HINDI na bago ang pagbuo ng isang sovereign wealth fund kagaya ng Maharlika Wealth Fund dahil ginagawa ito sa ibang bansa, ayon kay dating Pangulo Gloria Macapagal -Arroyo.
Si Arroyo, kinatawan ng Pangalawang Distrito ng Pampanga, ay naglabas ng liham na sumusuporta sa panukalang magbubuo ng Maharlika Wealth Fund mula sa pondo ng Social Security System (SSS) at GSIS na binubuo ng kontribusyon ng mga miyembro nito.
“Sovereign Wealth Funds are not new. Singapore, for example, has had Temasek Holdings since 1974 and the Government of Singapore Investment Corporation since 1981. There are more than 20 sovereign wealth funds in the Middle East,” ani Arroyo.
“Even in the Philippines, the idea is not new – then Senator Paolo Benigno “Bam” Aquino filed a bill to create such a fund in 2016,” anang senior deputy speaker.
Paliwanag ni Arroyo, ang tagumpay ng isang sovereign wealth fund ay nagmumula sa kalidad ng nagpapatakbo nito.
“In the current version of the Maharlika Wealth Fund, the President of the Philippines chairs its governing Board. This is a powerful statement that the highest official of the land will hold himself as ultimately accountable to the Filipino people for the performance of the Fund,” anang kongresista.
Aniya, ang pangulo ay makakukuha ng payo mula sa Department of Finance na maganda ang record ng nga kalihim nito.
Sa panig ng grupo ng Makabayan sa Kamara, ang ‘Maharlika Wealth Fund’ ay madaling magamit sa korupsiyon.
“Hindi pa nakontento sa confidential at intelligence fund, gusto pa ng Maharlika Fund na maaaring maging balon ng korupsiyon tulad ng Coco Levy Fund scam noong panahon ni Marcos Sr.,” ani Rep. Arlene Brosas ng Gabriela Partylist.
“GSIS and SSS funds are private funds. Dugo’t pawis ito ng mga manggagawa at kawani, kaya sila dapat ang mag-desisyon kung anong gagawin sa kanilang pondo,” giit ni Brosas.
Aniya, may mga isyu na dapat pagtuunan ng pansin na magbebenepisyo ang mahihirap na Filipino.
“Malinaw ang hiling ng mamamayan: ayuda, pagtataas ng sahod, at pagpapababa ng presyo ng bilihin. It’s infuriating how this government would rather prioritize corruption-prone legislation instead of crafting laws that will provide direct aid to marginalized Filipinos,” ayon kay Brosas.
“Sa Maharlika investment fund, mayayaman lang ang makikinabang habang ang mga mamamayan lalong maghihirap. Hindi dapat pakialaman pa ang perang pinaghirapan ng mga manggagawa at kawani,” dagdag ni Brosas.
Hinimok ng Gabriela Women’s Party ang mga Pinoy na ibasura ang panukakang House Bill No. 6398, o Maharlika Investments Fund Act, na nakatakdang aprobahan sa 12 Disyembre.
“We urge the Filipino people to be vigilant, especially with the administration hell-bent on passing questionable legislation at the expense of the poor. We must reject these schemes to bring back another era of corruption and abuse,” ani Brosas.
Ayon kay Bayan Muna Chairman Neri Colmenares, ang Maharlika Wealth Fund ay parang monster na hindi maaaring patinuin.
Si Colmenares ay dumalo sa pagdinig ng House Committee on Banks and Financial Intermediaries patungkol sa panukala.
“The Maharlika Wealth Fund has no sufficient safeguards and it is a ‘monster’ that cannot be controlled. The bill itself declares that the MWF is exempted from regulatory restrictions such as the Procurement Act, OGCC review of MWF transactions and many other anti-corruption laws. This opens up the fund to massive corruption” ani Colmenares.
“Its records are also not accessible to the public as the bill itself admits that records can only be accessed upon approval of the board. MWF is again exempted from freedom of information scrutiny. What is worse is that tayo, the funders, ang nagpondo pero hindi natin alam kung paano winawaldas ang ating pera. Genuine accountability and transparency are lost in the Maharlika fund,” ayon sa dating kongresista ng Bayan Muna.
“The Maharlika fund is so untransparent that the funds can therefore be spent on irregular transactions or invested to favor certain cronies considering that we are not privy to the investment decisions of the Board. They may swear to high heavens that they will inform us of every investment decision they make but the bill does not say so. Since those affected are members and constituents of GFIs and taxpayers we, as funders, have the right to question and oppose the bill even up to the Supreme Court,” ani Colmenares.
“Lalo pa ngayon na nasa 8.2% na ang inflation sa bansa and in a situation where corruption is rampant, just like in the Philippines such funding won’t be a good solution. In fact, because the annual budget under the GAA will infuse funds to Maharlika, it is expected that budget to health, education and other social services will be cut to fund this Maharlika fund. You’ll have to stop corruption first and considerably improve the economy before such a fund can be launched,” dagdag ni Colmenares.
Ang P250-bilyong Maharlika Investment Fund ay kukunin sa Government Service Insurance System (GSIS); Social Security System (SSS); Landbank of the Philippines (LBP) at Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP). (GERRY BALDO)