Former colleagues of President Bongbong Marcos’ economic managers are vigorously opposing the plan in Congress to put up a Maharlika sovereign wealth fund.
The UP School of Economics Alumni Association (UPSEAA) and Management Association of The Philippines (MAP) are among the 12 business advocacy groups which signed a statement of concern against the Maharlika Fund because it would divert funds of the Government Service and Insurance System and Social Security System to riskier investments; weaken the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas by siphoning off its capital; and return the Philippines to a centralized economy after 36 years of privatization and liberalization.
It bears watching whether former colleagues of the the UPSEAA and MAP would heed their warnings or dig in their heels and support the Maharlika Fund which is the brainchild of their boss.
Finance Secretary Benjamin Diokno and Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Arsenio Balisacan are both esteemed members of the UPSEAA while Trade Secretary Alfredo Pascual used to be the president of MAP.
In contrast, a fellow UP economist in the administration, BSP Governor Felipe Medalla, has gone on record warning against the adverse impact of the wealth fund on governance and the central bank’s independence.
Marikina Rep. Stella Quimbo, a UP economist and professor, is among a co-author of House Bill No. 6398 which would compel the GSIS, SSS, Land Bank of the Philippines, Development Bank of the Philippines, and the National Treasury to chp a total of P275 billion as seed money for the Maharlika fund.
The other business groups opposing the Maharlika Fund are: Foundation For Economic Freedom (FEF), Competitive Currency Forum (CCF), Filipina CEO Circle (FCC), Financial Executives Institute of The Philippines (FINEX), Institute of Corporate Directors (ICD), Integrity Initiative, Inc. (II, INC.), Makati Business Club (MBC), Management Association of The Philippines (MAP), Movement for Good Governance (MGG), Philippine Women’s Economic Network (PHILWEN), and Women’s Business Council Philippines, Inc. (WOMENBIZPH).
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