PCCI urges gov't to hold off sovereign wealth fund idea

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, December 7) — A major business group has urged the Marcos administration to put its plan to establish a ₱250-billion sovereign wealth fund on hold.

The Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) said the government should first look for other sources of funding.

"Maybe the government should put this on hold muna, like put it on the backburner, and see how the situation improves. Maybe study whether there will be more sources of fund that will not affect our pension funds," PCCI president George Barcelon told CNN Philippines' The Final Word.

He added that such a plan may impact the country's financial standing.

"One important thing we need to take care of is our credit standing now is pretty good. That's important also because all key projects that the president did mention may require foreign loans. Having a good credit rating allows us to have lower rates in our loan," Barcelon pointed out.

President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr.'s cousin House Speaker Ferdinand Martin Romualdez and son Senior Deputy Majority Leader Sandro Marcos have filed a bill seeking to create the so-called Maharlika Wealth Fund (MWF) to accrue profits of government assets.

The MWF will be seeded by state-run banks and pension funds: Government Service Insurance System, Social Security System, Land Bank of the Philippines, and Development Bank of the Philippines.

The House of Representatives aims to approve the measure on third and final reading on Dec. 12, according to House Committee on Ways and Means chairman Joey Salceda.