2 Monetary Board members named

Published July 28, 2020, 3:01 PM

by Lee C. Chipongian

The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) has a new Monetary Board member, Anita Linda R. Aquino, and a reappointed Bruce J. Tolentino for a fresh six years after he was named Monetary Board member in 2018.

In a statement Tuesday, the BSP said Tolentino and Aquino were handpicked by President Duterte to become “full-time private sector representatives to the seven-member Monetary Board, the highest policy making-body of the BSP.”

 “The BSP welcomes their appointment and looks forward to their contribution in the fulfillment of the BSP mandates,” the BSP said.

 The Monetary Board is chaired by BSP Governor Benjamin E. Diokno, himself appointed by Duterte in March last year. Diokno will serve the unexpired term of the late BSP chief Nestor A. Espenilla Jr., or the remaining four of a six-year term or until July 2023.

 Tolentino was first appointed on June 18, 2018 and similar to Diokno, he joined the BSP to serve the remaining two years in the term of the late Valentin A. Araneta.

 Tolentino’s reappointment is his last because based on the BSP Charter, a Monetary Board member including the BSP governor will only be reappointed once. Monetary Board members — who serve six-year terms — are appointed by the president of the Philippines.

 Before he was Monetary Board member, economist Tolentino, also the agricultural sector and food security expert in the Monetary Board, was the Deputy Director General of the International Rice Research Institute. He was also Chief Economist and Country Representative at The Asia Foundation, Senior Technical Adviser at the Agriculture and Natural Resources of the Catholic Relief Services, and Senior Economic Policy Adviser at the Asian Development Bank, according to the BSP.

 As for Aquino, she was a familiar face at the Department of Finance as the Chief of Staff of Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III. In 2017, she was appointed as one of the Board of Directors of the Philippine Deposit Insurance Corporation (PDIC) and represented the PDIC as board adviser to a government-controlled bank.

 Aquino’s slot in the Monetary Board was vacated by Juan D. de Zuñiga Jr., a former general counsel and then Deputy Governor of the central bank.  The rest of the Monetary Board members, besides Diokno, Tolentino and incoming Aquino, are Dominguez, Felipe M. Medalla, Peter B. Favila, and Antonio S. Abacan Jr.