Setting Priorities Straight
The Maharlika Investment Fund (MIF) bill, certified as urgent by President Ferdinand Marcos Jr, now only awaits his signature, with the House of Representatives approving the Senate version of the bill in principle. In the Final Senate approval, opposition Senator Risa Hontiveros was the lone senator who voted against the bill. Only six lawmakers voted against the bill in the House of Representatives, including Bicolano Congressmen, the Honorable Gabriel Bordado of the Third District of Camarines Sur, and the Honorable Edcel Lagman of the First District of Albay.
Landbank of the Philippines and the Development Bank of the Philippines will each contribute PHP 50 billion to the MIF, which will have an authorized capital stock of PHP 500 billion. This fund will be invested in a portfolio of assets, such as domestic and foreign corporate bonds, commercial real estate, and infrastructure projects, envisioned to generate income for the government.
No matter how well-intended the MIF is, the concerns of the public sector regarding the fund are legitimate and should be taken into account. Its timing is definitely questionable when the country has not even bounced back from the effects of COVID-19. The government’s top priority should be supporting those most affected by poverty and unemployment due to the socioeconomic impact of the pandemic. So many challenges also beset the agriculture sector, and the humongous amount of 50 billion each from the Landbank and the DBP should instead be invested in delivering essential support services for our farmers, fisherfolks, and SMEs (small and medium-scale enterprises). And what about its impact on the country’s debt payment, with our foreign debt already amounting to trillions as of 2022? These implications far outweigh whatever good intentions in the proposition of the Fund. It may just turn out to be an amorphous legislation that will put Filipinos at risk rather than bring them the benefits that it promises.
Our sincere condolences to the Archdiocese of Caceres for the death of Rev. Fr. Louan Jarcia. May his soul rest in God’s peace.
OUR QUOTATION FOR THE WEEK:
“GOOD THINGS HAPPEN WHEN YOU GET YOUR PRIORITIES STRAIGHT” - SCOTT CAAN
FOR OUR WORD OF LIFE:
“BUT SEEK HIS KINGDOM AND RIGHTEOUSNESS FIRST, AND ALL THESE THINGS WILL BE ADDED TO YOU.” -MATTHEW 6:33