MANILA, Philippines — President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. on Tuesday laughed off fears that the Maharlika Investment Fund (MIF) would be wasted on extravagant splurges like luxury cars and yachts.
After signing the MIF bill, Marcos addressed questions such as why MIF money cannot go directly to agriculture or infrastructure development.
READ: Bongbong Marcos converts the Maharlika Investment Fund into law
“I would hear some people comment, ‘Hindi ba pag may pear tayong ganyan, may pondo tayong ganyan, dapat ilagay yan sa agrikultura, ilagay yan sa infrastructure, dapat ilagay yan sa energy development?’ Nanunood ako ng television sabi ko, always kinakausap ko yung TV, ‘saan nyo kaya iniisip na ilalagay yan? Bibili kami ng magagarang kotse? Bibili kami ng malaking yacht? Iyan ba yung iniisip niyo? Marcos said as he laughed.
(I’ve heard some people comment, ‘If we have money like that, we have funds like that, should it go into agriculture, should it be in infrastructure, should it be in energy development?’ As I watch TV, I find myself saying, “A where do you think I would go? Would we buy fancy cars? Would we buy big yachts? Is that what you think?)
Marcos explained that he was laughing because those notions were not true.
“It makes me laugh because that is so far from the truth. That is precisely where we are going to put this money. That is precisely where we are going to apply this money. All those critical sectors that have been left behind, all those crucial sectors that have to adjust to the new economy, to the new global economy, those are the pressure points where we will apply the fund,” Marcos said.
The MIF had been a point of contention, and many feared that it could create space for corruption during the initial drafts of the bill. Senate minority leader Aquilino Pimentel III had even asked the president to veto the measure so Congress could study it.
Marcos Jr. is the son of the late former President Ferdinand Marcos Sr, whose tenure as the country’s chief executive was marred by corruption. The late president’s family, particularly his wife, Imelda Marcos, was known for her lavish lifestyle.
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