Manila – Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has tapped Deputy Governor Nestor Espenilla to head the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), Finance Secretary Sonny Dominguez said on May 8.
The appointment signals continuity in monetary policy at a time when the Philippines is poised to lead economic growth in Southeast Asia. Espenilla will take over as governor from Amando Tetangco, who is credited with keeping inflation under control and the peso broadly stable during his 12-year term.
Espenilla, 58, has served as deputy central bank governor in charge of banking supervision since 2005. He joined the central bank more than 35 years ago, shortly after graduating magna cum laude in business economics from the University of the Philippines. He also has a Master of Business Administration degree from the University of the Philippines, and a Master of Science in policy science from the Graduate Institute of Policy Science (GRIPS) in Tokyo, Japan.
Espenilla has driven many of the central bank s recent reforms, including raising minimum capital requirements, improving financial transparency, and overhauling mismanaged banks. Economists had expressed concern that a BSP outsider as governor was more likely to raise interest rates faster compared to someone from the organization. Duterte s PDP-Laban party had recommended EastWest Bank President Antonio Moncupa.
Former President Gloria Arroyo, now a Pampanga congresswoman, was also rumored to have been considered for the post. The US Federal Reserve raised interest rates earlier this year and is expected to increase rates twice more this year, putting pressure on emerging markets to match the adjustment. ABS-CBN News.