The country needs to ensure that its bounty of offshore wealth benefits the people, not just a privileged elite.
The Filipino tycoon Dennis Uy, a top donor of President Rodrigo Duterte’s campaign and his family friend from childhood, earlier this year acquired almost half of the non-operating interest in the Malampaya gas fields, a strategic asset supplying 30 percent of the Philippines’ electricity.
The acquisition is one of many businesses purchased and government contracts clinched by Uy under Duterte’s presidency.
Uy’s rapidly growing fortune contrasts with the apparent lack of a concrete plan to ensure that the country’s considerable offshore natural resource wealth improves the lives of the masses of the Filipino people, rather than just accruing to a privileged elite.
The impending development of the Benham Rise, a vast underwater area rich in minerals that the United Nations determined in 2012 to be part of the Philippines, underscores the need for a comprehensive vision for managing and redistributing such wealth.
In countries as diverse as Norway and East Timor, revenues from natural resources are managed and invested by the state via sovereign wealth funds intended for the benefit of current and future citizens.
For the rest of this article: https://thediplomat.com/2020/10/why-the-philippines-needs-to-establish-a-sovereign-wealth-fund/