A First Class Philippines: Amando Tetangco, Jr.

What should we look for in selecting a responsible head of  Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), the central bank of the Philippines which stands as an institutional peer to the powerful Federal Reserve Bank in the United States?

  • How about we look for a person like Amando Tetangco, Jr. , a first class governor?
The BSP has as its charter managing inflation and contributing to the stability and fundamentals of a strong economy. It is a technical job.

 The BSP also regulates Philippine banks and other financial institutions.
We should look for someone who stands apart from politics for this job. Managing the nation’s financial dials and knobs is rather like working the gas pedal of a car, not something to be messed with for flighty political gain.
  • BSP Governor Tetangco has worked effectively under both President Arroyo and President Aquino. His eyes are focused on the financial  ball, not the political game-playing.
Second, we should look for someone who knows the workings of the BSP inside out, who understands the economic and financial underpinnings of a complex nation, and who can lead and direct monetary policy and keep banks strong and solvent.
  • Governor Tetangco has been with the Central Bank since 1974 and has held a variety of increasingly responsible technical and management positions within the organization. Before being appointed head of BSP, he was Deputy Governor and chief regulator of banks. Philippine banks are healthy and growing well, a sound financial foundation for the nation.
The Philippine economy is broad but thin. A little fragile and underpowered. The nation cannot afford a gambler or loose technical head of BSP. It requires discipline.

  • Global Finance Magazine gives Mr. Tetangco an “A” grade. He is one of six top central bankers to receive the A grade in 2012. Other “A” grades were assigned to Australia, Canada, Israel, Malaysia, and Taiwan. Mr. Bernake of the United States got a “B”. Mr. Tetangco also received the “A” grade in 2006, 2007 and 2011.
The Philippine economy is more stable than most, if we simply go by the record. Growth is good, inflation is modest, unemployment is within reason and investors are pouring money into the nation; stocks are roaring and debt ratings are improving. Debt will be investment grade next year in all likelihood.
I looked for dirt on Mr. Tetangco, for criticism and condemnation. For scandals.
I came up empty.
He is an economist and professional banker. He is not a politician, not a fame-seeker, not a showman.
Mr. Tetangco is a rock of stability and capability, a First Class Filipino helping to build a First Class Philippines.
Biography:
Amando Tetangco, Jr. assumed office as Governor of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas[1] starting July 2005. He served two presidents – Gloria Macapagal Arroyo and Benigno Aquino III. He is a career central banker, occupying different positions in the organization in a span of over three decades. Immediately prior to his appointment as BSP Governor, he was Deputy Governor in-charge of the Banking Services Sector, Economic Research and Treasury.

As BSP Governor, he is also the Chairman of the Monetary Board, Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) and Philippine International Convention Center (PICC); Vice-Chairman of the Agriculture Credit Policy Council (ACPC); Member of the Capital Market Development Council (CMDC), Export Development Council (EDC), PhilExport Board of Trustees (PHILEXPORT), Philippine Export-Import Credit Agency (PHILEXIM); and Director of Philippine Deposit Insurance Corporation (PDIC), National Development Council (NDC) and National Home Mortgage Finance Corporation (NHMFC).
He also represents the country in various international and regional organizations, including the Executive Meeting of East Asia and Pacific (EMEAP) Central Banks; ASEAN and ASEAN+3; South East Asia Central Banks (SEACEN); South East Asia, New Zealand and Australia (SEANZA); Center for Latin American Monetary Studies (CEMLA); and Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC). He is the Governor for the Philippines in the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the Alternate Governor in the World Bank (WB) and in the Asian Development Bank (ADB).
Before joining the Central Bank of the Philippines in 1974, Mr. Tetangco was connected with the Management Services Division of accounting firm SGV & Co.
Mr. Tetangco took up AB Economics at the Ateneo de Manila University where he graduated cum laude. He took up graduate courses in business administration in the same institution. As a central bank scholar, Mr. Tetangco took up his MA in Public Policy and Administration (concentration in Development Economics) at the University of Wisconsin in Madison, USA. Earlier, he finished his elementary and high school education at Don Bosco Academy in Pampanga.
Mr. Tetangco is married to Elvira Ma. Plana. They have three children: a son and two daughters.
Comments
31 Responses to “A First Class Philippines: Amando Tetangco, Jr.”
  1. Edgar Lores says:

