BSP’s new unit, new deputy chief to push PH shift to digital money
MANILA, Philippines — The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) recently established a new department tasked with managing the interplay of physical currency and digital money, as the regulator continues to push the country toward the goal of having a “cash-lite” economy in a little over two years’ time.
Called the Payments and Currency Management Sector, the new unit will be headed by newly appointed Deputy Governor Mamerto Tangonan who recently joined the central bank with a background in digital and inclusive finance services.
“[The new sector] is tasked to maintain the safety and integrity of the local currency and to ensure well-functioning payments and cash ecosystem that supports sustained and inclusive economic growth,” BSP Governor Benjamin Diokno said.
“This is aligned with the BSP’s Digital Payments Transformation Roadmap which aims to achieve efficient, safe, and inclusive payments ecosystems,” he added during an online briefing on Wednesday afternoon.
The new sector, which consolidates existing currency and payment management units, is responsible for producing banknotes, coins, and securities documents; refining gold; and printing cards for the national ID.
It is also in charge of anti-counterfeiting operations; currency forecasting; currency retirement; and the servicing of bank deposits and withdrawals in the greater Manila area. Cash operations in the regions will continue to be performed by regional offices and branches.
The new department will also handle the licensing and supervision of payment system operators; formulation of strategies and policies for currency and payments systems, including the digital payments transformation and currency forecasting; operations of the Philippine Payment and Settlement System; and administration of the digital Personal Equity Retirement Account.
The new deputy governor brings with him over 28 years of experience in digital and traditional financial services, telecommunications, technology, financial inclusion, and consulting services.
Immediately before joining BSP, Tangonan led a six-year USAID-funded program on the E-PESO project aimed at accelerating the shift of the Philippine economy from cash to digital payments.
In this capacity, he spearheaded a team in providing technical assistance to the BSP in the policy formulation and implementation of the National Retail Payments System.
He also served as general manager of Indonesia-based PT Smart Telecom; director of Globe Telecom Inc. where he handled the project management of G-Cash mobile banking project for rural banks; and first vice president of ING Life Insurance Co. (Phils.), Inc.
Tangonan received his bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from the University of the Philippines and his executive MBA from the Asian Institute of Management.
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