'How can you refuse?': Why Diokno accepted offer to become next Finance chief

Jessica Fenol, ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 27 2022 09:42 AM

Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas’ (BSP) new governer, Benjamin Diokno during an interview with Cathy Yang for ANC’s The Boss, held at the BSP headquarters in Manila on March 12, 2019. George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News/File
Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas’ (BSP) new governer, Benjamin Diokno during an interview with Cathy Yang for ANC’s The Boss, held at the BSP headquarters in Manila on March 12, 2019. George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News/File

MANILA - Bangko Sentral Gov. Benjamin Diokno on Friday said he accepted the post of Finance Secretary so he can further serve the country, which is currently facing economic challenges. 

Diokno was named by President-elect Ferdinand Bongbong Marcos Jr as his pick as the next chief of the Department of Finance.

"The president says he needs someone to be responsible in running the economy and that’s it. How can you refuse a president which was elected by 31 million Filipinos," Diokno said in an interview with ANC. 

The incumbent central bank chief said it took some persuading before he agreed to the appointment.

"There are some doubts. I resisted as much as I can but there are a lot of calls so I gave in," he said. 

Accepting the post means he has to give up his remaining term as BSP Governor which was supposed to end in July 2023.

He will be replaced by BSP Board Member Felipe Medalla, who Diokno called a "very good" choice for the post. 

Diokno has been serving in the government for over 30 years.

Prior to his stint as the central bank chief, he was Budget Secretary in 1998 to 2001 and again in 2016 to 2019. 

Diokno was earlier recognized as the "Global Central Bank Governor of the Year 2022" by The Banker, an international publication under the Financial Times.

"Any job, I just do the best I can, given the resources and look for the best way to execute whatever assignment I have and to make sure that the association I’m associated with will be in a much better place than the institution that I inherited. Improve what you’re presented with," he added.


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