    Whew! What a relief, the nation is not all lollygaggers. What are they called in the Humpty Dumpty New World Dictionary? Lollymakers?

  2. Cha says:

    Interesting tidbit: President Aquino, Chief Justice Sereno and CB Governor Tetangco are all AB Economics graduates from the Ateneo.GMA has a B of Arts degree in Economics, too ; though from Assumption College. Someone went to the wrong school πŸ™‚

  3. The running of the country is in good hands. The lawmaking is in shaky hands; rather a drunken sailor. The courts . . . looking up but a long way to go.Lollygaggers, to play around and get nothing constructive done.Lollymakers, not found in the dictionary.Executives, to plan, organize and execute achievement.Governor Tetangco is an executive.

  4. Ha. For sure. And learned the wrong lessons there, too.

  5. Anonymous says:

    From: Island Jim-e1. 10-thumbs up for anyone that is qualified, educated,experienced, sets a great example and in addition puts the National interest ahead of everything else!2. I would vote for him if I were allowed to vote! Sidebar: Perhaps it would be a good idea to establisha new "religion" or "cult"–the cult of quality,courage, honor, character and bravery–THE CULT OFRIZAL!CHIRP!

  6. Don't forget GMA was also a classmate of your very own Dubya in Harvard πŸ™‚

  7. Say hey, Dave. Interesting you mentioned that, as it went through my mind at the time I wrote a comment. I think they both learned the wrong lessons there, too. They both got A's in the course "Autocracy and Arrogance 101".

  8. Well, the term "cult" to me has negative meanings. We could use some brainstorming maybe. The Society of Rizal, or The Brotherhood of Rizal. Neither quite works, either.But the idea is excellent. To rally around excellence. Because there is a core of it out there, I have discovered with but a little looking.

  9. andrew lim says:

    I like this post, Joe, reassuring to some extent. Actually, just bought a book on sale, "Too Big to Fail", Sorkin's book on the near-collapse of the US financial system. Gripping stuff, if you appreciate Wall Street stuff and finance. Bernanke and Paulson actually got the job done that time.

  10. They really are birds of the same feather although you have to give it to GMA that at least she was a leader in her own right, Dubya not so much πŸ™‚

  11. My take on this, I think it is time for the US to reform their anti-trust laws and break this so called :big to fail" companies. Where is Teddy Roosevelt when you need him?

  12. Andrew, I can imagine. I should get that book. Living through the drama was quite exciting, too. Barak Obama saved the world on the strength of his charisma alone, because Bush had lost everyone's confidence. Than a few choice actions, bailing out the auto industry and big banks, wow. Living on the edge. But we never learned, because the Congress insists on taking the U.S. time and time again to the brink over debt and budgets and poisoned partisan politics, and the great savior Obama is merely a man in a tough campaign.

  13. Dave, actually, several new laws were introduced. For example, large banks are required to have "liquidation" plans available so if we ever get into that predicament again, they can be busted up and sold or shut down in pieces. If we go back to a Republican president, we'll likely get bigger companies, not smaller. And riskier banks again. It's in the unregulated ideological bloodstream.

  14. Well, Bush was a puppet for sure. GMA was her own woman, but with apron strings to her hubby for certain deals.

  15. Well I believe most of the laws enacted including Dodd-Frank was severely watered-down to be really effective. And now we see scandals involving major banks in the States to somehow manipulate the LIBOR during the height of financial crisis. Maybe banks should require that CEO's have unblemished character but that is a pipe dream since working in banks are the sleaziest occupation available, with traders and insurance companies right their at the highest level of asinine behavior known to modern society.

