By Lee Chipongian
The Japanese government has recognized former Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Governor Amando M. Tetangco Jr. with The Order of the Rising Sun as the BSP’s third governor.
A statement Monday said Tetangco was conferred the Gold and Silver Star “in recognition of his contribution to strengthening the relations between Japan and the Philippines in the financial sector.”
The multi-awarded and several times global banker Tetangco served two terms as central bank chief or 12 years, and retired on July 3, 2017. He was succeeded by Nestor A. Espenilla Jr., a former deputy governor, who passed away earlier this year after a long illness. Former budget secretary, Benjamin E. Diokno, is currently the BSP’s fifth governor.
The Japanese government cited Tetangco for taking the lead in drafting the law that further opened up the domestic banking system to foreign bank entry in 2014, after he “strongly persuaded Congress on the need for the liberalization of entry of foreign banks”.
When the foreign bank entry law was amended for wider coverage, more than a few Japanese banks opted to locate in the country, “improving the environment for Japanese companies to operate and expand their businesses in the Philippines.”
The number of local commercial banks increased from 36 to 45 in the last five years with the expanded foreign bank entry law. Twelve foreign banks have since applied and were approved by the BSP to locate here, of which three are Japanese banks, namely Mizuho Bank Ltd., MUFG Bank and Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp.