Marcos seeks speedy approval of wealth fund bill

President Ferdinand Marcos Jr is pushing for the immediate enactment of a Bill in the Senate that will set up a sovereign wealth fund that proponents say will shield the country from slowing economic growth and rising borrowing costs.

“There arises an urgent need for a sustainable national investment fund,” Marcos said on Wednesday.

“This fund will serve as a new growth catalyst, accelerating the execution of strategic and impactful large-scale infrastructure projects that will stimulate economic activity and foster development,” he said in the statement issued by his communications office.

The House of Representatives last December approved the bill creating the controversial Maharlika Investment Fund, just over two weeks after the measure, which aims to tap and securitise dividends from state-owned companies, was filed.

Once the Senate passes the Bill, it will reconcile the measure with the House version before it can be signed by Marcos.

Finance Secretary Benjamin Diokno said this is the “best possible time” to establish the sovereign wealth fund, citing the state agencies’ sufficient investible funds and the opportunity to make use of “robust” financial instruments to sustain the country’s economic growth momentum.

“This is an opportune time to take advantage of the ample liquidity of our government financial institutions, which have investible funds,” Diokno said in a mobile-phone message to reporters. — Bloomberg

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