Maharlika Fund seen to access pension funds

Senator Risa Hontiveros expressed fears the most recent version of the Maharlika Fund will still access the hard-earned pension funds from the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) and the Social Security System (SSS).

The senator’s statement comes as the proposal still contains the lines: “other GFIs and GOCCs may invest into the Maharlika Investment Fund, subject to their respective investment and risk management strategies, and approval of their respective boards.”

“I would really rather not have this section at all. I would still request  our colleagues in the majority to worry about this and to help remove this provision altogether at the proper time,” the senator stressed.

Because of receiving a wave of negative feedback from their members, representatives from SSS and GSIS claimed they will not contribute to the sovereign fund’s seed capital. However, Hontiveros says that is not final, as a sudden change in investment strategy could still put the pensioners’ contributions in jeopardy.

“Ayon sa mga balita, si GSIS President Wick Veloso ang pinakaunang nagpanukala ng MIF. At sa isang video nitong Abril, sinabi ni Mr. Veloso na nire-review at babaguhin daw ang investment strategies ng GSIS. Samakatuwid, kapag binago ng GSIS Board ang kanilang Investment Strategy ay pwede nang isugal pa rin ang lampas P1 trillion na pera ng GSIS sa Maharlika Fund.  Nasimulan na daw yan, at matatapos itong review ng GSIS investment strategies sa loob lang ng ilang buwan,” Hontiveros lamented.

Hontiveros is now seeking a definitive assurance from Sen. Mark Villar, the sponsor of the bill establishing the Maharlika Fund, to install safeguards regarding investing in foreign corporate bonds.

“Alam po natin na tinanggal na sa bersyon ng House ang paggamit ng SSS at GSIS funds para sa Maharlika. Pero parang dito po ay nagbubukas tayo ng backdoor. Kabahan po tayo,” Hontiveros concluded.