Senators laud Diokno’s appointment as BSP chief

MANILA — Senators on Tuesday welcomed the appointment of former Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno as new governor of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), citing his “competence and integrity” in public service.

Senator Francis Escudero, chair of the Senate committee on banks and financial intermediaries, said Diokno’s appointment as BSP governor is a good one, considering that the primary function of his new role is to set the monetary policy and supervise the financial system of the country which “he is very well adept with.”

“I would like to commend PRRD (President Rodrigo R. Duterte) for appointing Sec. Diokno as the new BSP governor. This will certainly ensure the stability, continuity, and predictability of the country’s fiscal policies and gains. I wish him well,” Escudero said.

“The supervision of banks is only one of his functions which the BSP family is more than capable to perform and assist him with given the strong regulatory framework that has been set through the years through legislation and previous monetary board issuances,” he added.

Escudero considers Diokno’s new position as a “promotion” given that he will now be responsible for the country’s monetary policy and financial system rather than just handling government’s finances, sit as chair of the Monetary Board, and work a fixed term beyond Duterte’s term.

Senator Panfilo Lacson, for his part, touted Diokno’s “long, reputable” public service despite the latter’s lack of banking experience.

“Sec. Diokno may not be the best choice since he is not well known to have much banking experience and has yet to introduce himself to the international banking community. Nevertheless, knowing his long, reputable public service, both in the budget department and in the academe where he served with competence and integrity, he is still a welcome appointment as BSP governor,” Lacson said.

Diokno succeeds the late Nestor A. Espenilla Jr. who died last February 23 after battling cancer.

Previously, Diokno was embroiled in controversy after being accused by House of Representatives appropriations committee chair Rolando Andaya Jr. of allegedly orchestrating “insertions” in the PHP3.757-trillion proposed national budget for 2019.

However, Duterte himself has stood by Diokno’s integrity amid calls for his resignation. Filane Mikee Cervantes/