BBM certifies MIF urgency

President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. has certified Senate Bill 2020 seeking to establish the proposed Maharlika Investment Fund as a priority legislative measure.

In a letter addressed to Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri dated 22 May, Marcos cited the “compelling need” for a “sustainable national investment fund” amid the rising inflation rate driven by various factors.

“Pursuant to the provisions of Article VI, Section 26 (2) of the 1987 Constitution, I hereby certify the necessity of the immediate enactment of Senate Bill 2020,” Marcos said.

“With the downgrade of the global growth projection this year on account of debilitating inflation, fluctuating and unstable prices of crude oil and other fuels due to the protracted conflict between Ukraine and Russia, and continuing interest rate hikes in the international financial sector, there is a compelling need for a sustainable national investment fund as a new growth catalyst to accelerate the implementation of strategic and high-impact large infrastructure projects that will stimulate economic activity and development,” the letter read.

The letter was received by the Senate on 23 May but was released to the media on 24 May.

When the President certifies a bill as urgent, it grants the legislature the ability to circumvent the constitutional mandate that bills must be passed on the third and final reading three days after its approval on the second reading.

Marcos expedited the House bill aiming to establish the Maharlika fund, enabling the lower chamber to approve it within 17 days of its filing.

To recall, the House of Representatives approved House Bill 6608, or the proposed MIF bill, on the third and final reading before adjourning for the Christmas break last year.

The Senate is still discussing the proposed measure, more than a week before the sine die adjournment on 2 June.

Zubiri on Tuesday urged the economic managers, including Finance Secretary Benjamin Diokno to personally attend the interpellation at the Senate “for them to show support for the measure and help rally the members to help pass the measure.”

He said the Senate is “targeting” to approve the measure “next week.”

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