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Marcos defends IRR for Maharlika Fund

SAN FRANCISCO – President Marcos yesterday defended a provision in the revised implementing rules and regulations (IRR) for the Maharlika Investment Fund (MIF) law that allows him to reject nominees to vacant posts recommended by the advisers of the wealth fund’s decision makers.

Under the revised IRR released last week, the President “may either accept or reject” the nominees of an advisory body to vacant posts in the Maharlika Investment Corp. (MIC), the vehicle for mobilizing and using the investment fund.

The advisory body consists of the heads of the Department of Budget and Management and the National Economic and Development Authority as well as the National Treasurer. The revised IRR also states that the President may require the advisory body to submit additional names of nominees.

The revised IRR has drawn flak from critics of the administration, including Alliance of Concerned Teachers party-list Rep. France Castro, who argued that the President’s increased authority to select the board of directors “further raises questions about the independence and integrity of the fund and poses a danger to people’s funds.”

But Marcos brushed aside the criticisms, saying there is nothing unusual about the provision.

“Well, we hold the controlling interest, we are government. It’s like think of a corporation... the one with the largest capital interest is the one that has the most votes. So, that’s what happens,” Marcos said.

“It’s that simple. It’s not really an unusual arrangement. It’s a perfectly proportional arrangement,” he added.

Marcos previously said he had opposed a proposal to make him the MIC chairman to ensure that investment decisions would be insulated from politics.

The President also denied that the IRR had been relaxed to accommodate former corporate executive Rafael Consing Jr., recently named president and CEO of MIC.

“I don’t know where we relaxed anything. Quite the contrary, we made it stricter,” the President said.

“The differences were only the powers of the board. More or less there are several – there are couple of other things but basically it was the powers of the board that we changed,” he added.

Marcos reiterated that he does not want