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Monday, July 22, 2024

Marcos: Maharlika Fund rules not being relaxed

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President Marcos on Saturday (Manila time) defended the revised implementing rules and regulations (IRR) of the Maharlika Investment Fund (MIF) from its detractors.

Recently, critics had called out the alleged relaxation of Maharlika’s

IRR for political accommodations, citing the changes in its requirements.

“I don’t know where we relaxed anything. Quite the contrary, hinigpitan natin (we tightened it). What happened between the last – the IRR – the first draft – no, the first and last drafts of the IRR, the differences were only the powers of the board,” Mr. Marcos said in a media interview.

At the sidelines of the APEC Summit in San Francisco, California, which ended Friday (Saturday in Manila), President Marcos reiterated his initial statement of insulating politics from handling Maharlika Investment Corporation.

“More or less there are several—there are couple of other things but basically it was the powers of the board that we changed. Because it was… I do say over and over again, I do not want political forces to interfere with financial decisions of the investment fund,” he added.

The President clarified his position on the governance of the MIF, emphasizing the board’s autonomy in decision-making while acknowledging the government’s oversight role as a major shareholder.

“But as much as possible, on the day-to-day workings of the fund, we leave it to the board. We leave it to the managers,” the President said.

“I’m a little surprise that the characterization of the changes that we made—which were not that many by the way. There were maybe six or seven major changes in terms of, again, powers and authorities of the — essentially the board,” he added.

Addressing concerns about his power to approve or reject board nominees, Marcos clarified that the government’s controlling stake in the MIF necessitates a degree of influence over its governance.

“We hold the controlling interest; we are the government. It’s like thinking of a corporation, ‘yung pinakamalaking kapital (the largest capital) – the one with the largest capital interest is the one that has the most votes. So, that’s what happens,” Mr. Marcos remarked.

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