Metro Manila, Philippines— The creation of the sovereign wealth fund has secured the green light from President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr., according to the country’s finance chief.
During the Kapihan sa Manila Bay Forum on Wednesday, Finance Secretary Benjamin Diokno said the proposed Maharlika Wealth Fund (MWF), with seed money of over ₱200 billion to jumpstart the incorporation, has been “an imprimatur of the president.”
The official also said the MWF is being prepared by an inter-agency working group composed of the Department of Finance, the Department of Budget and Management, the National Economic and Development Authority, and government financial institutions.
Earlier this week, House Speaker Ferdinand Martin Romualdez and senior deputy majority leader and Ilocos Norte Rep. Sandro Marcos filed a bill seeking the establishment of a sovereign wealth fund for the Philippines to accrue profits of government assets.
Funds will be sourced from major pension funds and government banks, namely the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS), Social Security System (SSS), Land Bank of the Philippines (Land Bank), and Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP).
The initial investment is pegged at ₱250 billion. Around ₱125 billion will come from the GSIS, ₱50 billion from the SSS, another ₱50 billion from Land Bank, and ₱25 billion from the DBP.
The MWF “will be used to invest on a strategic and commercial basis in a manner designed to promote fiscal stability for economic development, and strengthen the top-performing GFIs through additional investment platforms that will help attain the National Government’s priority plans,” according to House Bill 6398.
Diokno said the creation of MWF would boost a “fund that will take care of future generations.”
“We have to set aside for the future,” he added.
The finance chief expects the plan to be operational six months after the passage of HB 6398. He said Congress is “working to pass the proposal before the end of the year.”
“Let’s just wait what will be the final version of the bill and see how they formulate this. The idea is we should benefit from OFW remittances because that is closest to natural wealth that we have. Anybody who’s willing to invest in the fund is welcome. It could be international, private sector,” he added.