BSP governor highlights importance of successor from within

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines) Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) governor Amando Tetangco, Jr., affirmed the importance of a successor who is privy to the workings of the central bank.

"It is important in a sense that one can expect an almost seamless transition if someone from within is appointed as governor," Tetangco told CNN Philippines' "The Source" in an interview aired on Tuesday.

"The learning curve will not [be] as steep... He would have known the culture of the institution, the values, and he would have known most of the people because he would have worked with these people in the past," he added.

President Rodrigo Duterte is set to name any time soon a successor to Tetangco, the longest-serving BSP governor.

Tetangco is highly regarded among Asia's central bankers. He is credited with steering the BSP through reforms, and helping keep inflation in the country stable, while advocating financial literacy and financial consumer protection among Filipinos.

Tetangco noted that more central banks in the Asia-Pacific region are "appointing from within," citing Australia, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Thailand.

"If you look at the recent experience in the neighboring countries, it has become more and more the case that insiders are appointed to head the Central Bank," he said.

He was aware that in the Philippines, most of the governors appointed to the BSP and the old Central Bank were outsiders.

"If you look at the history of the BSP and the old Central Bank before that, there's been a mix of governors. But mostly governors who were appointed came from outside the Central Bank," he said.

There are three frontrunners poised to succeed Tetangco, whose term ends in July. The candidates are two BSP Deputy Governors--Nestor Espenilla, Jr. and Diwa Guinigundo, and EastWest Bank President Antonio Moncupa, Jr.

WATCH: The frontrunners in the race for BSP Chief

However, Tetangco was not dismissive of an appointee from the private sector.

He noted that his two predecessors, the late Rafael Buenaventura and the late Gabriel Singson, came from the private sector.

"I've followed after these two gentlemen who have built [the] independence and credibility of the BSP, and I hope that under my tenure, I've been able to further build on the accomplishments that they've made," said Tetangco.

Duterte's party PDP-Laban has endorsed for the governorship, Moncupa, who also heads the party's policy thinktank.

"President Duterte has been unrelenting in his fight against criminality. We believe that the BSP will play a critical role in this fight," PDP-Laban and Senate President Aquilino "Koko" Pimentel III said in a press statement in February.

"We need to crack down on the finances of criminal syndicates and drug cartels, and the best way to do this is to foster a more responsive and vigilant banking industry through a reinvigorated BSP," he added.

Pimentel said Moncupa was capable of maintaining and continuing stability and monetary policies.

In a column on Tuesday, economist and former Economic Planning Secretary Cielito Habito credited the past years of relatively stable inflation to the BSP's "skillful management of the country's money supply."

"One hopes that whoever takes over will be properly equipped not just to manage the bank in the country, but also, and more importantly, to understand the economics of managing inflation and how its management of money supply impacts on the lives of every Fiipino," Habito said in the Philippine Daily Inquirer.