MANILA, Philippines — President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. on Tuesday signed the controversial Maharlika Investment Fund or M.I.F. bill into law.
Mr. Marcos signed the bill at the Kalayaan Hall of the Malacañang Palace, with members from both the Senate and the House of Representatives in attendance.
The bill had drawn widespread criticism due to possible pitfalls of investments. Senate Minority Leader Aquilino Pimentel III had called for the President to veto the measure.
According to Mr. Pimentel, the law would divert resources that could be used to solve immediate issues such as education and healthcare gaps.
Senator Francis Escudero had described the bill as a leap into the unknown.
Mr. Marcos has certified the bill as urgent for both chambers of Congress. The controversial bill breezed through the legislative branch with an overwhelming majority in both chambers. In the House of Representatives, the measure garnered 279 yes votes while the bill got 19 votes in the Senate.
Only seven lawmakers voted against the Maharlika Investment Fund, namely Sen. Risa Hontiveros in the Senate and Representatives France Castro, Raoul Manuel, Arlene Brosas, Edcel Lagman, Mujiv Hataman, and Gabriel Bordado in the House of Representatives.
Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri on Tuesday said Filipinos may not immediately feel the benefits of the bill.
Mr. Zubiri said that under the measure, the MIF would solely fund projects, more jobs, and create economic growth “without a single loan” by the Philippines from any financial institution.