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BSP Governor Espenilla passes away, 60

By: - Reporter / @daxinq
/ 11:27 PM February 23, 2019
Nestor A. Espenilla Jr.

Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Gov. Nestor Espenilla Jr. (File photo by JOSEPH AGCAOILI / Philippine Daily Inquirer)

Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Gov. Nestor Espenilla Jr. passed away Saturday evening after battling cancer since late 2017, the Inquirer learned.

He was 60.

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The death of the country’s top banking regulator was confirmed by several government and banking industry officials who spoke on condition of anonymity.

In a text message to the Inquirer, the head of the administration’s economic team, Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III, said “a formal statement will be issued by the Monetary Board,” of which he is a member.

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Appointed by President Rodrigo Duterte as the country’s central bank governor in 2017, Espenilla championed several banking reforms like the further liberalization of the foreign exchange market and the lowering of bank reserve requirements.

He also pushed for greater financial inclusion among the country’s large population of “unbanked” citizens.

He was diagnosed with tongue cancer in Nov. 2017 and took periodic leaves of absence for his medical treatment.

After his first leave early last year, Espenilla returned to work saying doctors had declared him cancer-free.

The disease returned a few months later, however, and he was compelled to seek another series of treatments, the latest one overseas in late December 2018 to January 2019.

Espenilla is survived by his wife, Tess, and three children. /atm

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