Press Releases

On Senator Imee Marcos’s proposals regarding the Maharlika Investment Fund

December 4th, 2022

Rep. Joey Sarte Salceda

The bill will still go through deliberations in both Houses and the Senate, I believe, has already constituted a study group on the matter. 

We can discuss the mix of assets that the fund will invest in, but some allocation for foreign securities is necessary. It diversifies the portfolio and allows the Fund to take positions in potentially higher-return investments. A fund that grows faster due to some exposure to high-return foreign investments is better than a smaller and severely constrained Fund exclusively investing in domestic investments. 

That said, I would welcome a proposal to ensure that a certain percentage, at the minimum, of the Fund should be invested in domestic investments. 

On specifying which investments are allowed per GFI, this might not be possible under the current configuration. Pooling of funds is a key feature and advantage of the current proposal, since it maximizes the impact that GFIs can make compared to what they can achieve on their own. 

That said, we can prioritize certain investments in agriculture, infrastructure, and healthcare. 

On the demand for pension fund investments to be zero-risk, the government guarantee to GFI infusions in the form of preferred shares and convertible debts would make these investments zero-risk. 

Finally, on the concern about BSP investments in the form of foreign reserves, we have already amended the provision so that the BSP’s required investments come from declared dividends, not foreign currency reserves from OFW and BPO remittances and income. 

As Chair of the House TWG on the bill, I welcome continued discussion on the matter. I am sure Senator Marcos will also be very active in discussions once the Senate begins hearings on the bill.

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