Thursday, June 13, 2024

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FIRING LINE: A good president will veto MIF

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By Robert B. Roque, Jr.

The hasty passage of the Maharlika Investment Fund bill would be a grave mistake, and President Marcos should exercise his veto power to prevent its implementation. That might be wishful thinking by Senate Minority Leader Koko Pimentel and might as well be snubbed by the Chief Executive for political reasons.

But there’s more: nearly two dozen professors from the UP School of Economics, well-respected experts in their field, have raised legitimate concerns about the bill’s violation of fundamental principles of economics and finance. It would be unwise to dismiss their warnings.

Of course, the bill’s proponents paint a rosy picture of economic growth and development, throw in some vague statements as “aligning with the administration’s Medium-Term Fiscal Framework and socio-economic agenda” or emphasize that all the “safeguards are put in place” to mitigate the risks.

Still, it is also incumbent on the President to critically analyze the risks and flaws lurking beneath the surface. Rushing through legislation without thorough scrutiny opens the door for potential loopholes and exposes the public sector and the economy to unnecessary risks. And so is signing off on the bill.

As for timing, financial markets are inherently volatile, and investing in high-impact, long-term projects is not foolproof. The potential risks to the economy and the public sector should not be underestimated, no matter how well-intentioned the bill’s proponents may be. That’s why it takes a good president to veto this bill.

 Fake friendship stickers

The Las Piñas City government is not only battling traffic congestion these days but also the audacity of sticker counterfeiters. Con artists have taken to social media, peddling fake friendship route stickers like rare collectibles.

It’s a shameless attempt to deceive motorists seeking relief from chaotic roads. In as much as this goes out as a warning to city motorists, it also appeals to the conscience of those who know exactly what they’re purchasing and buy into a fake deal, anyway.

 I pity Las Piñas for having one of the worst traffic situations — a result, perhaps, of too many houses with too many people and too many cars for too few roads to share. I could only imagine what a frustration that is for the Villars, the wealthiest real estate developers in the country and true-blue residents of the city.

They can laugh their way to the bank every day from selling houses, but it would take them longer to sit in the car to get there.

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SHORTBURSTS. For comments or reactions, email or tweet @Side_View. Read current and past issues of this column at

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