BSP chief extends medical leave
Lawrence Agcaoili (The Philippine Star) - October 3, 2018 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Governor Nestor Espenilla Jr. has extended his medical leave by two more weeks as he continues to recover from early stage tongue cancer.

“My treatment is progressing very well. But I’ve got to give it the best chance possible. A central banker is a natural conservative,” Espenilla said in a message sent to reporters.

The BSP chief was supposed to report today after starting his two-week leave last Sept. 19 until Oct. 2. With the extended medical leave, Espenilla is scheduled to be back on Oct. 18.

BSP officer-in-charge Chuchi Fonacier said in a text message deputy governors Diwa Guinigundo and Maria Alamasara Cyd Tuaño-Amador would take turn serving as officer-in-charge.

Last February, Espenilla revealed he had tongue cancer that was detected in November 2017. He immediately went under the knife to remove the tumor and underwent radiation therapy.

Espenilla, 59, assumed office in July last year replacing former BSP governor Amando Tetangco Jr. who served an unprecedented two six-year terms.

External and domestic shocks continue to rock emerging markets including the Philippines.

Inflation averaged 4.8 percent from January to August this year, exceeding the central bank’s two to four percent target.  It leapt to a fresh nine-year high of 6.4 percent in August from 5.7 percent in July.

The BSP’s Department of Economic Research (DER) said inflation ranged from 6.3 to 7.1 percent and likely settled at 6.8 percent due to higher domestic petroleum prices, higher prices of rice and other agricultural commodities due to Ompong, and the further weakening of the peso. 

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