Marcos certifies as urgent Maharlika bill at Senate

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, May 24) — President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. has certified as urgent the passage of the proposed Maharlika Investment Fund bill at the Senate.

At the plenary session on Wednesday, Senate Secretary Renato Bantug read the president's letter dated May 22, "certifying the necessity of the immediate enactment" of Senate Bill 2020 or the Maharlika Investment Fund bill.

"There is a compelling need for a sustainable national investment fund as a new growth catalyst to accelerate the implementation of strategic and high-impact large infrastructure projects that will stimulate economic activity and development," Marcos said in his letter addressed to Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri.

Marcos cited the necessity of major infrastructure projects to boost economic growth in light of the downgrade of global growth projection due to debilitating inflation, unstable prices of fuel products as a result of the Ukraine-Russia conflict, and the ongoing increases in interest rates in the global financial sector.

In December last year, the president issued the same certification to the House of Representatives version of the controversial bill, which lead to its approval on the third and final reading on the same day.

An urgent certification from the president allows the chamber to pass the bill on final reading in one day.

Zubiri previously said the Senate targets to approve SB 2020 next week before Congress adjourns for a two-month break.

READ: Zubiri asks economic managers' presence in Senate for Maharlika debates

Once the bill secures the Senate's nod, it still needs the bicameral conference committee's approval, as well as the ratification of both houses of Congress.