President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. has certified as urgent the Senate’s version of the controversial Maharlika Investment Fund (MIF) bill.
Marcos cited “the downgrade of the global growth projection this year on account of debilitating inflation, fluctuating and unstable prices of crude oil and other fuels due to the protracted conflict between Ukraine and Russia, and continuing interest rate hikes in the international financial sector” in justifying his certification of Senate Bill 2020 as urgent.
“There is a compelling need for a sustainable national investment fund as a new growth catalyst to accelerate the implementation of strategic and high-impact large infrastructure projects that will stimulate activity and development,” he said in a letter to the Senate dated May 22, 2023.
When a bill is certified urgent, it can be approved on the same day for both the second and third readings, bypassing the usual three-day waiting period as mandated by the 1987 Constitution.
Following this development, Senate President Migz Zubiri said the upper house is expected to approve the MIF measure on its third and final reading before the sine die adjournment of the 19th Congress’ first regular session.
To recall, Marcos also certified as urgent the proposed MIF bill at the House of Representatives in December last year.
Progressive lawmakers challenged before the Supreme Court the presidential certification as urgent of the MIF bill in the lower chamber. The high court, however, dismissed the petition for being “premature.”
Thumbnail photo made via Canva