Economist and food security expert is new Monetary Board member

Published June 7, 2018, 12:00 AM

by manilabulletin_admin

By Lee C. Chipongian

The central bank’s Monetary Board, the policy-making arm of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), will soon welcome former Department of Agriculture (DA) undersecretary Victor Bruce J. Tolentino as newest member, according to sources.

Sources said Tolentino, who served under finance chief Carlos “Sonny” Dominguez III when the latter was DA secretary during the time of President Cory Aquino, has been appointed to the Monetary Board.

Victor Bruce J. Tolentino
Victor Bruce J. Tolentino

He will cover the term vacated by Valentin A. Araneta who passed away last February 21.

The yet-to-be sworn in Tolentino, an economist, will be the go-to guy in the Monetary Board for all agri-related and food security issues.

Currently he is deputy director-general of the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) in Los Baños until end-June. He was supposed to assume the position of IRRI Representative of the Philippines in July.

The IRRI website said Bruce has served as IRRI’s Deputy Director General (Communication and Partnerships), since 2012, returning to IRRI after an earlier stint as Research Associate in the Social Science Division in 1980-81. He is also the elected Secretary to the IRRI Board of Trustees. Bruce leads several key areas of IRRI programming: Fund-raising, communication, and partnerships with donors, international and regional organizations, national governments, and agriculture-related ministries and agencies. He also oversees IRRI’s legal services.

Bruce earned a Ph.D. in Economics at the University of Hawaii and the East West Center, and a Master’s in Economics at Xavier University in the Philippines. He served as undersecretary of agriculture from 1986-1993.

With more than 35 years of progressive experience in governance, management, analysis, and planning socio-economic development reforms and initiatives, Bruce has successful projects with NGOs and government agencies in Asia, Africa, and Central America under his belt. He has served as a consultant on development issues for the Philippine Government (both executive and legislative branches) and international policy research and donor agencies, including CGIAR institutions and various UN agencies, the World Bank Group, and ADB.

Bruce has extensive field experience in top management of large-scale, governance, rural, agricultural, and agro-enterprise development programs. His experience includes working under difficult conditions, including civil war and cross-cultural/religious contexts. (Photo from