By Lee C. Chipongian
The reorganization of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) under its new governor, former budget chief Benjamin E. Diokno, may include the naming of one or two additional deputy governors within the year.
“Give me six months and then we’ll see whether I’m going to use all the positions,” said Diokno.
The amended BSP Charter (Republic Act No. 11211, amending RA No. 7653 or the New Central Bank Act), signed into law last February about three weeks before the appointment of Diokno, has increased the number of deputy governors from the current three to five.
Diokno said he does not have to appoint additional deputy governors but that it will be considered as he continues the BSP reorganization started by the late Governor Nestor A. Espenilla Jr. who passed away last February 24.
Diokno, who has served two administrations as Department of Budget and Management (DBM) secretary and one as undersecretary, has also brought in a platoon of new people when he came in as BSP chief.
“The (amended) law does not say that I have to appoint five deputy governors,” said Diokno. “I may appoint four or (up to) five deputy governors … that’s the desired structure under the law so we’ll figure it out.”
Section 21 or the new BSP Charter states that the BSP governor, with the approval of the Monetary Board, has power to appoint not more than five deputy governors, from a maximum of three in RA No. 7653.
One deputy governor is rotationally designated as officer-in-charge in the absence of the governor. Deputy governors can also take over governor duties in other government boards or councils in which the BSP chief is an ex-officio member.
“We are in the process of reorganizing the BSP,” said Diokno, adding that in six months, he would know if they could consider the appointment of more deputy governors.
The BSP has been staging several phases of reorganization since 2017 under Espenilla. A major part of this is the BSP’s effort to be a technology-enabled central bank in its monitoring of banks. The renamed Financial Supervision Sector (FSS), which was Espenilla’s former sector, is still undergoing major restructuring with the consolidation of the BSP’s Examination and Central Point of Contact Department into a Financial Supervision Department.
The second round of BSP reorganization was initiated last October 2018 and this already includes Suptech and Regtech or regulatory technology.
Also in May of last year, the BSP added one more sector, increasing the number to four sectors from three, despite that there are only three deputy governors.
The new sectors – renamed and subjected to reshuffling of directors – are the Monetary and Economics Sector (MES), the Currency Management Sector (CMS), the Resource Management Sector (RMS) and FSS.
The MES is headed by deputy governor Diwa C. Guinigundo, while the RMS and FSS are led by deputy governors Maria Almasara Cyd Tuano-Amador and Chuchi G. Fonacier. The CMS used to be under Guinigundo’s sector, and now headed by Assistant Governor Dahlia D. Luna in an acting capacity.
The BSP said the reorganization is expected to result in “reinforced units that promote effective risk management and compliance as well as internal audit (and will) institutionalize the top level commitments to pro-active systemic risk management and to a more inclusive and responsive financial system.”