Press Statement 
07 December 2022

Migrante International joins the broad array of Filipino individuals and organizations voicing out their opposition to the Bongbong Marcos regime’s Maharlika Wealth Fund scheme. 

We are calling on all Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs), migrant Filipinos, Migrante-International chapters, migrant Filipino organizations and all Filipinos to hold various forms of protests against this grand scheme of plunder that the Marcos regime is hellbent on approving and implementing.

The Maharlika Wealth Fund scheme is both illegal and unjust. The bill creating it should immediately be junked. The reasons are clear and solid:

>> It will use funds from the pocket of workers, employees, OFWs and other Filipinos for purposes that will not directly grow those funds and may even jeopardize these. It will use private funds for public purposes without proper compensation and is therefore illegal and unjust.

>> The idea is contrary to how sovereign funds in other countries are sourced — from excess earnings of the government, not from working people’s funds. 

>> It will take away funds from programs that provide direct services to ordinary Filipinos — from pensions in the SSS and GSIS to loans for small businesses and social services in the yearly national budget.

>> The body that will be in charge of the funds lack sufficient oversight, does not have worker representation, and is patently centralized and unaccountable, leaving the door open to large-scale corruption and plunder.

>> In the concrete, the funds will be placed under the control of the country’s current rulers, who are known for corruption, plunder and cronyism as well as shameless self-serving appointments and decisions.

>> The bill creating the fund is being pushed by the relatives of the president and reeks of Marcos nostalgia and rehabilitation — proof of the extremely narrow interests and self-serving justifications behind it.

>> Other measures, not the Maharlika Fund scheme, should be prioritized by the government: from immediate response to high inflation and unemployment to limiting the country’s deficit and debt. Economists and scholars even question the soundness of the idea of creating a sovereign fund.

The economic crisis of neocolonial, agricultural, service-oriented and pre-industrial Philippines has again reached a point where the ruling regime and elites are scheming to control and plunder OFW and working people’s funds. They are losing sources of loot and are again looking at OFWs’ and working people’s funds. 

The Maharlika Fund scheme brings to mind Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s use of OFW funds under the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration or OWWA to finance her 2004 presidential election. She is noticeably at the forefront of efforts to railroad the Maharlika Fund scheme, working for the narrow self-interest of the elite faction of her allies and co-conspirators.

The Marcos regime is engineering large-scale plunder. Despite wide and loud opposition, it remains hellbent on pushing for the Maharlika Fund scheme. It leaves OFWs, overseas Filipinos and all Filipinos no other option but to raise our voice in opposition and hold protests. We simply cannot let the Maharlika Fund scheme, detrimental to our interests, push through.