President Bongbong Marcos Will Be 'Soft Launching' His Maharlika Wealth Fund Pitch in Switzerland
The controversial Maharlika Wealth Fund will soon be introduced to the world. President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. is expected to make the pitch about the sovereign fund at the 2023 World Economic Forum (WEF) next week, according to the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA).
In a Palace briefing on Thursday, January 12, DFA Undersecretary Carlos Sorreta explained that it was the President's decision to talk about the idea of the proposed law at the event. Sorreta thinks of the WEF as a "great venue" to "soft launch" the Maharlika Wealth fund, too.
“At the briefing this morning, the President said that we have developed excellent fundamentals, there’s much that we can offer to investors and he said, ‘You know let’s talk about the sovereign wealth fund that’s being set up’,” he claimed. “... The WEF is a great venue to do a sort of soft launch for our sovereign wealth fund, given the prominence of the forum itself and global and business leaders will be there."
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While the bill has yet to secure approval, the Maharlika Wealth fund bill would be the Philippines' sovereign fund, following the example of other developing countries. The Maharlika Wealth fund bill seeks to consolidate funds from the Land Bank of the Philippines, Development Bank of the Philippines, and the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas to raise P110 billion in venture capital.
The bill's original version had been met with great criticism. It had previously included agencies like Government Service Insurance System and the Social Security System in its measure. These were scrapped and the bill was ultimately revised after public objection.
Last December 16, the House of Representatives approved the Maharlika Investment Fund bill (House Bill No. 6608), voting 279 against six, on the third and final reading, after being certified as urgent by the President.
The principal author of the bill, Marcos' cousin Speaker Martin G. Romualdez, said of the passing: “The proposed sovereign wealth fund will help President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. keep the country on the high-growth path. We want to assure the public that the management of the fund will follow best practices and the principles of transparency and accountability."