Pimentel questions delegation of power to Maharlika Investment Corp.

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, May 29) — Senate Minority Leader Koko Pimentel on Monday questioned the role that will be given to Maharlika Investment Corp., saying it will limit the authority of Congress on several matters.

Speaking to CNN Philippines’ The Source, Pimentel raised an issue of transparency if the corporation —which will be formed to manage the Maharlika Investment Fund— will be assigned to look over big-ticket infrastructure projects to be covered by the investment fund.

“Meaning to say that the proponents of this measure (Maharlika Investment Fund bill) would rather that a nine-member appointed, not elected, board of directors meeting behind closed doors… be the ones to decide mega big-ticket infrastructure expenditures rather than Congress, the House of Representatives and the Senate, who are elected by the people, who meet openly,” he pointed out.

Pimentel was referring to the officials to be appointed by the government and will be assigned to manage the Maharlika Investment Fund.

According to House Bill 6608, which was the approved version of the lower chamber in December, among the members of the board are the secretary of finance as chairman, and the presidents of the Landbank of the Philippines and the Development Bank of the Philippines.

Pimentel also said he does not agree to giving the whole authority to the corporation to craft the implementing rules and regulations (IRR) and other details related to the entity.

“Delegating the authority to finalize the look of the corporation and the other details through the IRR is an undue delegation of legislative power because there is no standard. We are not providing them with any guidance,” he explained.

Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri said senators hope to pass the bill this week before Congress goes on a two-week break.

President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. has certified the proposed measure as urgent.

Pimentel maintained there is no need to rush the approval as further study is needed on the Maharlika Investment Fund bill.

READ: Pimentel urges public to pressure legislators against swiftly passing Maharlika bill