Economic managers eye Maharlika Fund bill enactment before SONA

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, May 16) — Economic managers of the Marcos administration seek the approval of the Senate bill establishing the Maharlika Investment Fund (MIF) on third and final reading before session adjourns on June 2

"The Maharlika Investment Fund bill is making significant progress in the Senate, and we hope to see it signed into law before the President's second State of the Nation Address on July 24," Finance Secretary Benjamin Diokno said in a statement Monday.

Diokno, Budget Secretary Amenah Pangandaman, and Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Arsenio Balisacan attended the Senate plenary session on the MIF bill on Monday to show their full support for the measure.

During the interpellation, Senator Grace Poe sought clarification on the qualifications and standards for the nine members of the Board of Directors, which bill sponsor Senator Mark Villar said would be elaborated in the implementing rules and regulations of the measure. Other details, however, were not discussed during the interpellation as Poe said her questions were only "a prelude" to the questions she will ask next week.

Meanwhile, Senator Ronald Dela Rosa only asked questions on the MIF's difference from a sovereign wealth fund and the need for it given the existence of government financial institutions.

This was already discussed in the House of Representatives, which passed their version of the MIF bill in December 2022 after President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. certified it as urgent.

Dela Rosa ended his interpellation with a banter directed to Villar. Dela Rosa asked: "Did you find my interpellation a friendly one?"

READ: The proposed Maharlika Investment Fund: What you need to know

The period of interpellation and debate for the MIF bill will resume on Tuesday.