(PAGASA 24-HOUR PUBLIC WEATHER FORECAST as of Monday, 02 October 2023) At 3:00 AM today, the center of Tropical Storm "JENNY" {KOINU} was estimated based on all available data at 675 km East of Aparri, Cagayan (18.8°N, 128.0°E) with maximum sustained winds of 120 km/h near the center and gustiness of up to 150 km/h. It is moving Northwestward at 10 km/h. Southwest Monsoon affecting Southern Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao. Butuan City, Agusan del Norte, Agusan del Sur, Dinagat Islands, Surigao del Norte and Surigao del Sur will experience Partly cloudy to cloudy skies with isolated rainshowers or thunderstorms due to Trough of TS Jenny / Localized Thunderstorms. Possible flash floods or landslides during severe thunderstorms. Light to moderate winds coming from Southwest to West will prevail with slight to moderate seas (0.6 to 2.1 meters).

Wednesday, 19 July 2023

PBBM signs Maharlika Investment Fund Act

President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. signed into law Senate Bill No. 2020 and House Bill No. 6608, establishing the Maharlika Investment Fund (MIF) at the Rizal Hall, MalacaƱang Palace today, July 18, 2023, as the country's first-ever Sovereign Investment Fund.

Budget chief welcomes MIF, offers assistance for IRR

Department of Budget and Management (DBM) Secretary Amenah F. Pangandaman congratulated PBBM and Congress as she welcomed the good news: "The creation of this Development Fund is very good news because this means we now have an opportunity to expand our fiscal space for the government's priority programs."

The budget chief also assured the public that the DBM will continue to provide support and technical assistance in the formulation of the Implementing Rules and Regulations and during the implementation of the said Act.

"Of course, we fully support this as it will help expand our fiscal space. So we at the DBM remain committed to helping ensure that this Development Fund will be a success and implemented with utmost integrity," Secretary Pangandaman said.

Tool for economic development

The MIF is a tool for economic development that will promote fiscal stability through strategic and profitable investments in key sectors. The Fund is envisioned to be invested in a wide range of assets, including foreign currencies, fixed-income instruments, domestic and foreign corporate bonds, joint ventures, mergers and acquisitions, real estate and high-impact infrastructure projects, and projects that contribute to the attainment of sustainable development. Unlike other government-owned and controlled corporations (GOCCs), the MIF will be able to maximize government assets through its investments in projects that generate bigger returns.

The MIF is also seen to optimize national funds by generating returns to support the PBBM Administration’s economic goals as set in the Medium-Term Fiscal Framework (MTFF), the 8-point Socioeconomic Agenda, and the Philippine Development Plan (PDP) 2023-2028. The establishment of the MIF will provide the government with a long-term source of income that will support generations to come. It will also ease the burden on the national budget by providing additional funding for other priority projects of the government.

Expanding fiscal space without imposing new taxes

In a previous joint statement, the economic team underscored how the MIF will allow the government to execute and sustain high-impact and long-term economic development programs and projects by widening the country’s limited fiscal space without imposing new taxes or being too reliant on foreign and domestic loans.

Finance Secretary Benjamin E. Diokno explained: “The Fund is an additional vehicle that would allow the government to tap surpluses that cannot be utilized under current legal frameworks. It will also be open to co-financing with foreign investors and multilateral institutions to facilitate financing of capital-intensive big-ticket infrastructure.”

The economic team further believes that the MIF will sustain the country's recent economic gains and accelerate socio-economic transformation by improving the country's fiscal resilience.

Senate Bill 2020 was passed on May 31, 2023, while House Bill No. 6608 was passed on December 15, 2022. (DBM/PIA Caraga)