THE Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (PAGCOR) estimates that it will be able to contribute up to P4 billion to the Maharlika Investment Fund (MIF), its chairman told the House Committee on Appropriations on Monday.
“If our interpretation is correct, we will be able to contribute anywhere between P3.6 billion to P4 billion in the Maharlika fund,” PAGCOR Chief Executive Officer and Chairman Alejandro H. Tengco told legislators during deliberations on the P5.768-trillion 2024 national budget.
PAGCOR said the contribution will be taken from the dividend it owes by law to the National Government (NG) of at least 50% of its earnings.
“Within that 50% (dividend), we are clarifying if this is where we’ll get our investment for the Maharlika fund,” he said.
Republic Act (RA) No. 11954, which created the MIF, requires that 10% of the National Government’s income from PAGCOR will go to funding the MIF.
PAGCOR is also studying the possibility of investing its retained earnings in the MIF.
“We are seeking clarification if (a certain percentage of) our retained earnings can be invested in the Maharlika fund,” Mr. Tengco said.
President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. signed RA 11954 on July 18.
“The fund shall be used to make high-impact and profitable investments, such as the Build Better More program. The gains from the Fund shall be reinvested into the country’s economic well-being,” Mr. Marcos said in his State of the Nation Address last month.
The MIF law designates as providers of initial capital the Land Bank of the Philippines, which will invest P50 billion. The Development Bank of the Philippines will inject P25 billion, while the P50 billion will come from the National Government.
The bill also prohibits government pension funds and insurers from contributing seed capital to the MIF. These include the Government Service Insurance System, Social Security System, and the Philippine Health Insurance Corp.
The fund has raised concerns that the NG will not be able to fund social services after it accumulated P14.1 trillion worth of outstanding debt as of the end of May.
NG debt is expected to hit P15.84 trillion in 2024, the Department of Budget and Management said last week.
The Maharlika Investment Corp., which will operate the fund, is expected to be fully operational by the end of 2024. — Beatriz Marie D. Cruz