  16. Well GMA and FGMA are co-rulers no doubt :)Somehow today I pity Dubya, the house of cards collapsed under his watch 30 years in the making and he looked really lost during those hectic days of the financial crisis. And I really hope that Obama will win and somehow the democrats will win the majority of both House of Congress, a super majority if possible πŸ™‚

  17. Anonymous says:

    Nice profile. The only whiff of controversy I could dig up surrounding Governor Tetangco's helm concerns his handling of the padlocked Banco Filipino. But even that was Governor's Jobo Fernandez's doing many decades ago. The issue has been how well does CB regulate these banks and protect the public from a bankrun? DocB

  18. Yes, I agree. Then we'd see things getting done instead of this political gameplaying.

  19. Dave, Dave, as a former banker, I can say you are half right. Most domestic bankers are upright and run a decent business of small-ticket transactions, providing needed loans to businesses and individuals. The other side, the investment houses, and the insurance houses, are indeed sleazy businesses in the sense that they go beyond assessing risk and making prudent transactions, but try to game the market and make big killings, which is rather like a used car salesman on steroids.Doc, you raise an interesting point. Philippine banks come off looking great because they don't lend into any real estate bubbles or business bubbles. Now that there is a blast of construction in Manila, and people are borrowing to get into homes, beware the next economic down cycle for the Philippines. Then we'll find out how well managed and regulated banks are. It's more fun lending in the Philippines.

  20. Mea Culpa I was being unfair to all bankers but what I really wanted to say or to blame are that the Large Banks in the States (mostly the upper echelons) have a really crooked sense of honesty and responsibility. And yes you are absolutely correct that the whole shebang became a mess because of those damned investment bankers and traders, willing to sell their soul to the devilf for the greed of money.

  21. Well you can thank the tea party for the major pains your country has, third party my ass, financial responsibility my ass πŸ˜€ Where the fuck where they effing tea party'ers during the Dubya happy times? LOL seriously I think you Americans need voter's education too, educate them rednecks who hate the Federal government but receives the most from Federal subsidies πŸ˜‰

  22. Yes, it seems that Americans are increasingly out of touch with logic and civility. Emotionalism, saving face. I keep arguing that the Philippines will soon pass the U.S. on civility of governance. One is rocketing down, the other pushing up.

  23. Yep, and the world is still paying the price for those American bankers who replaced risk assessment with gambling.

  24. Maybe your Congress (hopefully the democrats can wield super majorities in both houses) can pass laws that will require banks to adequately capitalize their investment arm? Like requiring 30% Capital Ratio of assets for the investment arm alone so that the banks will finally understand that they are not only risking their client's money, but the whole bank as well.

  25. Anonymous says:

    IT'S NOT THE SCHOOL…IT'S THE STUDENT.Remember that GMA taught economics at Ateneo and the President is one of her students….

  26. Anonymous says:

    clarification:GMA was not classmate of Dubya in Harvard.She was classmate of Bill Clinton in Georgetown. Dubya is George Bush II

  27. Hmmm weird, I remember one time that GMA bragged that they Dubya was her classsmate when she attended Harvard, that was mentioned when Dubya visited the Philippines .

  28. Ouch. You are right, of course. Thanks for the slap upside the head!

  29. Ahahahaha. And I thought she was a classmate of Bush at Yale, so this seems to be a case of people searching for a point without the information to do it with. I do know she and G.W. were pals. I'm too lazy to look it up, but feel free. LOL

  30. Maybe it is a case of PR bullshit so that GMA will smell good to Dubya, remember that was the height of the war in Iraq so $$$ baby πŸ˜€

  31. Well students are destined to surpass their mentors. Look at Palto, Socrates and Aristotle πŸ™‚

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