Tell it to SunStar: Improvements to the proposed sovereign wealth fund are welcome

Improvements have been made to House Bill 6608, which proposes the creation of the Maharlika Investment Fund, according to news reports attributed to Rep. Joey Salceda, chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee and who is also one of the chamber’s finance wizards.

A welcome development is that of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas and Development Bank of the Philippines being dropped as a funding source.

I believe that the limiting of fund sources to a part—not all the dividends—of a select list of GOCCs (government-owned and -controlled corporations) whose dividends are not reserved or restricted by law is doable and sustainable. It also carries fewer legal and financial complications.

Sourcing from some of the GOCCs, and only in part, is doable, sustainable, and with much fewer legal and financial complications.

We await the detailed numbers from the Department of Budget and Management on their estimates of the GOCC dividends in the coming years.

We also would like to know from the DBM which agencies would be affected and by how much, by the channeling of the GOCC dividends from their current purposes as part of the General Fund and Special Purpose Funds to the proposed sovereign wealth investment fund.

Knowing all these details will enable us in Congress to prepare ahead of time for the 2024 budget cycle. Awareness thereof is necessary to make sure the most important budgets for the Filipino people remain intact and adequately funded.