Brosas: Amendments to Maharlika bill will not allay public’s fears

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, May 31) — Gabriela Party-list Rep. Arlene Brosas on Wednesday said the amendments made by the Senate to the proposed Maharlika Investment Fund Act of 2023 are not enough to put to rest the concerns of the public regarding the bill.

Speaking to CNN Philippines’ The Source, she specifically mentioned the removed provision on sourcing funds from state pension funds like the Social Security System (SSS) and the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS).

“‘Yung (The) amendments that were introduced in the Senate version that would prohibit SSS and GSIS from investing in Maharlika is not enough," Brosas said. "It will not quell the fears and concerns of our people.”

During the bicameral conference committee meeting on Wednesday, lawmakers adopted the Senate version of the bill. This version specifically said that SSS, GSIS, the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation, the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration, and the Philippine Veterans Affairs Office cannot invest in the proposed fund.

While this provision was removed, Brosas said they still have concerns on the use of public funds from the Landbank of the Philippines, the Development Bank of the Philippines, and the national government.

If the investments fail, the Filipino people will suffer because they will carry the burden of having to pay for the losses, she noted.

The bill’s safeguards are also not enough to make sure that the funds are safe from money laundering, she added.

Moreover, the Maharlika Investment Fund bill gives more power to the Maharlika Investment Corp. than Congress when it comes to determining projects to be implemented, she added.