PBBM to bring up proposed PH sovereign wealth fund with world leaders in Davos

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MANILA — President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. hopes to discuss the proposed sovereign wealth fund of the Philippines with world leaders during the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland.

“Nagkaroon ng briefing ang Department of Foreign [Affairs] kanina kay Pangulong Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. kung saan pinangunahan ni Secretary Enrique Manalo ang presentasyon, at ito ay sumentro sa mga importanteng meetings lalo na sa new systems for investment, trade and infrastructure,” Malacañang Press Briefer Daphne Oseña-Paez said in a press briefing on Thursday. 

Joining the President in the said meeting were Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Secretary Alfredo Pascual, Department of Finance (DOF) Secretary Benjamin Diokno, Department of Migrant Workers (DMW) Secretary Susan Ople and Presidential Communications Office (PCO) Secretary Cheloy Velicaria-Garafil.

“At the briefing this morning, the President said that we are developing all these excellent fundamentals, and there’s much that we can offer investors, and he said: ‘You know, let’s talk about the sovereign wealth fund that’s being set up,’” Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) Undersecretary Carlos Sorreta said.

The DFA official pointed out that the WEF is a “great venue to do sort of soft launch for our sovereign wealth fund given the prominence of the forum itself, and global and business leaders will be there, and they will hear it directly from the President what fundamentals that we have, and that lead us to decide that we should have a sovereign wealth fund.”

“So, that’s one of the things we’re preparing for Davos,” Sorreta said. 

Asked by the media if it’s relaying to the world that the Philippines is ready to have a wealth fund, Undersecretary Sorreta said: “Why, we are doing it and why, it’s a good idea, yes.”

House Bill (HB) No. 6608, or the Maharlika Investment Fund (MIF) Act, was approved on third and final reading by the House of Representatives on December 15, 2022.

Under the proposed measure, the MIF is an independent fund that adheres to the principles of good governance, transparency and accountability and shall be sourced from the investible funds of select government financial institutions (GFIs), from contributions of the National Government, from the declared dividends of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) and other sources of funds.

The fund shall 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. 

HB No. 6608 was transmitted to the Senate on December 19, 2022.

President Marcos will participate at the WEF in Davos, Switzerland, and will present the country’s economic report card before global leaders and top chief executive officers (CEOs). (PND)