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Philippines Updates Rules for Maharlika Investment Corp. Board Appointments

Manila – The implementing rules and regulations (IRR) of Republic Act (RA) 11954 have been revised, introducing significant amendments concerning the appointment of the Board of Directors of the Maharlika Investment Corp. (MIC).

According to Philippines News Agency, these changes are part of efforts to ensure transparency and accountability in the operation of the sovereign wealth fund.

Under the revised IRR, the composition of the MIC Board remains the same with nine members, including the Secretary of Finance as the chairperson in an ex officio capacity and the MIC president and chief executive officer (CEO) as vice chairperson. The Board will also include the presidents and CEOs of the Land Bank of the Philippines and the Development Bank of the Philippines, two regular directors, and three independent directors from the private sector. A notable change in the IRR is the procedure for filling board vacancies. The Advisory Board is now required to submit a list of nominees for vacant regular and independent director, and PCEO positions to the Office of the President within 30 days of their vacancy. Furthermore, the President has the authority to accept or reject recommendations from the Advisory Body and may request additional nominee names.

Nominations and applications that fulfill all qualifications and lack any disqualifications will be forwarded to the Advisory Body for further evaluation and shortlisting. This process culminates with the Advisory Body submitting a list of nominees for the PCEO, regular, and independent directors to the Office of the President within 30 days of receiving the qualified candidates from the Ad Hoc Technical Unit.

President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. had earlier directed the deferment of the IRR’s implementation for further review to ensure proper safeguards. Communication Secretary Cheloy Garafil stated that the President’s directive aims to grant the MIC Board independence in managing the Maharlika Investment Fund (MIF), emphasizing the need for the fund to be free from undue political interference. This move is seen as a step towards promoting good corporate governance within the MIC.

The officials responsible for reviewing the MIF law’s IRR met on Monday to finalize the regulations. Following the issuance of the revised IRR, the corporate structure of the MIF will be established to begin its operations, with a focus on ensuring transparency and accountability in its organizational framework. Garafil highlighted that the President instructed to reinforce the Board’s powers, including aspects such as the deposit of government contributions, creation of corporate officers, additional qualifications or disqualifications for directors, and the establishment of committees and their functions. President Marcos has expressed his intent for the MIF to be operational before the end of the year.