MIF new rules

HIDDEN AGENDA - Mary Ann LL. Reyes - The Philippine Star
MIF new rules
Lawmakers applaud President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. after the signing of the law the establishing the Maharlika Investment Fund (R.A. 11954) in simple rites held at Malacanang Palace Tuesday morning.
Office of House Speaker Martin Romualdez

Government released recently the revised implementing rules of the Maharlika Investment Fund (MIF) and as expected, opinions were mixed.

Under the revised rules, the President has the authority to accept or reject appointees to the board, including the president and executive director, as well as independent directors of the Maharlika Investment Corp. (MIC) as recommended by the advisory body.

The previous version of the IRR supposedly limited the choices of the President on who he can appoint to the MIC board to those shortlisted by the advisory body.

The President may also require the advisory body to submit additional names of nominees should the Chief Executive fail to find a suitable appointee from the initial shortlist submitted by the body.

The advisory board is composed of the secretaries of the Department of Budget and Management and the NEDA, as well as the Treasurer of the Philippines.

Another controversial change introduced by the new IRR is the relaxation of the qualification for members of the board of directors as it removed the requirement that they should have a master’s degree in finance, economics, business administration, or a related field; at least 10 years experience in finance, investments, economics, business, or a related field preferably in senior management or board positions; and a proven track record in strategic decision-making, investment performance, understanding financial markets and macroeconomic trends, risk identification and mitigation, and adherence to ethical standards and regulations.

ACT-Teachers party list Rep. France Castro has sounded the alarm on the revised MIC rules, saying that it has dangerous provisions and lacks thorough scrutiny, even as she questioned the new provision that gave the President increased authority to select the members of the board of the MIC which would manage the fund.

She said that the new IRR lowers the educational and professional experience requirements and does not mention the qualifications for regular and independent directors.

Meanwhile, the Department of Finance supported the revised IRR, noting that the enhancements are within the bounds of the law.

It said that the new rules ensure the independence of the MIC board and allows it more headroom to form credible oversight and risk management bodies while upholding the highest standards of effective fund management.

Malacañang has also emphasized that the revised IRR strengthened some of the provisions of the MIF to ensure a professional management of fund, free from political interference, and aligned with principles of good governance.

Monetary Board member and former national treasurer Rosalia de Leon, for her part, explained that the reason for removing the qualifications in the IRR is to give it more independence in determining the specific qualifications of the other officers of the MIC in order to carry out its mandate to efficiently manage the MIF.

House Speaker Martin Romualdez hailed the President’s commitment to strengthen the independence of the MIC board, adding that the revision is a significant step toward enhancing corporate governance and ensuring that the MIF is managed with the utmost transparency and accountability.

The House leader said that the President’s earlier directive to review and strengthen the IRR of the MIF underscores the importance of safeguarding this national asset and further guarantees a well-rounded perspective in managing the fund.

Also, Albay Rep. Joey Salceda stressed that it is now time to move on following the issuance of the revised IRR and that the country must now focus on more pressing issues like what investments are the most critical at this point of its development.

The government has yet to start the implementation of the MIF, but President Marcos has stated that it will be implemented before the end of the year.

Educational achievements are important but so are integrity, competence, experience, and training and other qualifications. Government financial institutions like the Social Security Commission, the GSIS board, even private banks do not put too much premium on educational achievements but equally consider other factors under the fit-and-proper rule.

All we can hope for is that the people who will manage the MIF will have the country’s best experience at heart.

Supporting tourism promotion goals

As the Department of Tourism (DOT) recalibrates its promotion strategies under the seven-point agenda embodied in the National Tourism Development Plan for 2023-2028, it is pushing to strengthen the Philippines’ position as a health and wellness tourism hub in Asia, as well as globally.

Niyama Wellness by AHG seeks to support this initiative by offering full-service spa and wellness management and consultancy catering to developers, owners and operators of leading hotels, resorts, and spa projects nationwide.

The scope of consultancy services covers every aspect of their business needs from pre-opening, daily operations, spa concept, spa menu design and spa training and management. It also provides additional support and guidance to run spa and wellness operations smoothly during the transition period, pre-opening and actual operations.

The Wellness & Spa Management Services is the newest service offered by AHG Hotels and Resorts, which has proven success in managing top hotels and resorts that are unequivocally market leaders in their respective destinations. Among these are Anya Resort Tagaytay and Club Punta Fuego, with new properties to be launched soon in Siargao and Zambales.

Wellness is now an integral part of a hotel and resort business and Niyama Wellness by AHG can help hospitality properties and spa businesses increase their revenue with its signature offerings.

Through curated programs that feature a holistic approach in wellness that go beyond just massages, hotels, resorts, and spas can offer holistic experiences that are designed for guests as a respite from the constant stress of urban living.

Niyama Wellness Center at Anya Resort Tagaytay was launched in October 2022 and has since been recognized with the Best Sustainability Award and was a Global Winner at the World Luxury Award in 2022. The same year, it was nominated as Best New Spa for the Destination De Luxe Award. Anya Resort, which is also managed by AHG, was recently awarded the Best Boutique Resort by the World Travel Awards.


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