opposes Charter change (Cha-cha). 

The event comes amid exchanges over the media between Zubiri and congressmen led by Romualdez on the House-approved proposals to call a constitutional convention to amend the 1987 constitution. 

Congressmen have appealed to Zubiri and the Senate to keep an open mind about Charter change after the Senate leader said the Charter change initiative is not their priority.

At the start of his speech, the House chief called his Senate counterpart as his "brother."

It also comes as the Senate tackles the controversial House-approved proposal for a sovereign wealth fund--the MIF.

"On our part at the House, we are exerting efforts to create more investment opportunities for businessmen aimed at generating funds to fast-track the development of the country," Romualdez said.

"Two of our more promising initiatives is (sic) the Maharlika Investment Fund proposal and the efforts to amend the economic provisions of our existing Constitution through a Constitutional Convention. These measures, we at the House of Representatives believe, will help create a more vibrant economy not only for the Philippines but also for the countries in the Asia-Pacific Region," Romualdez added.

The luncheon meeting was attended by the Ambassadors from Australia, Cambodia, Canada, China, Colombia, Indonesia, Laos, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Russia, Singapore, Thailand, United States of America and Vietnam; Deputy Chiefs of Mission from Japan and Korea; Charge d’ Affaires from Malaysia, Mexico and Brunei; Honorary Consuls from Fiji, Marshall Islands, Peru and Mongolia.

The luncheon was the preparatory meeting for the conduct of the Asia Pacific Parliamentarians Forum (APPF) later this year.

Romualdez explained that the APPF plays an important role, serving as a platform where parliamentarians from Asia and the Pacific can come together on matters such as the climate crisis, disaster response, regional peace and security, sustainable development, and regional cooperation. 

"Through the APPF, representatives of peoples from the Asia Pacific region engage with each other on equal footing, bringing large and small nations, from four continents to a common table," he said.