Press Release
June 1, 2023

explaining her abstention in voting on the passage of Senate Bill 2020 (Maharlika Investment Fund Act)

In the past four months that the draft bill of the Maharlika Investment Fund Act was deliberated in the Senate, I had the chance to listen and ask questions to the arguments presented.

After weeks of deliberations on the floor�in spite of the heavy amendments introduced and the rigid safeguards proposed by my colleagues and I in the draft bill�there were more questions left hanging than answers.

I do understand the need to come up with something different to jolt and jumpstart our economy, and I likewise see the need to create fresh income sources to generate long-term economic growth and create jobs for our people--I just cannot turn a blind eye on development and say 'No'.

On the other hand--although the final bill has undergone many amendments up to the last hour of the deliberations--the content still lacks balance. I found no compelling reason either to say 'Yes,' the MIF is a better medicine for the country, or deny the fact that the risks are far greater than its claimed benefits.

Sinuri po natin at tinimbang--ngunit sadyang kulang.

Kapos ito sa mga batayang dapat magsusulong sa interes ng taumbayan, at magbibigay proteksyon sa pondo na dapat pangalagaan.

Personally, I have concerns about the Maharlika Investment Fund not falling within the necessary operational safety nets and parameters. We don't want the 'Big IF' in the Maharlika Fund be dragged onto the 'Big Unknown'.

As elected public servants, our prime duty is to set the highest premium in safeguarding the interest of the people we serve.

For all these reasons, I decided to abstain while hoping that the MIF will live up to its claim as a tool for economic development.

Let not the MIF be a 'Big Mistake'.

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