Not once but twice

Fil C. Sionil Fil C. Sionil

In this competitive environment, businesses spend millions of pesos to craft artistic and innovative ways to draw customers into their fold. It could be in the form of a catchphrase, distinct attractive colors and/or engaging a well-known personality as brand endorser.

For banks, it’s almost always a catchphrase, which make them distinct and a cut above the rest.

This was not quite so for Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Governor Benjamin “BED” E. Diokno. He was the inducting officer and the guest speaker at the oath-taking of the new batch of officers of the Economic Journalists Association of the Philippines (EJAP) held last Thursday at The Anvil, South Tower BDO Corporate Center. The Anvil is EJAP’s favorite place to hold this annual event, largely due to its location and, of course, because of BDO’s unwavering support to the organization. As BDO President and Chief Executive Officer Nestor “NVT” V. Tan said, in his welcome remarks: “Mi casa es su casa.”

The EJAP members were all ears as Gov. BED walked through the journey of the country’s growth path in the last eight years. “As it stands today, the Philippine economy appears poised to sustain its trend of 84 quarters of uninterrupted growth despite increased global uncertainties.” He said the main headwind confronting the world economy right now is the debilitating effect of COVID-19, which has spread in six of the seven continents except Antartica.
His comforting words, though, brought NVT’s “casa” down as Gov. BED assured: “You’re in good hands.” The ever gentleman that he is, NVT remained stoic.
Gov. BED took a momentary, pregnant pause, as if pondering on the crowd’s reaction. As he went on assuring that the “country has remained one of the fastest-growing economies not just in Asia, but in the world. And for the second time, he used the catchphrase “You’re in good hands!”

The EJAP members reacted boisterously: “Oh, oh… wrong bank! It should have been “We find ways.” Without uttering a word, NVT merely smiled. “We find ways” is the mantra of BDO while “You’re in good hands” is associated with MetroBank.

Gov. BED received another beating. At the launching of CORE, Monday four books about issues that materially impact the country’s pursuit of inclusive economic growth, he was pinched by Socio-economic Secretary Ernesto M. Pernia and Education Secretary (DEpEd) Leonor “Liling” M. Briones.

Ms. Liling wrote the foreword of “Holdap, the truth about Pork,” where the former Budget and Management secretary shared her experiences as a leading critic of the system that allocates budget for distribution by legislators that was struck down by the Supreme Court in 2013. Both have-long-standing relationship in the academe. In fact, Ms. Liling was one of the masteral professors of Gov. BED. In her remarks, she described the governor back then as “good looking with lots of hair,” and stopped short of saying he was a “ladies’ man.”

Not to be outdone, Mr. Pernia, another colleague at the state university, said Gov. BED was a member of the official cabinet known for the catchphrase “Build, Build, Build.” He went on to stay that now that he chairs the Monetary Board, his battlecry is “Cut, Cut, Cut!” I am not pretty sure if it’s just me, but, the manner by which Mr. Pernia delivered the catchphrase, I could sense it was imbued with color green. But it solicited laughter from the guests.

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