Zubiri says MIF, RCEP bills are priority

SENATE President Juan Miguel Zubiri.

The contentious Maharlika Investment Fund and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership bills will be on top of Congress’ list for bolstering the government’s economic development.

Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri disclosed on Saturday that the MIF and RCEP were just two of the priority bills discussed during their meeting with President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. and House Speaker Martin Romualdez.

The Senate, according to Zubiri, is committed to discussing and ratifying as soon as possible the RCEP, a free trade agreement encompassing ASEAN members as well as Australia, China, Japan, South Korea, and New Zealand.

Ratifying the RCEP,  Zubiri claimed, would increase the demand market for local products.

Apart from the two bills, the Legislative-Executive Advisory Council’s Common Legislative Agenda-priority measures are also included in the discussion.

“Our promise to the President is that we will work hard to pass the bills that will help make a big impact on our economy, but most especially on all our kababayans so that the economic growth is felt by them as well,” Zubiri said.

The multibillion-peso MIF, which the lower chamber passed on final reading during its last session before it went on a holiday recess, however, will not be rushed in the Senate.

The swift approval of House Bill 6608, whose number of authors grew to 282, was in response to the President’s urgent call for enactment.

Zubiri said the President agreed not to hasten the country’s sovereign wealth fund’s passage to pave the way for further provisions that would put adequate safeguards in place and protect the fund from corruption or mismanagement.

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