Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas

Heads start rolling as BSP acts on ‘unprecedented’ ghost employees scandal

Ralf Rivas

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Heads start rolling as BSP acts on ‘unprecedented’ ghost employees scandal

BSP. The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas headquarters in Quezon City on May 31, 2023.

Jire Carreon/Rappler

(1st UPDATE) Several ghost employees quit amid the scandal. The BSP, however, refuses to comment on the fate of Monetary Board members allegedly tangled in the 'unprecedented' irregularities.

MANILA, Philippines – The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) confirmed and acted on news reports of supposed “ghost employees” who got hefty paychecks even without reporting for work at the central bank. 

The BSP, however, remained vague on the fate of Monetary Board members tagged in the scandal.

In a statement on Tuesday, May 28, the BSP said the incident involving four ghost employees on the staff of certain Monetary Board members and two supervisors “appear unprecedented.”

“The irregularities appear unprecedented in an organization that upholds integrity and professionalism at all levels. The BSP remains committed to upholding that,” the BSP said.

The BSP said that the Office of the General Counsel probed the incident as early as October 2023, after receiving credible information that several staffers in the offices of two Monetary Board members had not been reporting for work for extended periods of time but were receiving their salaries.

In December 2023, the Office of the General Counsel received an initial report of the investigation and instructed the investigating team to conduct a more in-depth probe. By January 2024, the investigating team submitted the final investigation report, where four employees and their two immediate supervisors were identified.

From late February to early March 2024, four of the employees and one direct supervisor implicated in the report tendered their resignation. 

Administrative disciplinary cases were filed before their resignation.

News reports on the issue circulated early May 2024. The BSP then did not comment on the matter due to ongoing disciplinary proceedings.

Monetary Board members’ fate

With the scandal, questions have been raised as to whether the powerful seven-member Monetary Board can function. 

The Monetary Board is responsible for the direction of the BSP, including determining interest rates and stabilizing the peso, which in turn impact the economy.

The BSP assured Filipinos that the “Monetary Board has functioned as normal.” 

The BSP did not name the Monetary Board members involved, but news outlets like the Inquirer have identified Bruce Tolentino and Anita Aquino. They have not publicly addressed the matter.

“In response to speculation that vacancies may occur that would affect the board’s operations, the seven-member board can continue to perform most of its duties provided there is a four-member quorum and the rest of its duties such as granting emergency loans, with 5 members,” the BSP said.

The BSP went on to say that they were “constrained from commenting further” on Monetary Board members since they are presidential appointees. –

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Ralf Rivas

A sociologist by heart, a journalist by profession. Ralf is Rappler's business reporter, covering macroeconomy, government finance, companies, and agriculture.