Metro Manila, Philippines— Malacañang on Saturday released the revised implementing rules and regulations (IRR) of the Maharlika Investment Fund (MIF) Act, which expands the powers of its board of directors and the President, and lowers the qualifications for the Maharlika Investment Corporation’s (MIC) top officials.
The IRR, which is published on the website of the Official Gazette, showed changes to several sections in Rule VI which covers the governance of the MIF.
Changes in Section 30 of the IRR now allows the President to either reject or accept recommendations made by the advisory body for nominees to fill the positions of president and chief executive officer (PCEO), regular, and independent directors of the MIC
“In the interest and exigency of service, the Advisory Board shall submit to the Office of the President the list of nominees to vacant Regular and Independent Director, and the PCEO positions not later than thirty (30) days from such vacancy,” the provision read.
“Provided that the President may either accept or reject the recommendation of the Advisory Body: and, Provided, finally, that, the President may require the Advisory Body to submit additional names of nominees,” it added.
The advisory body will be made up of the secretaries of Budget and Management, the National Economic and Development Authority, and the national treasurer.
There was no more mention of the qualifications needed for regular and independent directors unlike in the previous IRR, where it stated that among the qualifications would be a master’s degree in finance, economics, business administration, or a related field.
Also gone was the role of the Corporate Secretary, which was detailed under Section 21 of the old IRR.
The qualifications and functions of the MIC’s audit committee were also removed, with the new IRR saying: “The Board shall determine the qualifications, as well as the duties and responsibilities of the internal auditor.”
Monetary Board Member and former Treasurer of the Philippines Rosalia De Leon said the removal of qualifications would give “more independence to the Board in determining the specific qualifications of the other officers of the MIC in order to carry out its mandate to efficiently manage the MIF.”
“The President wants the Board to be insulated from political influence and considerations and would like to give the leeway to set the qualifications in the best way they know how based on their experience and expertise in fund management,” De Leon added.
In a separate statement, the Office of the Executive Secretary said the IRR revisions would “serve to clarify, while simultaneously buttressing, the exercise of the discretionary powers of the Board of Directors to maintain its independence.”
The MIC will be composed of nine members: the Secretary of Finance sitting as the Chairperson in an ex-officio capacity, the President and the Chief Executive Officer as the MIC Vice Chairperson, President and CEO of the Land Bank of the Philippines, President and CEO of the Development Bank of the Philippines, and three Independent Directors from the private sector.
On Nov. 6, Marcos said the MIF’s revised IRR was finalized. The president signed the MIF into law in July despite criticism.
““Upon our approval, we’ll swiftly establish the corporate structure, getting the MIF up and running,” he said in a post on Facebook.