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Central bank chief Espenilla passes away

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File photo of Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Governor Nestor Espenilla — Photo: Jino Nicolas/BW FILE PHOTO

BANGKO SENTRAL ng Pilipinas (BSP) Governor Nestor A. Espenilla, Jr. passed away on Saturday, Feb. 23. He was 60.

The central bank’s Corporate Affairs Office said late Saturday night that it was preparing an official statement.

Mr. Espenilla was battling tongue cancer since late 2017. He had been on intermittent medical leaves since, after undergoing surgery and radiation therapy.

Mr. Espenilla was to serve a six-year term until July 2023, after President Rodrigo R. Duterte appointed him to the post in May 2017.

He pledged a “Continuity Plus Plus” reform agenda, which meant building on the gains of his predecessor, former BSP Governor Amando M. Tetangco, Jr.

The central bank under his watch last year saw banks’ reserve requirement ratio cut by two percentage points to 18% and benchmark interest rates rise by a total of 175 basis points to 4.25-5.25%.

A measure amending the BSP Charter, a key reform pending for two decades that was designed to strengthen the monetary authority, was signed into law just last week.





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