BSP governor accepts invitation to serve as finance secretary

Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Governor Benjamin E. Diokno has accepted the invitation of President-elect Ferdinand Marcos Jr. to serve as Finance Secretary of the incoming administration.

“It is an honor to serve the Filipino people in my current and any future capacity. I am grateful and humbled by the trust given to me by the President-elect to help his administration manage the country’s fiscal affairs,” Governor Diokno said.

As he accepts the top post at the Department of Finance (DOF), Governor Diokno emphasized the importance of policy continuity.

“Prior to the pandemic, the Philippines was poised to transition into an upper-middle-income economy, thanks largely to sound economic policies put in place over decades by multiple administrations. As the country transitions to the next administration, it is my view that continuity of sound macro and fiscal policies is important to achieve the stronger post-COVID Philippine economy that we all aim for.

“As Finance Secretary, I will strive to continue prudently and carefully balancing the need to support economic growth, on one hand, and to maintain fiscal discipline, on the other,” Governor Diokno added.

With his appointment to the DOF, Governor Diokno will cut short his term as BSP chief, which was scheduled to end in July 2023. He was appointed by outgoing President Rodrigo Duterte as BSP Governor in March 2019.

Under Diokno’s leadership, the BSP was among the first central banks in the world to decisively respond to the COVID-19 crisis. The prompt and extraordinary monetary measures provided a significant cushion to the current state of the Philippine economy.

It was during this time that “The Banker”—an influential international publication owned by the Financial Times—recognized him as “Global Central Bank Governor of the Year 2022.”

Besides pursuing the BSP’s mandates of price stability, financial stability, and efficient payments and settlements system, Governor Diokno also champions financial digitalization and financial inclusion, in line with his mantra of “bringing central banking closer to the Filipino people.”

Prior to his stint at the BSP, Governor Diokno served his second term as Budget Secretary from 2016 to 2019, when he pursued an expansionary fiscal policy to finance investments in human capital development and public infrastructure. He first served as Budget Secretary in 1998 to 2001 under the term of former President Joseph Estrada.

Diokno finished his Bachelor’s Degree in Public Administration (1968) and his Master’s Degree in Public Administration (1970) and Economics (1974) at the University of the Philippines. He also holds an M.A. in Political Economy (1976) from the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland, USA; and a Ph.D. in Economics (1981) from the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, Syracuse University in Syracuse, New York, USA. In 2017, he received an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from the University of the Philippines—the highest academic honor conferred by the University.