“To the executive, we will hold you to your commitment that safeguards will be followed and fully enforced. Hindi dapat masasayang ang pondo ng bayan. Pangalagaan at siguruhin na walang mawawala sa korapsyon o misuse of funds,” reminded Senator Christopher “Bong” Go after Senate Bill No. 2020 creating the Maharlika Investment Fund was approved by the Senate on its third and final reading on early morning of Wednesday, May 31.
In the explanation of his vote which was inserted into the records after the Senate voted on the measure, Go, vice chair of the Senate Committee on Finance, stressed that the legislative branch will sternly monitor the implementation of the measure should it be enacted into law, highlighting Congress’ oversight to ensure that public funds used and the welfare of the people, in general, are protected and upheld.
“Babantayan po namin ito. And just a reminder that any law can be amended or repealed when necessary. We will exercise to the fullest extent our oversight to ensure that the welfare and future of Filipinos are upheld and protected,” he said.
While recognizing the need to explore investment opportunities for the national government to generate additional resources to fund the post-COVID-19 economic recovery, Go asserts that the government must be prudent and careful in utilizing limited resources.
“The intention of the proposed measure, that is to ensure that our country will attain economic transformation, growth, and sustainability, is noble. Lahat naman po tayo gustong tuluyang maka-recover ang ekonomiya,” he said.
“However, government resources are limited, lalo na ngayon bawat piso, bawat sentimo ay napakahalaga. That is why I commend the good sponsor for ensuring that safeguards are in place to protect the funds of the Filipino people,” he said, commending Sen. Mark Villar who sponsored the measure.
Go gave his support to the said measure, cognizant of the capability of the Executive to fully implement the law as intended. He also reminded that Congress is giving its trust to the Executive but will not shy away from its oversight powers just to safeguard the interest of the Filipino people.
“Given this, I give my conditional support to this measure knowing that this went through scrutiny by the collective wisdom of the whole legislative body and with utmost trust and respect in the capability of the executive to implement this as intended,” he said.
The bill was approved after an 11-hour session few days after President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, Jr. certified it as urgent, thereby allowing Senate to pass the same measure on second and third reading at the same day. The House of Representatives passed its own version in December of last year.
A bicameral conference was held on Wednesday, May 31, to reconcile the two versions. Upon adoption, the bill can be transmitted to the President for his approval.
In previous interviews, Go asserted the need to have credible, competent and trustworthy fund managers.
“Kailangan competent, trustworthy, at saka talagang maaasahan mo na walang pondong masayang dito… Unahin natin palagi ang interes ng bansa at kung ano makakabuti sa mga Pilipino, lalo na sa mga mahihirap,” he stressed earlier.