BANGKO SENTRAL ng Pilipinas (BSP) Governor Nestor A. Espenilla, Jr. said he is now cancer-free after being diagnosed in November 2017, as he underwent surgery and radiation therapy.
Mr. Espenilla told reporters early Sunday that he has recovered from an early-stage tongue cancer that was diagnosed late last year.
The central bank chief now contends with some speaking difficulty.
Mr. Espenilla, 59, said he expects full recovery “in a month or so” following radiation therapy, which he completed after the removal of the tumor in the area.
“I am confident that this personal medical issue will not distract from the important work at hand,” Mr. Espenilla told reporters in a WhatsApp message.
Mr. Espenilla took the helm of the central bank in July 2017 after he was appointed successor to former BSP Governor Amando M. Tetangco, Jr.
Prior to this, the career central banker has served the BSP for over 30 years, including as deputy governor for bank supervision.
The BSP governor also sits as chairman of the Monetary Board, heads the financial intelligence unit Anti-Money Laundering Council and occupies ex-officio seats in various national government agencies and state-run corporations.
Mr. Espenilla has been on a pilgrimage in Israel with his wife and friends since Feb. 16, a day after the BSP’s Monetary Board announced an operational cut in the reserve reqirement ratio imposed on universal and commercial banks.
Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III told reporters separately in a Viber message that Mr. Espenilla enjoys his “full support” and that of President Rodrigo R. Duterte, who appointed him to the post in May last year. — Melissa Luz T. Lopez