I am happy and thankful that President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. agrees with my position that the GOCC dividends should not be utilized as seed money for funding the Maharlika Investment Fund (MIF) because these dividends are traditionally and legally used as additional revenues to finance the GAA, more particularly basic socio-economic services on health, education, food security, employment generation, and infrastructure development.
GOCC dividends must not be securitized or sequestered to fund the MIF because they are used for budgetary support to augment the sources of financing the GAA. They must not be parked in long-term investments.
Moreover, under the Dividends Law of 1993 (RA 7656), GOCCs are mandated to remit to the national government at least 50% of their annual net earnings. Such remittances are used for budgetary support in the enactment of the national budget.
With the President’s aforesaid confirmatory statement, contributions from the LandBank of the Philippines and the Development Bank of the Philippines, both GOCCs, must also be removed as funding source.
Additionally, sovereign wealth funds must be effectively owned and controlled by the Government because they represent the State’s wealth. They must not be the subject of Initial Public Offering (IPO) which could lead to private control. Government ownership cannot be limited to less than 50%.
“Approve now with alacrity and reengineer later” are the indelible earmarks of hasty and errant legislation which afflict the MIF.
We must bail out our people now from poverty, an 8.1% inflation rate, and an emerging recession, rather than let them wait for contingent benefits which they may not survive to enjoy.
Since the so-called “reengineering” of the MIF was not deliberated on in the House of Representatives, the approval of the bill must be recalled so that the House can further deliberate on the belated innovations, which even make the bill more imperfect. Unless the House leadership does not approve and adopt the so-called “re-engineered” version, in which case, the belated and errant innovations must be put to rest as a futile attempt to muddle even further the MIF.
Attached is my letter on this matter to Speaker Martin Romualdez dated 23 January 2023 which was received by his office at 10:06 AM today, 24 January 2023.
EDCEL C. LAGMAN