The Department of Budget and Management congratulates Secretary Benjamin E. Diokno for his appointment as Governor of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) and Chairman of the Monetary Board.

Secretary "Ben", a lifelong public servant and economics professor, embodies the decisive leadership, professional experience, and technical competence needed in a central bank governor. With Secretary Diokno at its helm, we are confident that the BSP and the Philippine economy will remain in good hands.

Secretary Diokno completed his Bachelor's degree in Public Administration (1968), Masters in Public Administration (1970), and Master of Arts in Economics (1974) from the University of the Philippines Diliman. He also earned a Master of Arts in Political Economy from the Johns Hopkins University in the United States (1976) and a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Economics from the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, Syracuse University (1981).

A seasoned academic and policy expert, Secretary Diokno is also Professor Emeritus at the University of the Philippines Diliman where he taught for 30 years. He has also served three administrations: first as DBM Undersecretary for former President Corazon Aquino, and eventually as Budget Secretary under President Joseph Estrada and again for President Rodrigo Duterte since 2016.

In his most recent stint as Budget chief, Secretary Diokno pursued an expansionary fiscal policy to invest heavily on public infrastructure and human capital development. For the first time in history, the government disbursed more than 5% of the country's gross domestic product (GDP) on public infrastructure -- a testament to his firm resolve and expertise.

He also eliminated underspending, a trend where actual government disbursements fall below program. In 2014 and 2015, underspending was as high as 13.3% and 12.8%, respectively, amounting to P631 billion in that two-year span. This raised concerns about the slow delivery of government programs and projects as well as the poor absorptive capacity of implementing agencies.

Under Secretary Diokno's watch, underspending in 2016 and 2017 went down to just 3.6% and 2.9%, respectively.

In 2018, Secretary Diokno managed to reverse 12 years of underspending as actual expenditures exceeded the program by 1%.

On transparency and accountability, the Philippines gained international recognition under his watch as we were ranked 1st in Asia and 17th in the world in the 2017 Open Budget Survey.

Secretary Diokno also pushed for an ambitious budget reform agenda amidst political resistance. Under his guidance, the Executive always submitted the proposed national budget on the day of the President's State of the Nation Address, 30 days ahead of their Constitutional duty. He also championed the shift towards cash-based budgeting to ensure the prompt delivery of public services and completion of projects.

Secretary Diokno believes in bringing the government closer to its people and enabling all Filipinos to reap the benefits of economic growth. We share his vision and goal of a "safer, more equal, more dynamic, and more prosperous Philippines."

We wish you the best in your new role as BSP governor, and thank you for your meaningful service.