Investments in MIF could go to flagship works


INVESTORS looking to park their funds in the Maharlika Investment Fund (MIF) will find that some of these investments will find their way into the Infrastructure Flagship Projects (IFPs), according to the National Economic and Development Authority (Neda).

In a budget hearing at the Senate on Monday, Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Arsenio M. Balisacan said 52 projects are undergoing preparation and another 40 are currently in pre-preparation stages such as going through pre-feasibility studies.

This already represents more than half of the 197 IFPs, which also include 68 projects from the previous administration’s list; 28 which have been approved for implementation; and nine that are seeking government approval.

“Maharlika can participate and that’s the decision of the Board, the management of Maharlika. It’s a potential [investment of MIF],” Balisacan said.

In a presentation, Balisacan said efforts to boost the IFPs have been supported by the Neda through the Investment Coordination Committee (ICC) which evaluates projects and programs before submitting to the Neda Board for approval.

In the first semester of 2023, the ICC and Neda Board approved a total of 16 projects and requests for restructuring with an estimated cost of P468.2 billion.

Of these, 12 are infrastructure projects, four are non-infrastructure projects. Of the 12 infrastructure projects, nine are financed through Official Development Assistance (ODA), two through Public Private Partnership (PPP), and one is locally funded. The four non-infrastructure projects are all financed through ODA.

Apart from the ICC, Neda said that together with the Department of Finance, it has spearheaded efforts to amend the Build-Operate-Transfer (BOT) Law, as well as its Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR).

Neda also released the updated ICC guidelines on processing PPP proposals for Neda Board/ICC evaluation and approval. The new procedures aim to significantly reduce processing time for the evaluation and approval of  Neda Board/ICC projects.

Neda also submitted the 2022 Official Development Assistance (ODA) Portfolio Review to Congress. Based on the data, active ODA portfolio amounted to $32.4 billion, which is a marginal 0.50-percent increase from $32.24 billion in 2021.

For 2024, Neda’s proposed budget is P12.21 billion. Broken down, the lion’s share of the budget goes to the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) at P8.94 billion, followed by the Neda Office of the Secretary at P2.06 billion.

The remaining P1.21 billion or 9.94 percent of the Neda is shared by six attached agencies—the Commission on Population and Development; the PPP Center; Tariff Commission; Philippine National Volunteer Coordinating Agency; Philippine Statistical Research and Training Institute; and the Philippine Institute for Development Studies.