“A strong and stable economy is made more meaningful only if it includes everyone,” Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Governor Nestor A. Espenilla, Jr. boldly declared at a reception in his honor organized by the Philippine Embassy in Washington, D.C. on 10 October 2017.
The Governor’s remarks at the reception sets the tone for his first World Bank/IMF Annual Meeting as the fourth BSP Governor, and demonstrates his deep commitment to financial inclusion and consumer protection. It will be recalled that prior to his appointment as Governor, he was the Deputy Governor in charge of supervision and examination, where he focused on banking supervision, capital market development, credit policy, and financial inclusion. He also institutionalized regulations that enabled BSP-supervised institutions to innovate business models and adopt digital financial services.
While underscoring the role of a solid and prudent banking system to the economy, he emphasized the need to push forward reforms and innovation, including towards deepening capital market development and digitalization of financial transactions. He said this was essential if we are to achieve economic growth with equity.
“The Central Bank has always been the bulwark of continuity and stability. We are happy at the appointment of a well-respected career central banker as the fourth BSP governor. And Governor Espenilla’s advocacy for financial inclusion through the leveraging of digital technology underscores his strategic vision that should hold the BSP and the Philippine economy in good stead during his tenure,”
-Minister Jose Victor V. Chan-Gonzaga, Head of the Embassy’s Economic Section, during his welcoming remarks
Mr. Espenilla also shared some general observations about current economic developments, and his thoughts about the Philippine economy in the context of the global economic environment. He noted that while maintaining the economy’s good macro-economic fundamentals is a foremost objective of the Philippine Government, it is also important to strive towards “elevating the game” by pursuing ambitious economic reforms that are essential for sustained and enhanced growth and development.
“We are confident that with him guiding Philippine monetary policy, there will be continued business and investor confidence in the country. And so, as he attends his first World Bank/IMF annual meeting, it is our honor to host this reception for Governor Espenilla,”
-Minister Patrick A. Chuasoto, Chargé d’Affaires, a.i. of the Philippine Embassy
Hank Hendrickson, Executive Director of the US-Philippines Society also remarked after the reception that, “Gov. Espenilla delivered a well-tuned and well-timed forward looking message on the Philippine economy. His stress on ‘continuity plus-plus’ was aimed at assuring the Central Bank would continue sound macro-economic policies while moving ahead with an emphasis on financial inclusion, data digitalization, and foreign exchange reforms. His message here in Washington on the eve of the fall World Bank/IMF meetings will be welcomed by the Philippines’ trading partners and foreign investors.”
The US Government was represented by officials from the Department of Commerce and USAID. And representatives from the US-ASEAN Business Council led corporate executives at the reception in expressing the warm welcome and best wishes of the US business community.
Among the guests at the reception were Philippine Monetary Board Member Antonio S. Abacan, IMF Alternate Executive Director Edna C. Villa, BSP Assistant Governor Wilhelmina C. Manalac, BSP Managing Director Jane T. Chiong, other officials of the BSP, Embassy officers & staff, and some members of the Filipino American Community.