Pimentel: Marcos’ 'soft launch' of Maharlika fund at WEF is ‘premature’

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, January 15) — To Senate Minority Leader Koko Pimentel, President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.’s “soft launch” of the Maharlika Investment Fund (MIF) at the World Economic Forum (WEF) is premature and a ploy to expedite the enactment of the measure.

“It is more than a marketing strategy, it’s a move to tie the hands of Congress, particularly the Senate, on the controversial measure,” Pimentel, a staunch critic of the fund, asserted on Sunday.

Marcos departed for Davos, Switzerland on Sunday to attend the WEF. The president earlier said that he would “soft launch” the proposed sovereign wealth fund before global and business leaders at the forum.


Marcos to highlight PH economic gains, role as ‘driver of growth’ during WEF

Marcos to discuss Maharlika fund in World Economic Forum

“It is too early, too premature. Sigurado ba silang lulusot sa Senado yang Maharlika Investment Fund bill?” Pimentel asked.

[Translation: Are they sure that the Senate will pass the MIF bill?]

The MIF bill got the final house nod in December. It saw second and third reading approval in just one day after Marcos certified the measure as urgent.

It must now receive Senate approval before it can reach the president’s desk.

“The move would only put pressure on the Senate to enact the measure swiftly,” he said. “Instead of focusing our limited resources on the Maharlika Investment Fund bill, let’s debate on legislation that will improve the lives of our countrymen, control inflation and create opportunities.”

RELATED: Pimentel: Senate should not be distracted by Maharlika bill

Pimentel isn’t the only Senator with reservations about the measure. Senate President Miguel Zubiri previously vowed that the upper chamber would go through the measure with a “fine-tooth comb.”

READ: Zubiri: Senate to study Maharlika fund bill with 'fine-tooth comb'

Because Congress is currently in recess, the MIF bill won’t be transmitted to the Senate until Jan. 23, 2023, when both chambers resume session. Zubiri said it would likely undergo deliberations by mid-February.

The following Senate committees will go over the measure after its first reading before the plenary: the Committee on Banks, Financial Institutions and Currencies as the lead panel, and the Committees on Government Corporations and Public Enterprises; Ways and Means; and Finance as secondary panels.