VERA FILES FACT CHECK: Maharlika Fund NOT for PH debt repayment


Five days after President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. signed the Maharlika Investment Fund (MIF) Act on July 18, two YouTube videos falsely claimed that the Philippines had been cleared of all its standing debt because of the new law. This is not true. 

The implementing rules and regulations (IRR) of the new law have yet to be finalized but the Fund is designed to serve as a source of investment capital, and not to pay off the country’s debt.

Uploaded on July 23, a 16-minute video carried the misleading headline:

GRABE to! BUONG PILIPINAS UMIYAK PRES MARCOS BURADO na UTANG ng PILIPINAS MEDIA at DlLAWAN NGA-NGA. (This is amazing! The entire Philippines cried. President Marcos cleared all of the Philippines’ debt. The media and the yellows were humiliated.)”

The thumbnail also bore the caption, “SA WAKAS BURADO NA UTANG NG PILIPINAS PIRMADO NA GOODNEWS! (Finally the Philippines is free of its debt. It’s signed, good news!)” along with a photo of Marcos holding a document and an image of former President Rodrigo Duterte wiping his eyes.

The MIF or the Philippines’ first sovereign wealth fund established via the newly signed Republic Act No. 11954, “is designed to catalyze economic development and accelerate the country’s growth by optimizing the use of government financial assets and promoting their intergenerational management,” according to the Department of Finance. There is nothing in the law that says it will be used to free the country from all its debt, as the video claimed. 

The video began with three spliced clips from a July 19 Bombo Radyo Philippines report, followed by a video of Marcos’ speech which he delivered after signing the law. 

In his speech, the president claimed that the country’s first-ever sovereign wealth fund would help the government in funding projects and attracting investments without incurring additional debt. 

According to a Bureau of Treasury report, the Philippines’ outstanding debt amounted to P14.15 trillion as of end-June.  

The erroneous videos, originally posted by Philippines Trending News and reuploaded by WANGBUDISS TV on July 25, had so far amassed 79,476 views. Netizens also shared the link on Facebook.


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(Editor’s Note: VERA Files has partnered with Facebook to fight the spread of disinformation. Find out more about this partnership and our methodology.)