Outsider appointed as 4th BSP deputy governor

Published February 23, 2021, 6:00 AM

by Lee C. Chipongian

The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) will formally announce on Wednesday that financial digitalization and e-money expert, Mamerto E. Tangonan, a BSP outsider, is its new deputy governor.

 Tangonan, currently chief of party of the e-peso project of US Agency for International Development (USAID), will replace senior assistant governor Dahlia D. Luna, as head of the BSP’s Currency Management Sector and the Security Plant Complex (SPC) in Quezon City where the country’s banknotes are printed, and coins and gold are minted and refined.

Mamerto E. Tangonan (Photo credit: https://www.amchamphilippines.com)

 Tangonan’s work with USAID/E-Peso Activity in part supported and helped the BSP in pushing for the digitalization of financial services and the pursuit of e-payments. The BSP has a goal of covering 50 percent of all payments transactions to go digital or as e-payments by end-2022 at the soonest.

 Luna has recently left BSP, having reached the retirement age of 60 years old last month. It was under her watch when the BSP increased its banknotes printing capability from two billion pieces per year to four billion, and significantly reducing the outsourcing of banknotes. She also inherited the SPC’s 10-year modernization and expansion program. In 2019, the SPC completed the construction of a P2 billion minting plant.

 Before being recruited by former BSP Governor Amando M. Tetangco Jr. to SPC, Luna was with the Philippine Economic Zone Authority.

 The BSP Charter when it was amended two years ago expanded the list of deputy governors, from three up to a maximum of five. The revised central bank law was signed in February 2019 by President Duterte after more than 20 years of revisions and being wait-listed by both Lower House and the Senate.

 There are currently three BSP deputy governors: Francisco G. Dakila Jr., in charge of the Monetary and Economics Sector; Chuchi G. Fonacier of the Financial Supervision Sector; and Maria Almasara Cyd Tuaño-Amador of Corporate Services Sector.

 A fourth sector, the Currency Management Sector, was headed by Luna as a senior assistant governor.

 The BSP has recently reorganized its payments and currency management operations as the new Payments and Currency Management Sector or PCMS for the “safety and integrity of the Philippine currency”.