Benjamin E. Diokno, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Governor — BLOOMBERG

BANGKO SENTRAL ng Pilipinas (BSP) Governor Benjamin E. Diokno was awarded as the Global Central Banker of the Year 2022 by The Banker magazine.

The Financial Times-owned publication also named Mr. Diokno as the Asia Pacific Central Banker of the Year 2022, the BSP said in a statement on Tuesday.

Other monetary policy chiefs that were recognized as regional central bankers of the year by The Banker were Central Reserve Bank of Peru Chairman Julio Velarde for the Americas, Banque de France Governor Francois Villeroy de Galhau for Europe, Central Bank of Bahrain Governor Rasheed M Al-Maraj for the Middle East, and Bank of Tanzania Governor Florens Luoga for Africa.

Mr. Diokno’s award was a “recognition of his efforts to help stimulate economic recovery and growth for the Philippines amid the unprecedented coronavirus disease 2019 crisis.”

“The BSP has implemented policy responses to enable the Philippines to adapt to new ways of working, doing business, and living,” Mr. Diokno said.

“Looking ahead, alongside my colleagues at the BSP, I will continue to work toward a stronger, more technologically savvy, more inclusive, and more sustainable Philippine economy,” he added.

During the crisis, the central bank implemented measures to ensure ample liquidity in the financial system, support orderly functioning of the financial market, and boost market confidence, the BSP said.

Senator Grace Poe-Llamanzares, who chairs the Senate Committee on Banks, Financial Institutions, and Currencies, noted how the BSP focused on the digitalization of the financial system.

The central bank wants to make the country a cash-lite economy where digital payments make up 50% of all transactions by 2023.

“May this recognition assure our business leaders and investors that the Philippines has turned the corner and is on a steady path to recovery,” Ms. Poe-Llamanzares said in a statement.

For its part, the Bankers Association of the Philippines (BAP) noted Mr. Diokno’s “strong resolve to environment, sustainable and governance”.

“The BAP is strongly encouraged by the BSP Governor’s openness and guidance as the industry jointly pursues various initiatives that promote inclusive and sustainable development,” it said in a statement.

Mr. Diokno was appointed as BSP chief in 2019. He is set to serve the remaining term of the late Governor Nestor A. Espenilla, Jr. until 2023.

Prior to leading the BSP, Mr. Diokno’s stint in public service was mainly focused on fiscal policy, being a Budget secretary prior before leading the central bank. — L.W.T. Noble