Published March 5, 2021, 6:00 AM

by Fil C. Sionil

The wait is over. After two weeks, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) officially announced the appointment of former USAID chief of Party-E-Peso activity Mamerto “Mert” Tangonan as its fourth deputy governor in charge of the  payments and currency management sector.   Under his supervision is the Security Plant Complex (SPC).

 What happens to Senior Assistant Governor Dahlia “Gen. Luna” Luna? According to my muted sources, “the general made good her declaration that ‘if I don’t get it, I will tender my optional retirement.’

The general has already ended her reign at the SPC. There’s no passing in and review but she bade goodbye to her troops. “She tendered her optional retirement. She said her goodbyes the same day your prologue came out,” my  source told me.

Good luck and Godspeed, Ms. Dahlia. And welcome to BSP, Depgov Mert.

 Jitters and apprehension fill the air of the BSP corridor due to the on-going re-organization. The queue to the retirement window, either early or optional, is getting long. Most of them are in senior and/or second-tier management positions and have been working with the BSP for the over three decades.

 Right now, most of the prospective retirees are calculating their monthly pension from the Government Service Insurance System and the cash benefit from their Provident Fund. Those with long services are well ahead because the amount is based on their contributions.  The mantra is: It’s better to retire and enjoy the retirement benefits. It’s worry and stress free. But, of course, they will be missing out on their medical benefit. BSP has the best medical benefit package among the government financial institutions.

BSPers upon retirement have their pockets full, especially with the Provident Fund. One senior official who retired after 48 years in service received a “mid-eight figures” cash benefit from Provident Fund.

This official,  is the biggest and the highest recipient because of his long service to date.

Speaking of retirement, I’ve received several interesting queries regarding my “Return” piece that came

out two Fridays ago. Just to make it clear, there was no mention whatsoever about former BSP Gov. Say Tetangco as a shoo-in to be the next chairman of Philippine National Bank (PNB). It was about him being one of the prospective candidates. 

It seems most of those who read my piece focused on this issue. I must admit that the possibility of the former Gov. Say becoming PNB chair is not altogether farfetched. But as a chronicler, the most significant issue in my piece was the expiration of the two-year prohibition, which reactors obviously glossed over. With his credentials, it’s safe to assume that head hunters are already in line offering to engage his services in banking related businesses. 

Relative to this,  there’s a new development regarding the retirement of PNB chairman Florencia “Flor” Tarriela. Heard from the banking corridor that the bank’s management is requesting her service extension. PNB is testing the waters here. This will be a litmus test on the possibility to stretch the period of service of an independent director.

Further on the retirement issue, it has been almost two years that Jimmy “JJB” Bautista bade his goodbye as president and chief operating officer of Philippine Airlines (PAL).

Looking back, his departure from the flag carrier was ”very timely.” Several months after,  economic activities  ground to a halt because of the pandemic. Hurt most was the tourism sector as travel has been banned, which trickled down to the operations of the airline industry. Again, as a chronicler, If Mr. JJB is still with PAL, it would be a deja vu for him, as it would be the second time around that he would be on top in the filling of the Chapter 11. He fully agreed with me. “Yes, I’ve seen it happen. I filed and successfully got out the approval of the creditors (including foreign lenders).”

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