THE House of Representatives has adopted the Senate’s version of the controversial Maharlika Investment Fund (MIF) bill, making the measure a step closer from being passed into law.
The Office of Senator Mark Villar, principal author of Senate Bill 2020 or the Maharlika Investment Fund (MIF) Act, said House committee on banks and financial intermediaries chairman and Manila Fifth District Representative Irwin Tieng told the bicameral conference committee during a meeting on Wednesday, May 31, 2023, that they “accept the Senate version in principle. Subject to style.”
It was also confirmed by Senate Minority leader Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III, who expressed strong opposition against the measure, which was certified as urgent by President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr.
Among the amendments adopted by the upper chamber in its version of MIF is to prohibit the Social Security System (SSS), Government Service Insurance System (GSIS), Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (Philhealth), Pag-Ibig, Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (Owwa), Philippine Veterans Affairs Office (PVAO), and Home Development Mutual Fund (HDMF) from investing in the MIF, whether on a mandatory or voluntary basis.
In the earlier versions of the measure, the GSIS and SSS were identified as sources for the initial capital of MIF.
The provision was later removed following the tremendous backlash even from executives of GSIS and SSS.
Under the proposed measure of the Senate, individuals with pending judicial and administrative cases related to fraud, plunder, corruption, money-laundering, tax evasion, or any crimes similar to misuse of funds or breach of trust are absolutely disqualified from being members of the Maharlika Investment Corporation (MIC).
It also states the imposition of heavier penalties of a fine ranging from P1 million to P5 million, perpetual disqualification from public office, and imprisonment of six years against those who will be involved in the misuse of the MIF.
The next step is for the bicameral report on the bill to be ratified.
It will then be submitted to Marcos for approval. (SunStar Philippines)