President Marcos assured foreign business leaders that professional managers would run the Maharlika Investment Fund (MIF) as politicians could cause its failure.

President Ferdinand 'Bongbong' Marcos Jr. (MalacaƱang photo)
President Ferdinand 'Bongbong' Marcos Jr. (MalacaƱang photo)

Marcos said this as he wooed foreign business leaders to explore the Philippines as an investment destination during the 10th Asia Summit in Singapore on Wednesday, Sept. 13.

In his remarks, the President said that professional fund managers would run the MIF instead of the Philippine government to maintain its independence in financial operations and policy-making and ensure its success.

"That is one of the main assurances that I had to give. But that was always the concept behind it," he said.

"When the politicians get involved, then the decisions are no longer purely financial in nature, and that causes failure, I think. And it doesn't make it an efficient management of the fund," he added.

According to Marcos, the MIF was the government's way of tapping the country's reserve for investment without increasing borrowings.

"We looked internally and saw what are the reserves that we have that are not being, at least in our view, were not being used. I think we all are familiar with the concept that money cannot sit in the bank and do nothing. It must work," he said.

"So, that's our way of putting it to work. And that partnering with private sector partners or even G2G partners and without a worrisome increase of our borrowings and with hopefully a sufficient fund," he added.

President Marcos likewise highlighted the different investable opportunities for foreign investors with regard to the country's first sovereign wealth fund, particularly infrastructure, energy development, and agriculture.

"This will go into infrastructure, into power development. Again, those main elements are healthcare, all of the areas that we have identified as priorities," he said.

"So, to make a list, it's really— for us, it's agriculture, it's energy, it's ease of doing business, it is also the tax structure that we have to transform," he added.

The Asia Summit 2023 focuses on issues about peace and stability, inequality, cultural differences, and irreparable environmental damage.

Hosted by the Milken Institute, a non-profit think tank, the Summit also tackles public health, environmentalism, economic policy, and globalization.

Marcos is the first sitting Philippine President to address the Summit, where he, despite being late to his talk, discussed priority policies and programs before economic managers and business leaders.

Source: Manila Bulletin (https://mb.com.ph/2023/9/14/marcos-politicians-could-cause-maharlika-s-failure)