Marcos: MIF to proceed, to be operational before year end

MANILA. President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.
MANILA. President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.Photo from Presidential Communications Office

PRESIDENT Ferdinand Marcos Jr. maintained on Thursday, October 19, 2023, that the controversial Maharlika Investment Fund (MIF) will proceed, contrary to reports by some media organizations that he put it on hold.

In his departure speech for his participation in the Association of Southeast Asian Nation Gulf Cooperation Council Summit (Asean-GCC), Marcos said the government is still committed to make the MIF operational before the end of the year.

“I was a bit alarmed by the news reports early this morning that I read in the newspapers that we have put the Maharlika Fund on hold. Quite the contrary. The organization of the Maharlika Fund proceeds apace. And what I have done though is that we have found more improvements that we can make specifically to the organizational structure of the Maharlika Fund,” he said.

“The concept of the Maharlika Fund as a sovereign fund or an investment fund — the concept remains a good one and we will — we are still committed to having it operational before the end of the year,” he added.

Executive Secretary Lucas Bersamin issued a memorandum addressed to Bureau of Treasury officer-in-charge Sharon Almanza, Land Bank of the Philippine (LBP) President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Lynette Ortiz and Development Bank of the Philippines President and CEO Michael de Jesus for the suspension of the implementation of the IRR of Republic Act 11954 or the Maharlika Investment Fund (MIF) Act of 2023.

Bersamin said Marcos ordered the suspension “because he wanted to study carefully the IRR to ensure that the purpose of the fund will be realized for the country's development with safeguards in place for transparency and accountability.”

But Marcos said the suspension of the Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) should not be misinterpreted, or be the basis of judgment on the rightness or wrongness of the Maharlika Fund.

“On the contrary, we are just finding ways to make it as close to perfect and ideal as possible. And that was what we have done. This has been in consultation not only with our economic managers but also with the people, the personalities who will actually be involved in the fund,” the President said.

“And that’s why their inputs have been very important and that is why we are going to now utilize them to make it a better organization,” he added.

Marcos said the MIF is one of the important aspects of his trip to Saudi Arabia as he intends to introduce it to his counterparts in the Middle East. (SunStar Philippines)

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