Survey: Maharlika Investment Fund earnings must boost agri output


Filipinos want the government to use its earnings from the proposed Maharlika Investment Fund (MIF) Act for the improvement of agricultural production and supply chains and funding universal healthcare, according to the results of a survey.

The Pahayag First Quarter survey found that improving agricultural production and supply chains (32 percent) was regarded as the highest priority project that should be funded by MIF while funding universal healthcare for all Filipinos came in second at 23 percent and investment in lifelong learning for all registered third at 11 percent.

The survey said the least regarded project is the establishment of a logistics hubs across the country at 1 percent, establishing internet connectivity from Luzon to Mindanao at 3 percent, and National Railway System expansion outside of Metro Manila at 3 percent.

Meanwhile, the survey said more than a majority, or 62 percent, are aware of the MIF.

The National Capital Region (NCR) had the highest level of awareness at 72 percent and is popular among ages 50 to 59 years (69 percent), with 60+ years old at 72 percent.

The survey said 28 percent approve the MIF, with North Central at 32 percent and Visayas at 30 percent strongly supporting it. Whereas 25 percent disapprove of it, with respondents from NCR at 31 percent and South Luzon  at 31 percent disagreeing the most.

Meanwhile, the governor of Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas is favored to lead the Maharlika Investment Corp. (MIC) at 26 percent, followed by the President at 24 percent.

The PAHAYAG 2023 First Quarter poll was conducted by Publicus Asia Inc. from March 2 to 6. It is an independent and non-commissioned national survey of 1,500 registered Filipino voters randomly sampled by PureSpectrum, a United States-based panel marketplace with multinational presence, from its national panel of more than 200,000 Filipinos. The sample-wide margin of error is +/- 3%.

President Marcos has certified the MIF bill as urgent. The House of Representatives approved it on third and final reading last December 15, 2022, and was transmitted to the Senate on December 19, 2022.

Earlier, Speaker Ferdinand Martin G. Romualdez assured businessmen and the public in general that the proposed MIF or sovereign wealth fund “would not be abused.”

He said the MIF’s proactive safety checks, including transparency provisions and the requirement to subject the books of accounts of the Maharlika Investment Corp. (MIC), which will manage the fund, to three layers of audit by an internal auditor, an external auditor and the Commission on Audit (COA).

The MIC’s operations will also be monitored by the Maharlika Investment Fund Joint Congressional Oversight Committee.