The Maharlika Investment Fund (MIF) Act will soon be on its way to the Palace, after the House of Representatives adopted on Wednesday, May 31, 2023, the Senate version of the bill which was certified urgent by President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.
The bill went through the toughest scrutiny, line-by-line, because we want this sovereign fund to benefit its major investor, the sovereign Filipino people.
The numerous amendments made by the Senate was their way of conducting due diligence before this mega-fund is launched to the world.
MIF is “Mission Impossible Fund” no more. And the version of the measure that we have approved meets the high bar for transparency and accountability. The many amendments that we placed here will assure the Filipino people that this fund will be used properly, efficiently and effectively.
The MIF, as fine-tuned by the Senate, will attract investments, impose integrity safeguards, and yield gains for social good.
We are going to make the MIF work for the country. And I am very proud of this version because of the safeguards we put in place. Wala nang dapat ikakaba ang taumbayan (The people have nothing to worry about).
The ratified version details strict safeguards for the selection of officers, for which there will be a rigorous vetting process, and introduces lengthy penal provisions to guard against the misuse of funds.
Hefty fines and penalties, including perpetual disqualification from public office, will be imposed on officers who commit prohibited acts, or conceal or tolerate graft and corrupt practices.
The measure also prohibits government-owned and -controlled corporations that provide social security and health benefits from investing in the Maharlika Investment Corp.
These are the Social Security System, Government Service Insurance System, Philippine Health Insurance Corp., Pag-Ibig, Overseas Workers Welfare Administration, Philippine Veterans Affairs Office and Home Development Mutual Fund.
Aside from being subjected to special audits from the Commission on Audit, the MIF will also be overseen by a Joint Congressional Oversight Committee, as well as an internal auditor and an external auditor. (By Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri)