A House Bill was filed recently establishing the Maharlika Wealth Fund (MWF). The said fund is a sovereign wealth fund that is intended to be used by the government to invest in a wide range of outlets such as foreign currencies, domestic and foreign corporate bonds, commercial real estate, fixed-income instruments, infrastructure projects, among others.

Simply, it is aimed at jumpstarting the economy through investments of the government in various income-generating endeavors. The intention of the government is noble, taking into consideration the present economic crisis and the prevailing pandemic which drained government coffers.

The increase in the price of fuel products catapulted the price of basic commodities. Add to this, are the bills on electricity, water and other utilities which are additional expenses for a family's meager monthly budget. The economic crisis is felt in almost every household.

Just like a family's budget, the government has a budget of its own that needs to be spent wisely and worthy. With the pandemic that brought series of lockdowns and economic challenges, the government's financial chest was siphoned by its purchase of vaccines, financial assistance funds to Filipinos and other expenditures.

With various economic activities adversely affected by the pandemic, there are not much income-generating activities that should have helped the government raise funds. It is one way of saying that the government is bereft of enough funds to support its services, programs and projects for the citizenry.

The government is now sourcing fundings to be used as stimulus to various fund-raising activities. These fundings shall be used as investments to earn for more funds for the government. The problem now is the source of funds that was initially proposed to come from the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS), the Social Security System (SSS) and other income-generating government agencies.

Government pensioners and other cause-oriented groups cannot help except to protest on the said government's plan to get source out funds for the MWF from the said agencies. They are raising concerns for the loss of their pensions with the fear that the said funds shall be put into the pockets of some government high-ranking officials.

The government's plan was backtracked and recently, the government changed plans to source out funds instead from its banking institutions. Perhaps there are other ways to raise government revenues aside from sourcing put from the pension systems.

Raising more taxes from the already tax-burdened Filipinos is another wrong option. Although taxation should be uniform and proportional to taxpayers capacity to pay, the government should think of other means to tax the rich without hurting so much the poor. There are many ways to skin a cat, they say.


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