New Deputy to Lead Philippine Central Bank’s Digital Push

The Philippine central bank has created a new unit to boost its handle on digital payments as more Filipinos transact online.

Mamerto Tangonan, who was appointed a deputy governor of Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, will head a new sector focused on payments and currency management, Governor Benjamin Diokno said in a virtual briefing Wednesday. The appointment was made earlier this month.

New Deputy to Lead Philippine Central Bank’s Digital Push

A digital-finance professional, Tangonan will be in charge of “managing interplay between digital money and physical money” and will support digital services to accelerate financial inclusion, the governor said. The appointment is aligned with a central bank initiative “to achieve efficient, safe and inclusive payments ecosystems.”

The central bank’s 2019 charter allows it to have as many as five deputy governors, up from three previously. Tangonan joins Francis Dakila, Chuchi Fonacier and Cyd Tuaño-Amador as deputies, with Diokno saying the appointment of a fifth deputy will depend on need.

Read: Pandemic Boosts QR Transactions in Philippines by 5,600% in 2020

Diokno aims to migrate half of the nation’s transactions to electronic channels by the end of his term in 2023. The BSP has shown an openness to financial technology, easing existing regulations and formulating new ones to stoke digital products and services, particularly in the countryside, where there are few banks.

Before joining the central bank, Tangonan spent six years leading a U.S. Agency for International Development-funded project to boost digital payments in the Philippines. He has held various roles at ING Life Insurance, Globe Telecom Inc. and PT Smart Telecom.

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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