Medalla to sustain reforms in BSP



The Manila Times

Business Times

FINANCE Secretary Benjamin Diokno said Monday he is confident that new Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Governor Felipe Medalla will continue the game-changing reforms he implemented.These include the rapid shift to digitalization and other measures that has kept the BSP “agile and innovative” amid the pandemic-induced crisis and other challenges to the country’s financial system. In his first speech as Finance secretary at the BSP’s 29th anniversary and turnover ceremony, Diokno recounted the time of uncertainties at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic when he was BSP governor and how the institution provided “a sense of confidence and predictability” during this period. Diokno said through these trying times, the BSP ensured the continuity of much-needed financial services and remained sensitive to the needs of its fellow Filipinos by providing financial relief, incentivizing lending and facilitating access to more financial services. He added that even amid a pandemic, “it has remained business as usual” for banks, money changers and other BSPsupervised institutions. “We have gone through a crisis like no other, with no emergency response playbook to which we could refer. But we kept our eyes on the ball. We remained agile and innovative. We boosted market confidence. We implemented extraordinary liquidity measures,” Diokno said. The BSP also worked closely with other agencies and stakeholders in getting financial reforms, such as the Financial Institutions Strategic Transfer Act and the Financial Products and Services Consumer Protection Act, passed in Congress to provide relief to pandemic-hit sectors and safeguard consumers from unethical and fraudulent financial schemes. Diokno also cited the BSP’s hand in the approval of the Gold Law, the Philippine Identification System Act, the Islamic Banking Law and the amendments to the BSP charter prior to the pandemic. He said the BSP acted prudently in issuing monetary policies and expanded opportunities to boost digital payments and financial inclusion among Filipinos. “We have kept a patient hand on our monetary policy levers in the face of rising inflation to allow our economic recovery to gain a stronger foothold,” Diokno said. “Our banking sector continues to be sound and stable — the result of good corporate governance and appropriate risk management practices, as well as sound banking sector regulations and a robust supervisory framework,” he added. Acknowledging his confidence in the new BSP governor, Diokno said he is certain that the central bank’s Digital Payments Transformation Roadmap will make significant