Malacañang and members of the House of Representatives yesterday expressed condolences to the family of Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Governor Nestor Espenilla Jr. He was 60.
“We are saddened to learn Saturday night the untimely demise of Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Governor Nestor Espenilla, Jr.,” Chief Presidential Legal Counsel and Presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo said in a statement.
The Monetary Board of the BSP confirmed Espenilla’s death and said he was undergoing treatment for cancer for more than a year.
President Rodrigo Duterte appointed Espenilla to the BSP governor post in 2017. Previous to that, Espenilla was BSP deputy governor, having rose from the ranks in his nearly 40 years of service in the agency.
“This UP magna cum laude graduate was best remembered by the ordinary Juan de la Cruz for making financial services closer to Filipinos who -- we are all aware -- transact mostly using non-bank channels.
He pioneered a National Retail Payment System and introduced InstaPay, an electronic fund transfer system, and PESONet, an automated clearing house, which saw the Philippines’ gradual shift from cash and check-based payments to electronic means,” Panelo said.
The Palace official thanked Espenilla for his service.
“As we express our condolences to the family, friends, colleagues and loved ones of Governor Espenilla, we express our gratitude to the man once in charge of disciplining banks for his complete devotion to his work and great service to the nation. Rest in peace, Governor Nesting,” Panelo added.
Meanwhile, Eastern Samar Rep. Ben Evardone and Leyte Rep. Henry Ong said Espenilla, who has been undergoing treatment for tongue cancer for more than a year, is a big loss to the banking industry.
Evardone, the former chairman of the House Committee on Banks and Financial Intermediaries, said Espinilla “was a sincere public servant and a brilliant economist.”
“The passing away of BSP governor Espenilla is a great loss to the banking community and our country. He was one of my partners in crafting the new law that amended the Central Bank Act and the Payment Systems Law, among other initiatives and reforms in the financial sector,” said Evardone, who chairs the House Committee on Public Information.
Ong, who succeeded Evardone, said “the banking community lost a good, hardworking, and devoted leader.”
“As chairman of the House committee on banks and financial intermediaries, I have had the pleasure and blessing of working with him and his BSP colleagues,” said Ong.
“Governor Espenilla was wise, tireless, and determined in his push for banking reforms and updating legislation,” said Ong.
The MB announced that Deputy Governor Almasara Cyd Tuano-Amador would be the BSP’s Officer-in-Charge until such time that Duterte designates an OIC or appoints a successor to Espenilla.