Lawmakers to ditch PH president as chairman of proposed Maharlika fund board

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, December 9) — Lawmakers pushing for the creation of the Maharlika Wealth Fund (MWF) have proposed an amendment in the bill removing the president of the Philippines as chairman of the fund’s managing board, and replacing him with the secretary of finance.

“This is beyond the jurisdiction of the committee on appropriations but since the chairman of the committee on banks and financial intermediaries is present, I will read it now for their consideration. For section 18, board of directors I propose amendments that shall read as follows–There shall be 15 members of the board composed as follows: The secretary of finance shall sit as the chairperson,” Marikina Rep. Stella Quimbo, committee on appropriations senior vice chairperson, said during the Friday panel hearing.

Quimbo is a proponent of the MWF and a co-author of House Bill 6398.

Manila Rep. Irwin Tieng, banks committee chairman, agreed with the proposal and said that his committee would take up Quimbo’s amendments in its next hearing.

Lawmakers such as Senior Deputy Minority Leader Rep. Paul Daza and Negros Oriental Rep. Jocelyn Limkaichong earlier said the president sitting as chairman of the MWF managing board would politicize it.

Finance Secretary Benjamin Diokno expressed support for the MWF in a press conference shortly after the appropriations panel hearing.

Besides the chairman, the fund's 15-member board would consist of the MWF Corporation chief executive officer, the Landbank of the Philippines (Landbank) president, Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP) president, seven regular members representing the contributors to the fund with the seats distributed in relation to their corresponding investments, and four independent directors from the private sector.

Meanwhile, the panel adopted the proposed amendment to remove the Social Security System (SSS) and the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) as founding investors of the MWF.

READ: Lawmakers to remove SSS, GSIS as funding sources in Maharlika Wealth Fund bill

Without the SSS and GSIS, the MWF would source its initial investible funds from the following: ₱50 billion from Landbank, ₱25 billion from DBP, and 100% of the dividends of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas.

WATCH: BSP, Landbank, Devt. Bank to be main sources of Maharlika Wealth Fund

The appropriations panel also approved an amendment to remove the national budget as a source of sovereign wealth fund.