Favila, Abacan named Monetary Board members

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President Rodrigo Duterte has named new members of the Monetary Board, while retaining one member, the Department of Finance (DOF) announced Thursday.

In a statement, DoF economist Peter Favila and veteran banker Antonio Abacan Jr. were appointed to the central bank’s policy-making body, while former Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Felipe Medalla retained his post.

The powers and function of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) are exercised by its Monetary Board, which has seven members appointed by the President of the Philippines.

Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez 3rd said Medalla, Favila and Abacan will serve a fixed-term of six years each as provided under the New Central Bank Act.

Abacan and Favila replaced Armando Suratos and former Development Bank of the Philippines Chairman Alfredo Antonio who were scheduled to step down this year.

The new appointments complete the membership of the board, which includes Dominguez, Juan De Zuniga Jr., and Valentin Araneta, and would-be chairman and incoming BSP Governor Nestor Espenilla Jr., who will assume office on July 3.

Favila returns to the Monetary Board after three years. He served as a member from 2008 to 2014. Besides serving as former Department of Trade and Industry chief from 2005 to 2010, Favila was once president of the Allied Banking Corp. and president-chief executive officer of the Philippine National Bank. He served as consultant to the BSP and CDC Holdings Inc. and was chairman-president of the Philippine Stock Exchange from 2001 to 2005.

He received his Bachelor of Science in Commerce with a major in Banking and Finance from the University of Santo Tomas, and graduated from the Advanced Management Program of the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania.

Abacan also held several high-level positions in the banking industry. He was the president of Metropolitan Bank & Trust Co. from 1993 to April 2006, and the Philippine Savings Bank and Unibancard Corp. from 1988 to 1991. He is currently the group vice chairman of the Metrobank Group.

He also served as president of the then-Philippine Drug Abuse Resistance Education. Abacan was also an adviser at Thomas Cook (Philippines) Inc., Philippine AXA Life Insurance Corp. and Metropolitan Bank (Bahamas) Ltd., and GT Capital Holdings.

Abacan is also a senior adviser at the First Metro Investment Corp., Federal Land, and Toyota Manila Bay Corp.; and chairman of the board of Toyota Financial Services (Phils) Inc.

He earned his degree in Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, with a major in Banking and Finance and in Accounting from the Mapua Institute of Technology and Far Eastern University, respectively. He received his Doctorate in Business Administration (Honoris Causa) from the Philippine Women’s University and is a graduate of the Executive Program of the Stanford University Graduate School of Business in 1991.

On the other hand, Medalla, who first served in the Monetary Board in 2011, was director general of the National Economic and Development Authority from July 1998 to January 2001. He also served as director of the PNOC-Exploration Corp., and independent director of the Metro Pacific Tollways Corp.

A professor and former dean at the School of Economics of the University of the Philippines (UP), Medalla was president of the Philippine Economics Society and chairman of the Foundation for Economic Freedom. He was also a director of the Asia United Bank Corp.

Medalla has undergraduate degrees in Economics and Accounting from De La Salle University, a masteral degree in Economics from UP and a Doctorate in Economics from Northwestern University.

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