By MANUEL L. CABALLERO
CONTROVERSIAL MAHARLIKA FUND IS PASSED BY PH SENATE; TWO SUCCESSFUL FILIPINA SENIORS CONTINUE TO SHINE; PINAY BEAUTIES AT PH INDEPENDENCE DAY PARADE IN NYC
Like Santa Claus, or even a thief, both of whom do their "thing" in the wee hours, the Philippine Senate approved the controversial and unpopular Maharlika Investment Fund (MIF) at 2:30 A.M. on Thursday . It is a sovereign wealth fund originated by the Marcoses , both in Congress and in Malacañang.
We believe, the widespread dislike by Filipinos of the Fund is not only because of its untimeliness, but also due to distrust of its originators and possible Fund managers.
The lone opposition senator, Rita Hontiveros, who voted No against the MIF, said, "The creation of this Maharlika Investment Fund should not come at the expense of neglecting pressing domestic needs, risking economic stability, or compromising our international standing."
In short, the lady senator thinks MIF is an unnecessary risk the government wants to undertake .
Hours before the bill was approved by the Senate, former Central Bank of the PH deputy governor Diwa Guinigundo, in an ABS-CBN radio interview, gave 4 clear and convincing reasons why he thought the present economic and political situations in the Philippines make Filipinos concerned and worried on the establishment of Maharlika Investment Fund.
The reasons given are: 1) The PH does not have extra or surplus funds to invest. It is a common rule that you only invest in securities or stocks if you have extra monies. The PH has over 12 Trillion Peso debts.
2) There is a provision that allows GSIS and SSS and other government insurance companies like Pagibig Funds to invest in MIF if they decide to do it . What if pressure is used on these government corporations to invest their funds in MIF?
3) Inclusion of Land Bank (50 Billion Pesos) and DBP (25 Billion Pesos) as seed monies of MIF. These are loanable funds that could instead be availed by local borrowers.
4) Finally, the former CB top official said Central Bank of the PH will provide 100% of CB's dividend earnings as seed money to MIF for the first 2 years and 50% of earnings in succeeding years.
Mr. Guinigundo's revelations are, indeed, worrisome and cause for deep concern.
The collective distrust on the Marcoses was explained in a simple post by a Filipino netizen. He said, "Your (Marcos) family has "history" that's why you cannot be trusted when it comes to financial investment."
Yes, experience is the best teacher.
The two amazing Bicolanas whom we wrote in this space earlier continue to carve good names for their native country and for themselves.
Former PH Vice President Leni Gerona Robredo has produced a coffee table book titled "Tayo ang Liwanag" or "We Are The Light." It is a story of her phenomenal 2022 election campaign. She has done book signings in Manila and in the provinces. At the same time, she is well-sought commencement speaker in various schools around the PH while running her Angat Buhay project for the needy Pinoys.
Author Loida Nicolas Lewis , on the other hand, has received wide recognition for having written "Why Should Guys Have All The Fun?" Her successful book signings were held in 7 States. She was interviewed on CBS-TV in New York about her struggles as a single mom who once led a billion-dollar international company left by her late husband, which, were all mentioned in her book that is now ranked 3rd most popular and best- sought book in business category by Amazon.
Robredo is 57, while Lewis is 80. Both are showing the world that age should not hinder anyone, especially women, from achieving anything that is worth-attaining. Both are widows and have publicly expressed their intent to remain as such.
The annual celebration of Philippine Independence Day will be held on June 4 in New York City. Come down and see for yourselves the reigning FilAm Miss Universe and the former FilAm Miss World, among others.