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Monday, May 27, 2024

Lawmakers: Nationwide info drive for Maharlika Fund needed

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Legislators said the economic and communications teams of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. should mount a nationwide information and education campaign

“Now that our first-ever sovereign investment fund is in place with RA 11954, an IEC by the President’s economic managers along with his legacy media and socmed (social media) teams should be the next order of business so the MIF can win broad and deep support from the public that needs to know it will be an alternative revenue stream to let the Marcos government spend much, much bigger on infrastructure and other priority programs—without resorting to additional borrowings,” Camarines Sur Rep. Luis Raymund Villafuerte said.

One of the principal authors of RA 11954, Villafuerte said “the President’s economic team led by Finance Secretary Ben (Benjamin Diokno) should work in tandem with the Presidential Communications Office (PCO) and other traditional media and socmed agencies of the government to bump up public awareness—and hopefully appreciation—of this new law.

“This is urgent as the results of public opinion polls showing that although there has been significant support from Filipinos familiar with the MIF, a majority of our people are actually clueless about this Fund, much less know that it will greatly benefit our people,” Villafuerte said.

Moreover, he said, the people need to know that tapping the MIF for additional foreign direct investment (FDI) inflows is a sure way to sustain the country’s post-pandemic economic rebound and create more jobs.

Ako Bicol Rep. Elizaldy Co, chair of the House committee on appropriations, shared Villafuerte’s view on the need for a massive information drive on how the Filipino people will benefit from the MIF even as he hailed the Marcos administration for the creation of the nation’s inaugural sovereign wealth fund, Co also commended the government’s commitment to managing the Maharlika Investment Fund with financial, not political, decisions.

Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri meanwhile said the government will invest in renewable energy projects using funds from the MIF.

Zubiri said he was informed by the President that among his administration’s infrastructure projects are renewable energy projects to help ward off El Niño and climate change. 

He said the President wants renewable energy like wind turbines, solar, and hydroelectric projects, adding that he was also told by the President this will help in lowering the cost of electricity.

Sen. Mark Villar, one of the principal authors of the MIF bill in the Senate, urged everyone to give this law a chance and work for its success.

“Let’s just support it, let’s do everything to make it a success because if it’s successful, that will be our success for our nation and our economy,” he said.

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