Bangko Sentral names deputy governor for newly-formed payments sector

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Mamerto Tangonan is the Bangko Sentral's new deputy governor

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, February 23) –– An e-payments industry practitioner has been appointed as a deputy governor in the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas.

Mamerto Tangonan, a central bank outsider, is the fourth deputy governor of BSP Governor Benjamin Diokno. He will head the newly formed Payments and Currency Management Sector.

Some units previously part of the Financial Services Sector, which oversees banks and other financial firms, will be transferred under Tangonan's watch. This includes the Payment System Oversight Department mainly in charge of the InstaPay and PESONet clearing houses for digital fund transfers, according to BSP Deputy Governor Chuchi Fonacier. 

Banknote printing and coin minting facilities will also be part of the new sector, as well as general services for the BSP.

Tangonan used to be chief of party of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), where he led the E-PESO project meant to find ways to boost digital payments in the Philippines. The organization has been a partner of the central bank for its campaign to move more financial transactions to the online realm even prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.

READ: More Filipinos used online payment platforms amid COVID-19 pandemic - BSP

He joins fellow deputies Francisco Dakila Jr. for the Monetary and Economics Sector, Fonacier for the Financial Services Sector, and Ma. Almasara Cyd Tuaño-Amador of the Corporate Services Sector, according to the BSP's new organization structure dated Feb. 22.

Amendments to Republic Act No. 7653 or the New Central Bank Act passed in 2019 allowed the BSP to have up to five deputy governors – the second-highest position in the institution – compared to the previous limit of three.

Diokno set a bold target of migrating at least 50% of all transactions to electronic channels by the end of his term in 2023. The central bank has been easing old regulations and drafting new ones to make it easier for banks and financial firms to offer digital products and services.

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Industry association Fintech welcomed Tangonan's appointment, saying his leadership would give way to "more innovative and responsive digital financial services."