Microeconomist Felipe M. Medalla officially becomes the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas’ (BSP) sixth governor.
He took his oath of office on June 30 in Malacanang, after the inauguration of President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr., with other cabinet and high-ranking officials of the new administration.
Medalla has been a member of the BSP’s policy-making body, the Monetary Board, since 2011 after being appointed by the late President Benigno Aquino III. He’s a two-term Monetary Board member after his reappointment in 2016 by President Rodrigo Duterte.
As BSP chief, he will serve the last remaining year of former governor Benjamin E. Diokno who was unexpectedly appointed finance secretary by then President-elect Marcos last May.
Medalla and Diokno are long-time collagues from the University of the Philippines-School of Economics (UPSE). Medalla was professor in economics and UPSE dean before he was recruited by fomer President Joseph Estrada in 1998 as Socioeconomic Planning Secretary and Director General of the National Economic Development Authority.
Diokno expressed confidence in his successor’s central banking expertise. He noted Medalla’s “remarkable professional record” that “makes him a perfect fit for a central bank governor amid challenging times.”
“With him at the helm of the BSP and I at the Department of Finance, we wish to continue working well with the media so that the Filipino people are kept informed of vital policies, programs, and developments,” said Diokno.
Medalla has already started the ball rolling as BSP’s sixth governor. He has said earlier that BSP “has very clear mandates” and that he is prepared to complete the projects started by two former governors, the late Nestor A. Espenilla Jr. and Diokno.
Diokno, the Duterte administration’s former budget secretary, was appointed on March 2019 to fulfill the six-year term of the late Espenilla who was the BSP’s fourth governor.
Espenilla only served two of his six-year term after succumbing to cancer on Feb. 23, 2019. Diokno was appointed in March of that year to serve the remaining four years which was supposed to end on July 3, 2023. Diokno was governor for three years while Medalla will complete the sixth year of a six-year term.
Based on his profile on the BSP website, Medalla is a “noted economist and educator whose career spans more than four decades and the administration of four presidents.”
Medalla earned his Ph.D. in Economics from Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois and has an M.A. in Economics from the UP. He graduated cum laude from De La Salle University with a Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science in Commerce (Economics-Accounting) degree.