Hontiveros, Binay explain refusal to support Maharlika bill

Jauhn Etienne Villaruel, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jun 01 2023 10:55 PM | Updated as of Jun 01 2023 10:56 PM

Senate PRIB
Sen. Risa Hontiveros and Sen. Nancy Binay. Senate PRIB

MANILA — Two senators who did not vote in favor of the controversial Maharlika Investment Fund (MIF) bill explained their concerns over the measure, which has been approved by Congress and is only awaiting President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr.'s signature.

Sen. Risa Hontiveros, who voted against the bill, admitted she was "happy" that the Senate version of the bill carried several safeguards against possible abuse.

"I am happy that the public has been heard and pension and social welfare funds are protected from the reach of the Maharlika fund... However, I maintain that the fund is not what we need now," Hontiveros said.

Hontiveros said she would "certainly support any action to raise this to the Supreme Court."

Meanwhile, Sen. Nancy Binay explained why she abstained from voting on the MIF bill.

"Sinuri po natin at tinimbang—ngunit sadyang kulang," Binay said.

According to Binay, she cannot vote "no" because she acknowledges the country's "need to create fresh income sources... and create jobs for our people."

"I just cannot turn a blind eye on development and say no," Binay said.

However, Binay also said she "found no compelling reason either to say yes."

"Although the final bill has undergone many amendments up to the last hour of the deliberations—the content still lacks balance," she said.

"For all these reasons, I decided to abstain while hoping that the MIF will live up to its claim as a tool for economic development," Binay added.

On Wednesday, the House of Representatives adopted the Senate version of the bill.

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


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