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Privatization of gaming agencies to raise P300 billion – Drilon

Helen Flores - The Philippine Star
Privatization of gaming agencies to raise P300 billion â Drilon
Former Senate president Franklin Drilon said getting the initial funding for the MIF is the biggest issue at this point as many are concerned the proposed fund may not be that big to generate sufficient returns, and where to source the seed money.
Tory Ho / AFP

MANILA, Philippines — The government can generate some P300 billion for the proposed Maharlika Investment Fund (MIF) by privatizing the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. and Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office, former Senate president Franklin Drilon said on Thursday.

Drilon said getting the initial funding for the MIF is the biggest issue at this point as many are concerned the proposed fund may not be that big to generate sufficient returns, and where to source the seed money.

“And here I would point out to the policymakers, the administration, where we can get funding without debate?... So, Mr. President, Mr. Congress put some shape in this Maharlika fund, you’re shooting two birds with one stone by privatizing the gaming industry… and generate enough funds and number two, eliminate a source of corruption,” the former senator told “The Chiefs” on Cignal TV’s One News.

Drilon said in 2019 former finance secretary Carlos Dominguez pushed for the privatization of the government gaming agencies.

“And he said very clearly, we can generate P300 billion out of this exercise… that’s the first one, the second one is corruption in this industry,” he said.

Albay 2nd district Rep. Joey Salceda earlier said the MIF, which was already passed on third and final reading at the House, had been “rewritten and reengineered” by a four-member panel sometime after Christmas.

Under the MIF bill passed by the House, the initial capitalization would come from Landbank with P50 billion and Development Bank of the Philippines with P25 billion.

But the House cannot amend a bill which has already been passed on third reading, Drilon said, adding amendments may be done at the bicameral conference committee level.

While he believes the MIF “in some form” will also be passed by Senate, he said he is confident it will undergo close scrutiny from his former colleagues.

“Because I don’t think my former colleagues in the Senate would just adopt the House version,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Presidential Communications Office (PCO) said President Marcos met with Speaker Martin Romualdez and Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri yesterday “to catch up on the administration’s legislative agenda and plans for 2023.”

The PCO shared a photo of the meeting on social media. No other details have been provided by the PCO.

Malacañang earlier said 10 out of 20 priority legislative measures enumerated by the President during his first State of the Nation Address have hurdled the House as of Jan. 18.

These include the Tax Package 4 or the proposed Passive Income and Financial Intermediary Taxation Act, Government Financial Institutions Unified Initiatives to Distressed Enterprises for Economic Recovery bill, Tax Package 3 or the proposed Real Property Valuation and Assessment Reform Act, proposed Internet Transaction Act or E-Commerce Law and the bill condoning the unpaid amortization and interests of loans of agrarian reform beneficiaries.

MIF

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