PBBM signs Maharlika Investment Fund Act, PH’s first-ever sovereign wealth fund

President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. signed on Tuesday the Maharlika Investment Fund (MIF) Act of 2023 in Malacañan Palace, thus putting up the Philippines’ first-ever sovereign wealth fund that will support the Administration’s economic goals.

“The MIF is a bold step towards our country’s meaningful economic transformation,” President Marcos said during the signing ceremony.

“Just as we are recovering from the adverse effects of the pandemic, we are now ready to enter a new age of sustainable progress, robust stability, and broad-based empowerment.”

With the signing of Republic Act (RA) No. 11954 into law, the country will have the capacity and capability to invest in all of these extremely important projects such as agriculture, infrastructure, digitalization as well as strengthening the value chain.

Government financing institutions will now pool together non-debt financial resources as to not crowd out other lending obligations that they need to fulfill under their respective mandates.

Moreover, the fund has the potential to funnel in external financing, reducing the government’s burden to finance infrastructure through borrowings, taxes.

“The establishment of a sovereign wealth fund will widen the government’s fiscal space and ease pressure in financing public infrastructure projects,” he said.

“Through the fund, we will accelerate the implementation of the 194 National Economic and Development Authority Board-approved, NEDA-approved, flagship infrastructure projects.”

But the real challenge, he said, is maintaining the integrity of the fund and translating its gains into tangible changes for the benefit of all.

He assured the public that the fund will be managed by highly competent personnel with a good track record and outstanding integrity.

“We remain steadfast in our commitment to transparency, accountability, and good governance in this massive and purposeful undertaking,” Marcos said.

“I assure you that the resources entrusted to the fund are taken care of with utmost prudence and integrity.”

Following the MIF Act signing, the Administration is set to prepare the implementing rules and regulations (IRR) for the creation of the Maharlika Investments Corp. (MIC), which will be the sole vehicle for mobilizing and utilizing the MIF for investments.

The MIC is expected to have at least PhP75 billion in paid-up capital this year, with PhP50 billion sourced from the Land Bank of the Philippines (LBP) and PhP25 billion from the Development Bank of the Philippines.

The Fund will be invested in a wide range of assets, including foreign currencies, fixed-income instruments, domestic and foreign corporate bonds, joint ventures, mergers and acquisitions, real estate and high-impact infrastructure projects, and projects related to sustainable development.

Among those who witnessed the signing of the MIC include Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri, Speaker Ferdinand Martin Romualdez, Executive Secretary Lucas Bersamin, Finance Secretary Benjamin Diokno and former president, now Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo. PND