Action for Economic Reforms deeply mourns the passing of Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Governor Nestor A. Espenilla, Jr. due to cancer.

Governor Espenilla was a well-respected reformer and economist, whose years in public service were a testament to his dedication and devotion to the Filipino people. He was a mix of conservative, progressive and unconventional, perfect for his position as BSP Governor.

In his short time as chief of the BSP, Nesting, as we fondly call him, used his deep and wide knowledge on banking regulation, monetary, financing and exchange rate policies to introduce progressive reforms under his vision of Continuity Plus Plus. His role was critical in defending the Philippine peso’s competitiveness and managing inflation the proper way without undermining growth despite facing intense public pressure due to rising prices of basic commodities. His leadership was instrumental in ushering in an era of digitization and greater financial inclusion for Filipinos, which will serve to strengthen the banking sector and improve people’s access to financial services in the Philippines for years to come.

As a Deputy Governor, Nesting showed his strength of character as he unabatedly pursued well-established or politically connected banks and personalities for violating the BSP’s prudential regulations. He was a strict enforcer of rules, known for doing the right thing as he was tasked to investigate the nation’s biggest financial scams.

As a Central Bank Governor, he was most accessible to everyone, including ordinary people. He was acutely aware of the concrete finance-related problems faced by indebted public school teachers, overseas workers remitting money or looking for investments, low-income self-employed like tricycle drivers, pensioners, capital-starved small entrepreneurs, Moro savers and borrowers, etc.

Governor Espenilla was an honorable leader and public servant who wanted to contribute to the improvement of the people’s lives and to the growth and prosperity of the Philippines as a nation. His legacy will always be remembered, and he will be missed.