Finance Minister Benjamin Diokno said on Monday that he was confident that the new Governor of Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), Felipe Medalla, would continue the revolutionary reforms he had implemented. “Against the backdrop of the crisis caused by the pandemic and other challenges to the country’s financial system.
In his first speech as Minister of Finance at the BSP 29th Anniversary and Transition Ceremony, Diokno spoke of a period of uncertainty at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic when he was Governor of the BSP and how the institution provided a “sense of confidence and predictability” during time this period.
Diokno said that during these difficult times, the BSP ensured the continuity of much-needed financial services and remained responsive to the needs of its fellow Filipinos by providing financial assistance, stimulating credit and facilitating access to more financial services.
He added that even amid the pandemic, “for banks, currency exchange offices and other institutions controlled by the BSP, this remains business as usual.”
“We weathered the crisis like no other and we didn’t have an emergency response plan that we could refer to. But we kept our finger on the pulse. We have remained flexible and innovative. We have increased market confidence. said.
BSP has also worked closely with other agencies and stakeholders on financial reforms such as the Strategic Transfer of Financial Institutions Act and the Financial Consumer Protection Act passed by Congress to help sectors affected by the pandemic and protect consumers from unethical and unethical activities. fraudulent financial schemes.
Diokno also cited BSP’s involvement in the approval of the Gold Law, the Philippine Identity System Law, the Islamic Banking Law and BSP’s bylaw amendments prior to the pandemic.
He said BSP has acted prudently in pursuing monetary policy and expanding opportunities to increase digital payments and financial inclusion among Filipinos.
“We patiently held the levers of monetary policy in the face of rising inflation to ensure our economic recovery took hold,” Diokno said.
“Our banking sector remains strong and stable as a result of good corporate governance and good risk management practices, as well as strong banking sector regulations and a robust supervisory system,” he added.
While acknowledging his confidence in the new BSP governor, Diokno said he is confident that the central bank’s digital payments transformation roadmap will make significant progress under Medalla’s leadership.
“We and the Filipinos have a lot of improvements to come. You and I have a lot to offer in the service of our country, no matter what hat we wear,” Diokno said.
“I am confident that under the leadership of your new team captain, Governor Medalla, and the Monetary Board, you will continue to bring revolutionary reforms and bring the BSP even closer to the Filipino people,” he added.
At the time, Diocno said that BSP is promoting green finance, exploring the feasibility and political implications of issuing a central bank digital currency, and issuing the Philippines’ first polymer banknote.
Diokno also mentioned BSP’s rapid transition to cloud-based communication tools for working from home, which has increased its effectiveness during the lockdown due to the pandemic.
Looking at things from a broader perspective, Diokno said the pandemic has accelerated the innovation and digitization of BSP products and services.
Some of these include electronic bidding and online procurement, and the maximum use of electronic documents, electronic signatures and even online payments.
“We have our own version of Build, Build, Build in BSP. Despite the problems associated with the pandemic, we have expanded our existing facilities and built new ones,” said Diokno.
He added: “Not many people know about it, but we also have an electronic security upgrade project that is designed to enhance the security of BSP operations with the latest security technologies that are fully integrated and meet global standards.”
The project aims to unify security systems in all BSP regional offices and branches through a centralized control center.
Not only does this optimize the central bank’s security workforce, Diokno suggests, but it also “has real-time data and video analytics for faster decision making and faster response, rescue and recovery efforts if and when needed.”