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Thursday, April 18, 2024

‘Noche Buena’ package at P500? An insult to workers, says KMU

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PRESIDENT  Ferdinand “Bongbong” R. Marcos, Jr. on Monday said he is backing the proposed legislation creating the controversial Maharlika Wealth Fund (MWF), now renamed Maharlika Investment Fund (MIF) in the latest version of the House bill.

In an interview with the media during his flight bound for Belgium for the Association of Southeast Asian Nation-European Union (ASEAN-EU) Commemorative Summit this week, Marcos said the Fund will help the government to make more investments in critical sectors.

The Department of Finance (DOF) earlier said the MIF can bring in investments in infrastructure projects and countryside development, particularly in agriculture.

“It’s very clear that we need added investment. This is another way to get that,” Marcos said.  

He issued the statement amid concerns raised by business groups on the proposal, which could affect the country’s credit standing.

It also drew opposition from labor groups, who were against the provision of the bill creating the MWF, House Bill (HB) 6398, since it initially required the Social Security System (SSS) and the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) to contribute to the fund. 

Such provision tapping into pension funds was later scrapped from the current version of the measure. 

The lawmakers pushing for the creation of the MIF said it will help the government achieve fiscal stability, and strengthen top-performing government financial institutions. 

Marcos urged the public to defer their judgement on the MWF until Congress completes the final version of its bill for its creation.   

“Let’s not debate until we see the final form because we could be debating about provisions that will no longer exist. So let us wait what the legislature will do,” the President said. 

He called on lawmakers to make sure the final version of the bill will be “perfect” so it can withstand public scrutiny. —

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