Maharlika fund draws OFW, migrant opposition

Media Release
08 June 2023

As the Maharlika Investment Fund bill is transmitted to Malacañang for President Bongbong Marcos’ signature, Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) and migrant Filipinos released a statement of unity calling for the bill’s immediate junking.

Citing the bill’s numerous “red flags” such the lack of clarity about its nature, sources, feasibility, and direction, more than 100 OFW and migrant Filipino organizations in Hong Kong, the Middle East, Korea, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, the US, and Europe — as well as individual Filipino community leaders — signed the statement titled “OFWs and Migrant Filipinos demand: Junk Maharlika Investment Fund Scheme now!”

Migrante-International, one of the statement’s lead initiators, said the statement has been circulated for signatories for less than a week, and vowed to continue bringing it to more OFW and migrant Filipino organizations that can sign it. 

“This statement shows that like most Filipinos in the Philippines, OFWs and migrant Filipinos are speaking out against the Marcos government’s Maharlika Investment Fund scam. It has become increasingly clear that it will steal precious funds from workers, OFWs and the people and will squander these in economically fruitless endeavors, if not outright corruption and plunder,” said Joanna Concepcion, Migrante-International chairperson.

“We have been following this issue closely and no explanation about the fund’s nature, sources, feasibility and purpose can assuage our fears. In trademark dictatorial fashion, the Marcos regime is brazenly ignoring widespread opposition and is shoving down its misguided and narrow idea of people’s interest down the people’s throats,” Concepcion added.

Aside from various criticisms of the Maharlika Investment Fund, the signatories questioned the government’s thrust of promoting infrastructure spending as a way to pump-prime the economy. 

“Infrastructure financing as a way to pump-prime the economy has been the strategy of many governments, but the country remains underdeveloped and infrastructure remains poor. Infrastructure projects create temporary precarious jobs while infrastructure funds have always been marred with corruption,” the signatories said.###