The proposal for the formation of the Maharlika Investment Fund (MIF), which was certified as urgent by President Ferdinand Marcos Jr., has passed the third and final reading of the Senate.
In a 19-2-1 vote, the Senate passed Senate Bill No. 2020 or Maharlika Investment Fund Act of 2023.
Senate Minority Leader Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III and Sen. Risa Hontiveros voted against the proposal, while Sen. Nancy Binay abstained.
Pimentel, Senators Chiz Escudero and Imee Marcos were not present in the plenary voting that took place in the early morning.
In the Senate version, the SSS, GSIS, PhilHealth, Pag-IBIG, OWWA and the Philippine Veterans Affairs Office will be prohibited from investing in the MIF.
Although the provision on the use of GSIS and SSS funds was initially removed from the Senate Bill 2020, it is clearly stated in Section 12 of the proposal that GFIs and GOCCs can still invest in the Maharlika Investment Fund especially if it is approved by their board.
Various violations and corruption such as internal auditor collusion, serving as an intermediary in graft and corrupt practices and being involved in any type of corruption will be punishable by imprisonment and a fine of P80,000 to P5 million. Other violations are punishable by 6-20 years in prison and a fine of P1M-P3M.
Senate passes Maharlika Investment Fund
Sens. Ronald “bato” dela Rosa, Raffy Tulfo and Pia Cayetano made a motion to amend and insert a provision that will ensure that the pension funds of government and private sector employees will not be affected.
Villar accepted Hontiveros' proposal to disqualify anyone from the MIF Board of Directors who has pending cases related to fraud, plunder, corrupt practices, money laundering, tax evasion and others.
Following this, the House adopted the Senate's version of the Maharlika Investment Fund Bill in the bicameral conference committee meeting. The bicam meeting held at the Manila Golf & Country Club in Makati lasted only 20 minutes.
Once ratified, it will go directly to the President's office to be signed.