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Romualdez files bill creating sovereign wealth fund

SPEAKER Ferdinand Martin G. Romualdez has filed a bill that, if passed, would create a sovereign wealth fund to be seeded by the major pension funds and government banks.

House Bill 6398, filed on Monday, seeks to establish the so-called Maharlika Investments Fund (MIF), which will “optimize investment allocation” by the Government Service Insurance System, Social Security System, Land Bank of the Philippines, and Development Bank of the Philippines.

The MIF will also ensure that “resources are efficiently channeled to investments that will provide the most value not only to the participating GFIs (government financial institutions), but also to the country.”

Mr. Romualdez described the MIF as a “sovereign wealth fund,” which is typically funded by a government’s oil or other commodity export revenue or excess foreign exchange reserves.

He said the MIF’s investment allocation policy will seek to align itself with President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr.’s Agenda for Prosperity and the eight-point socioeconomic roadmap.

Mr. Romualdez cited as a model the Indonesian fund, which invested in airports, supply chains, logistics, digital infrastructure, the green economy, healthcare services, the financial sector, technology, and tourism.

“The MIF will have a governing board, composed of nominees of contributing GFIs, which would be in charge of managing the fund. It will also have two independent directors.”

Mr. Romualdez said that the MIF will adhere to the Santiago Principles, a list of best practices for sovereign wealth funds.

Co-authors of the bill are Majority Leader Manuel Jose M. Dalipe, Senior Deputy Majority Leader Ferdinand Alexander A. Marcos, Marikina Rep. Stella Luz A. Quimbo, and Tingog Party-list Representatives Yedda Marie K. Romualdez and Jude A. Acidre. — Alyssa Nicole O. Tan

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