Pimentel endorses banker as next BSP governor

Senate President Aquilino Pimentel III, also president of the ruling PDP-Laban Party list, last  announced on Monday his endorsement of EastWest Bank President Antonio Moncupa as the next central bank governor, as the current Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) chief steps down later this year.

In a statement, Pimentel said the party is convinced Moncupa is “the most qualified among several candidates to head the monetary authority.”

Moncupa currently heads the PDP-Laban policy think tank and has been president and CEO at EastWest Bank since 2007.

Pimentel said the BSP plays a critical role in President Duterte’s war against drugs and criminality, and that a “reinvigorated BSP” is needed to foster “a more responsive and vigilant banking industry.”

“It is time for bold and innovative leadership at the BSP. It can no longer be ‘business as usual’ in the government, particularly at the central bank, which is the overseer of the country’s financial system,” Pimentel said.

“I believe  Moncupa has all the qualities required to lead the central bank in this period of challenge and change. He is an experienced banker whose knowledge of the financial markets is matched only by his unquestionable integrity and character and passionate nationalism,” the Senate President added.

Pimentel lauded Moncupa, saying the veteran banker is “highly capable and knowledgeable about financial and monetary policies, which would allow him to manage inflation and keep the foreign-exchange market stable.”

“In this period of change, it is important to have someone at the helm of the BSP who can push the economy forward, maintain stability and continuity in terms of monetary policies, and allow business to grow,” Pimentel said.

BSP Governor Amando M. Tetangco Jr. is scheduled to step down as central bank chief in July this year.

Tetangco is the first central bank governor to serve two consecutive terms under two administrations.

Tetangco’s work at the BSP has been repeatedly cited by international analysts as some of the best in the world, with eight of his 11 years in service so rated.

In September last year international economic magazine Global Finance gave Tetangco his eight “Grade A” rating—the highest possible rating which can be given to a central banker.

The publication has given Tetangco the same recognition in the years 2006, 2007, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016, making it his eighth recognition overall and his sixth in a row.