THE Maharlika Investment Corp. (MIC) is keen on investing in four identified sectors, including tourism infrastructure that involves airports, through various mechanisms like public-private partnerships, its newly-appointed President and CEO (PCEO) said.
MIC PCEO Rafael D. Consing Jr. on Wednesday outlined the “four pillars” of the state-run agency’s investment plans: tourism infrastructure, agro-urbanism, energy security and digital infrastructure.
The MIC will oversee the investment of the country’s Maharlika Investment Fund (MIF), which Consing pointed out is a sovereign national development fund (SNDF) and not a sovereign wealth fund.
In terms of tourism infrastructure, the MIC executive explained that the state firm is interested in investing in physical connectivity projects, particularly in airports.
Consing pointed out that there are currently four airport projects, which are under public-private partnership (PPP) scheme, which the MIC can venture into. These airports are the New Manila international Airport in Bulacan, the NAIA rehabilitation, Laoag Airport and Laguindingan Airport.
Consing said in a press conference last Wednesday there are 197 flagship infrastructure projects approved by the National Economic and Development Authority. Of these, about 122 are in physical connectivity like airports, bridges, and roads, he added.
“About 38 fall under PPP, hence we are looking at those list and looking at the opportunities within that list for us to choose one of those projects and see how we be able to roll out the first part of investments,” the MIC executive said.
Consing, who is yet to take his oath of office, explained that modernizing the country’s infrastructure, including airports, are key in “propelling” the Philippines “to the forefront of the global tourism landscape.”
“When we talk about tourism infrastructure, what we want to be able to do is to reintroduce the tourism proposition of the Philippines. The main objective is to get tourists… the soonest possible time,” he said.
The MIC will also make investments in agro-urbanism with the goal of contributing to the Marcos administration’s target of improving and ensuring the country’s food security.
“The MIF will foster a harmonious blend of agriculture and urban development, creating an ecosystem of local food production, processing, and consumption. This will involve establishing agro-industrial clusters, promoting peri-urban agriculture, and investing in sustainable farming practices,” Consing said.
The MIC executive added that they envision the MIC to be at the forefront of transitioning the country toward sustainable energy solutions. The MIC is expected to invest in renewable energy sources, such as solar, wind, and geothermal power, developing energy storage solutions, and implementing smart grid technologies.
Lastly, Consing said investing in digital infrastructure is also a priority for MIC as it aims to “bridge” the so-called “digital divide” nationwide. The prospective investments of MIC in this sector are in the areas of broadband network expansion, digital literacy promotion and technology sector innovation.
“Through these strategic investments, the MIF will transform the Philippines into a thriving hub of tourism, agriculture, energy, and digital innovation, driving economic prosperity, social progress, and environmental sustainability for generations to come,” he said.
Consing, who is considered as “employee number one” of the MIC, disclosed that he targets to form government-owned and -controlled corporation’s management within the next 30 days to 60 days.
“I intend to do that over the next 60 days. There are quite a number of [curriculum vitae] already, whether from linked in or via email. I’ll go sift through those and see who we can hire,” he said.
Consing said the MIC’s operating principles would revolve around organizing a world-class professional management, instilling rigor, and transparent governance. The hiring of the MIC’s staff would be based on integrity, intelligence and initiative, he emphasized.
“This means that the MIC will recruit and retain highly qualified and experienced professionals who are committed to ethical and transparent business practices,” Consing said.