ADB Sends Condolences on the Passing of Philippine Central Bank Governor Espenilla

News Release | 25 February 2019

MANILA, PHILIPPINES (25 February 2019) — Asian Development Bank (ADB) President Mr. Takehiko Nakao today extended his condolences to the family and colleagues of Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Governor Mr. Nestor A. Espenilla, Jr., who passed away at the age of 60 on 23 February 2019 after a bout with cancer.

“On behalf of ADB, I extend my profound sympathies and condolences to the family, friends, and fellow central bankers of BSP Governor Mr. Nestor A. Espenilla Jr. The policies he advocated and implemented during his tenure as BSP Governor and previously as BSP Deputy Governor will leave a lasting and hugely positive impact on the Philippines,” Mr. Nakao said.

Mr. Espenilla, who also served as ADB Alternate Governor for the Philippines, championed policies to increase incomes by strengthening the banking sector and developing the domestic capital market. He sought to make financial services and literacy available to all Filipinos, and to modernize the payment system as a means to safely and securely distribute these benefits. ADB was privileged to work with Mr. Espenilla in each of these initiatives including ongoing efforts to develop the domestic bond market, to launch new and innovative ways to bring modern banking to rural underserved areas, and the digitalization of the retail payment system.

During ADB’s 51st Annual Meeting in Manila in May 2018, Mr. Espenilla was a panelist in the high-level Joint International Monetary Fund–ADB–BSP seminar titled “New Technologies in Finance: Opportunities and Challenges for Asia,” where he shared BSP’s experience in establishing a regulatory environment that allows innovations to flourish while ensuring financial efficiency and integrity.

“Mr. Espenilla’s leadership in BSP’s pursuit of financial sector development and inclusion will remain an inspiration to all of us working to expand access to financial services for the poor and smaller enterprises, a key challenge in Asia. We look forward to continuing our support to his vision—a Philippines with strong, sustained growth and where no one is left behind,” Mr. Nakao said.

ADB is committed to achieving a prosperous, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable Asia and the Pacific, while sustaining its efforts to eradicate extreme poverty. In 2018, it made commitments of new loans and grants amounting to $21.5 billion. Established in 1966, it is owned by 67 members—48 from the region.