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Diwa’s rare legacy to Filipinos


Nelly Favis-Villafuerte

Nelly Favis-Villafuerte

I was a Monetary Board (MB) member of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) from July 2005 to July 2011. Previous to July 2005 I was an Undersecretary of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI ) for seven years. In all those years of working in the government, I had the opportunity of closely observing the management styles of the different government executives I worked with. Like in a private office, government executives come and go. And when a government executive leaves (for a one reason or another), the people left behind murmur and ask one another: What did the executive leave behind? What is he best remembered for? What is his legacy to the government institution where he worked? His legacy to the Filipino people? His legacy to our country?

Working for six long years with the Monetary Board of the BSP was an exciting chapter in my life. For one, I came to realize (thanks God) that there are still government executives who are bold enough to share their reverance for the Lord and who remain steadfast and unwavering in their faith and trust in the Lord – notwithstanding the fact that they too are victims of “fake news” that smear their good names. One such Executive is Deputy Governor Diwa Guinigundo.

Deputy Governor Diwa Guinigundo recently retired – after 41 years of continued service in BSP. Now, at this time when Deputy Governor Diwa Guinigundo is already retired from government service, one cannot help but wonder what Diwa, who had given his best years to BSP leaves as a legacy to BSP, to the BSP employees, to his family and to the Filipino people.

One may ask: Isn’t it strange and weird that Deputy governor of BSP is a senior Christian pastor who preaches the Word of God to a group of people to give glory to God; who shares and promotes the reading of the Bible, the Word of God? One who is not ashamed to declare the Lordship of Jesus in one’s personal life; in one’s family life; in one’s career; and in one’s spiritual beliefs.

In my association with Diwa for six years while I was a Monetary Board member. Diwa has always been fair and honest with his dealings with others – BSP employees included. He has been consistent in his respect for the law – as could be gleamed from his written recommendations to the Monetary Board on many controversial issues.

As Deputy governor for the monetary and economic sectors of BSP, Diwa had headed/chaired various councils/commissions/institutions here in our country and in the international sector as well. The God–given talent, expertise and experience of Diwa in economic, monetary and financial matter is well-recognized and well-respected in the banking and financial sectors. No wonder Diwa has been a favorite speaker on these topics in the whole country.
Obviously our Good Lord has been blessing Pastors Diwa immensely in his career as a high-ranking official of the BSP.

Ironically, it is not in the area of economic, monetary and financial matters (Diwa’s forte) where Diwa will be best remembered by many Filipinos. But for introducing a feature found in all denominations of our new generation currency banknotes. Look closely at any denomination of our currency banknotes. Below the phrase Republika ng Pilipinas, you will see the phrase “Pinagpala ang bayan na ang Diyos ay ang Panginoon”. This is the Filipino translation of Psalm 33:12 of the Holy Bible that states “Blessed is the Nation whose God is the Lord”. The Monetary Board in December 2010 approved and confirmed the inclusion in the currency banknotes of the Tagalog translation of Psalm 33:12. How, one may ask did Diwa do it? Unknown to many, Diwa chaired the Numismatic Committee and the Currency Management Committee of the BSP. This Committee was in charge of the designs of our new generation banknotes and coins.

I was present in the meetings when the Monetary Board authorized the insertion of the Tagalog Biblical verse of Psalm 33:12.

Congratulations, Diwa! For placing our Lord first in your BSP career. Yes, there were sorrows, disappointments, disillusionments on many, many matters in your BSP career. But all these have been tremendously compensated by our Good Lord. You remain in good healthy condition; your alertness and wisdom have not waned; your family is well-protected and well-provided for by the Lord; your friends and supporters have multiplied a thousand-fold before and upon retirement. Your boldness in recommending the inclusion of Psalm 33:12 (Tagalog version) in our banknote currency is undoubtedly your best and lasting gift to the Filipino people. More Power, Pastor Diwa… May your tribe increase!

Have a joyful day!

(For comments/reactions please send to Ms. Villafuerte’s email: villafuerte_nelly@yahoo.com)

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