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Wednesday, April 24, 2024

MIF can help pension funds grow members’ money–PBBM

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PRESIDENT Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. on Wednesday said pension funds should still be able to invest in the proposed Maharlika Investment Fund (MIF) despite the opposition of some lawmakers, who successfully excluded these, in the Senate version, from the list of entities initially mandated to contribute to the seed fund.

During his interview with reporters after the 86th Anniversary Celebration of the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS), Marcos said MIF can help pension funds generate more revenue for their members.

“If the pension fund decides the Maharlika Fund is a good investment, it’s up to them if they want to invest in it,” Marcos said.

“So not only pension funds, but corporations. Those funds—what they do are to further grow their funds so they give [it to their members],” he added.

However, he assured that state-run pension funds will not be tapped as fund contributors for the MIF, which aims to enable the government to increase its investments on strategic and commercial projects.

“We will not use it as a seed fund. We will not use the pension fund as a seed fund [for the MIF],” Marcos said.

Pending versions

The President made the pronouncements when asked for his reaction to the Senate’s decision to pass on third and final reading Senate Bill (SB) 2020, creating the MIF.

Among the provisions of the bill was an explicit ban for the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS), Social Security System (SSS), Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth), Pag-IBIG Fund, Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA), and the Philippines Veterans Affairs Office (PVAO) from investing in the MIF.

This amid the oppositions from some lawmakers as well as some progressive and labor groups on the use of any pension funds for the MIF.

Similar protests also prompted the House of Representatives to remove SSS and GSIS from the list of fund contributors to the MIF in House Bill (HB) No. 6088 last year.

A bicameral conference committee was held on Wednesday to harmonize the provisions of SB 2020 and HB 6088, but the process was shortened after the House contingent reported that the House leadership decided to adopt the Senate version of the MIF bill.

GSIS President and General Manager Jose Arnulfo “Wick” A. Veloso said they will wait for the final version of the MIF legislation to determine if they will be allowed to invest in the MIF.

“We will only do one thing—whatever will be the decision of our lawmakers because they are the ones who are listening to the demands of the public, which they also abide by,” Veloso told reporters in Filipino after the GSIS anniversary event.

Image credits: Rey Baniquet/PNA

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