Diokno expects return to Monetary Board

Published May 29, 2022, 8:00 PM

by Chino S. Leyco

Incoming Finance Secretary Benjamin E. Diokno said he expects to be the government representative to the Monetary Board, the highest policy-making body of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP).

Diokno is the current BSP governor, but his term will be cut short after he was named by President-elect Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. to be his chief economic manger as secretary of the Department of Finance (DOF).

Diokno took over as central bank chief in March 2019, when the post was vacated by late Governor Nestor Espenilla Jr., who succumbed to cancer. The outgoing BSP governor was supposed to serve until July 2023.

Diokno, who is BSP’s fifth governor, will be succeeded by Monetary Board Member Felipe M. Medalla who will serve the remaining 12 months left in the term.

“I expect that I will be the [government] representative from what I understand, to make it really more effective the coordination between the fiscal and monetary [authorities],” Diokno said in an interview.

Chaired by the BSP governor, the Monetary Board is composed of seven members, who are in charge of setting monetary and banking policies in the country, including the setting of interest rates that serve as benchmark for charging of bank loans.

Under the rules, the Monetary Board members should be the central bank governor, a member of the Cabinet, and five others who shall come from the private sector.

Diokno will rejoin his former colleagues in the Monetary Board, which includes Medalla, Antonio S. Abacan, Jr.; V. Bruce J. Tolentino; Peter B. Favila; and Anita Linda Aquino.

Before he was appointed as BSP governor, Diokno was President Duterte’s Department of Budget and Management secretary.

Diokno was named the 2022 Global Central Banker of the Year by London-based publication The Banker.

He is also Professor Emeritus of the University of the Philippines-Diliman.

Over more than 40 years, he taught the following courses: Public Sector Economics, Microeconomics, Macroeconomics, Development Economics, and Special Topics.

He was also Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila (City University of Manila).

He served as Fiscal Adviser to the Philippine Senate. He also served as Chairman and CEO of the Philippine National Oil Company and Chairman of the Local Water Utilities Administration.