Villar: Maharlika fund can generate 350,000 jobs

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, June 8) — Senator Mark Villar, principal author and sponsor of the Maharlika Investment Fund (MIF) bill, on Thursday said the implementation of the proposed measure will not only attract investments, but will also generate thousands of jobs for Filipinos.

Ang projection ng NEDA (National Economic and Development Authority)… through the Maharlika, makaka-generate tayo ng 350,000 jobs,” Villar told CNN Philippines' The Source.

[Translation: NEDA projects that through Maharlika, 350,000 jobs will be generated.]

He noted this is expected in the medium term as a result of the investments.

Job generation can be achieved if the government has the means to attract investments and make investments, which can be done through the MIF, Villar explained.

“We’re very much aware of what projects are good projects. We’ve gone through the analysis of the NEDA so we’re very aware of what investments are good and now we have the opportunity to attract investments, make investments, generate income for the country,” he added.

Congress recently approved the proposed Maharlika Investment Fund Act of 2023. It will establish the Maharlika Investment Corporation which will initially source its ₱125-billion capital from the Landbank of the Philippines, the Development Bank of the Philippines, and the national government.

Villar said the MIF can be used to boost investments in undercapitalized industries like infrastructure and agriculture. He said this will allow the construction of more roads, airports, power plants, and cold storages, which in return will spur economic growth.

“I’m very optimistic about the operations of Maharlika. I believe that when we invest in the Philippines, everyone wins," he added.

Villar admitted there will always be risks in any investment, but it will be minimized in the MIF by the people who will manage it.

“Those behind this bill are the best of the best… we are confident that the economic managers can do their job and are very good at it and I know that all these people who are there are really well-equipped to make the decisions necessary to make Maharlika a success,” he said.

According to the Congress-approved bill, the Maharlika Investment Corporation will be headed by the Finance secretary. The advisory board will be composed of the secretaries of the Department of Budget and Management and the NEDA, and the Treasurer of the Philippines.