BSP governor recovering from tongue cancer
BSP governor recovering from tongue cancer
But for Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Governor Nestor Espenilla Jr, it is 'work as usual,' as he closely monitors peso volatility

MANILA, Philippines – Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Governor Nestor Espenilla Jr is now recovering from early-stage tongue cancer, which he was diagnosed with 3 months ago.

“Unfortunately, I got a curveball in November last year when I was diagnosed with tongue cancer. Fortunately, it was very early stage and quite localized,” Espenilla told reporters in a text message on Sunday, February 25, while he was on Jerusalem for a pilgrimage.

“I underwent surgery soon after to remove the problem. That was successful. My doctors say I’m now cancer-free. So I don’t expect this curveball to slow me down,” the BSP chief added.

Espenilla said he also underwent radiation therapy, which has side effects like “dry throat and mouth sores.” (READ: Who is new BSP governor Nestor Espenilla?)

Business as usual

Despite some difficulty speaking due to the side effects of the radiation therapy, Espenilla said it is “work as usual” for him.

“I just have to hang on and be patient. Meanwhile, it’s work as usual for me. Onward with the financial market reforms,” he added.

The BSP governor went on to update reporters that the central bank is selling dollar reserves to manage peso volatility. The local currency recently weakened to an 11-year low.

“Moreover to the extent that speculators use reserve ratio requirement (RRR) reduction as pretext for peso depreciation, BSP sells foreign exchange from its reserves to manage excessive peso volatility,” Espenilla said.

“That in itself also has the effect of draining peso liquidity from the system which causes a self-correction,” he added.

Espenilla said the BSP has several reasons to maintain firm monetary control, adding that “the key reason it is lowering RRR is to promote a more efficient and level financial system that’s less biased against deposit-taking financial institutions which creates market distortions.” – Chrisee Dela Paz / 

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